This weekend at the barn I was accosted with one of the biggest dangers known to man… someone trying to give you a puppy. It took every ounce of restraint I had, but I was able to walk away from her (after taking a few pictures and sending them to the SO of course). The key is to not make direct eye contact… it’s a known fact that puppy eyes steal your soul. We already have two dogs, a 9yo and a 7yo, so it really probably isn’t the right time to add a puppy into the mix. Boy she was cute though and I was super tempted.
Otherwise it was a pretty typical weekend. Saturday morning was a semi-long flatwork session, and Henry was really superb. I think he likes his new shoes. When I got on Sunday morning for my lesson he was feeling a bit tired though (the humidity was pretty high). Because of that we kept the flatwork as brief as possible then went right to work. Our o/f warmup was a simple figure eight over a small vertical, jumping it at an angle.
The first time over we were a bit too bold with our pace, but once I compressed the canter a little it worked out really well. Henry’s always pretty game to jump on an angle. After that we did more of a square figure eight… the goal being to get the horse very straight over the jump even off a quite short (the turn was only about 2 strides away from the jump) approach.
That also went pretty well, although now I was whoa-ing a little too much instead of continuing to come forward out of the turn, which made for a couple really deep distances.
Then we strung a course together. Same vertical went up to about 3′, jumping off the right lead. Then left turn to an airy oxer (about 3’3″), back to the first vertical again, right turn to the outside in-and-out which was a forward one stride, around to a vertical to vertical short two-stride.
Again I started too slow, which made the one stride pretty gappy. For some reason I was having a heck of a time holding onto my right rein and it completely slipped through my hand coming into the two stride. I also biffed the distance so between those two things I abandoned ship instead of trying to jump out. I had the same problem the second attempt… it’s like I start out too conservative with the pace, then build as we go. And having a very short two stride right after a pretty forward one stride really pointed that out. Tricky course design, Trainer… very tricky. Finally we did manage to get it right, so we ended on that note. I will say that we really nailed that single oxer every time, which is pretty amazing for me because normally I’m of the “big single oxer in the middle of nowhere – I shall change my mind 9000 times on the approach and end up totally eating it!” type. Henry gets a bucket of cookies for being super game the whole time, even with my mistakes, and even though the jumps were on the big side for him, and even though he was tired. Good po-neigh.
After that he got a nice cool bath and a long graze. I also spent some time this weekend trying to figure out our fall schedule. Basically so far I’ve got a jumper show (low stuff, I don’t think he’s quite ready to show in the higher division offered at our local shows), a hunter derby, an eventing derby, and a schooling horse trial. We shall never be bored!
Since I’m off today I’m headed out again… we’ll see how tired he feels. Hope everyone else is enjoying a long weekend too!