I made it to the barn with plenty of time to set up a few jumps. I set up a line of barrels on their sides as a warmup jump, a vertical at 3′ and a Swedish oxer at 3′-ish.
I love Swedish oxers for few reasons: you can jump them from either direction (essential when you only have a handful of jumps), they ride really well, and they look impressive as hell. They’re a great confidence builder. Since they ride so well, most horses and riders don’t have trouble with them; because they look huge, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something after jumping one.
This weekend’s show is only dressage and cross country, but I figured getting Moe over something was better than nothing.
I don’t know why I was concerned. He ate breakfast placidly, then walked to the arena with a lot of pep in his step. He warmed up well- super forward without being too pushy about it, listening well, eager to work. And then we jumped. And it was exactly like it has been for the last twelve years. He locked onto each jump, sprang over, and accelerated upon landing.
I tried to set my phone up to take a video of the Swedish oxer, but it came out pretty terrible. The phone was tilted just too high, so the sunlight make everything super dark. The phone was pointed at about half the jump, and the quality was awful. (I hate this phone so much.) But I pulled this blurry still, which looks much artsier on a tiny phone screen than it does on a computer. You’re welcome.
I bought a copper loose ring slow twist snaffle at work yesterday for $15; Moe isn’t super keen on loose rings, but he was not doing well jumping in his dressage bit (an eggbutt French link). The slow twist gave me just enough brakes to feel like I can manage his pace and avoid time penalties on Sunday. I guess we’ll see!