Friday, March 28, 2014

Jumping Machine

It has been a good week in horsey land.

Adorable pony didn't want to pose, but is still super cute.

On Wednesday we were able to have a lovely ride in the outdoor.  Thank you Mother Nature for sometimes letting us escape the indoor.  Fawkes was almost lazy he was so relaxed and when those days happen I do not look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, but just go with the flow.

Love the perspective on this one.  Also demonstrates my inability to get my ankles away
 from his sides but let's not quibble. 

We had a nice hack and played around over the poles to work on rhythm and striding.  Also got to have an interesting chat with the eventer at the barn.  He told me that he is very pro bringing other people with him when he schools cross country, goes to lessons, etc, and said he has room on his trailer and can take us along.  This was very unexpected but I am super excited.  I had sort of resigned myself to not being able to event given the dual problems of no trailer and no cross country course nearby.  So this could be a game changer!

Outta my way, cameraman
Then got to have a wonderful jumping lesson tonight.  We did a straight 4 stride line, an in-and-out, a bending 4 stride line, and some single fences, all in different combinations.  I had one miscue at a tiny little cross rail and Fawkes got confused, stopped, and then walked over it.

He was all...."um, is this what you want? Cause it's weird, but I'm game."

That is miles away from the horse who used to stop, panic, and then run out several more times for good measure.

We are both happier because as my base gets more and more secure, I feel better letting go of his face.  Funny how that works.  I am totally sure the two are unrelated.

We went over more fences tonight than we have in quite a while and besides the one goof up, it all went really well.  My main takeaway from today was more right leg.  Generally, no matter how much right leg I think I am using, it isn't enough.  I can't compensate by pulling on the left rein.  Believe me, I have tried.  If it were possible I would have succeeded by now.  I have lots of evidence he just gets more crooked.  And I have to be very gentle with the right rein straightening because to Fawkes, that is a damn good excuse to slide further right.

So. Right leg, more right leg, and then some more right leg.  But with tact, because nothing in riding is ever simple.

After our ride I untacked him and hand-walked him up the road.  Let him graze a bit here and there to make expanding our horizons an enjoyable experience.  Because my freak horse actually prefers ring work over trails and we need to fix that, stat.  There were some spooks at neighbor kids playing basketball and some rogue goats (I mean, really? Free range goats in suburbia? ok) but he held it together.

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