Three fence course

Still from the video; we are possible a little far to the right!

Yesterday, I dragged all three of my jumps out and set up a course for Gina. There was one 18″ crossrail and two 2’6 verticals. (I like to be able to jump fences in either direction, which is why I stick with verticals. And I also only have 3 sets of standards.)

Blue arrows/lines are the first half; green are the second.

Gina warmed up beautifully, walking, trotting, and cantering quietly on a long rein. This is a far cry from a year or two ago when she’d freak out at the sight of ground poles! We trotted over the crossrail a couple of times with no refusals! Is this thing on? Gina jumped without hesitation or refusal! I almost called it quits right there, but I’d spent a solid 15 minutes lugging jumps around, so we continued on.

The verticals were a breeze; we had mostly good distances and I managed not to duck as hideously as I do with Moe. There was one very long spot to a vertical that made me grateful I remembered how to slip my reins and not catch my horse in the mouth! (Thanks, Moe!)

Since we were totally in the zone, I perched my phone on a barrel that was doing double-duty as a support for a standard that’s missing a foot. I managed to get some video proof of The G jumping stuff like it isn’t even a big deal. I’ll spare y’all the whole video, as it’s 4+ minutes of me fiddling with the camera, walking Gina, and swearing when we hit a nasty spot and I almost went off to the side.

I knew you could do it, Gina! That’s why I bought you in the first place, you wretched creature!

Now, here’s the question: Take Gina to the event derby at The Woodlands on June 15, or take her to the Sport of Kings Challenge for dressage and jumper classes at Remington Park June 22? Both are about 2 hours away; they’ll also cost about the same. I feel like Gina is equally reliable (or unreliable) for either show. I’m kind of leaning toward the event derby, as I know Gina enjoys cross-country and it won’t require me to braid. (And who am I kidding? I like cross-country better, too!)

Jump, Er, Ground Pole Course

G’s been doing beautifully with ground poles lately. There’s no more fear or hesitation when she approaches them, and I think she’s beginning to enjoy stretching her neck and back while walking or trotting over them. I’m pleased with her progress.

While I believe it’s still too early to reintroduce jumps, I want to keep Gina challenged. I don’t want any more of last week’s bored, sour attitude. Anne suggested something I think is a great idea: ground poles laid out as a jump course. Gina will have to negotiate corners, perform lead changes, and shorten and lengthen her stride as necessary without the stress of actual jumps. It’ll be easy for me to give a forward, positive ride. I hope she’ll enjoy the exercise!

Here’s the course I’m going to set up tomorrow morning:

It’s a very simple hunter course that I think will bolster her confidence and make her think about what she’s doing. If it’s too easy for her, it should be simple enough to change, given that we’ll just be using ground poles!

I’m really excited about this idea. Here’s to a good ride in the morning!