May 02, 2009

A Jumpin' We Go

I had booked the arena this morning so that Dicky's owner could come and have a ride on him somewhere different, so I thought I'd make the most of it and take the rest of the horses out too. I got there pretty early to get the horses cleaned up and the jumps set up how I wanted them - and Swifty came along in time to help me cart poles around too which was handy.
So Dicky's Mum (Kim) came and had a ride on him. He was quite well behaved, with just a few little moments where he got uptight. Kim handled it really well and got him back on board and listening to her and they got some lovely work on the flat, as well as some calm approaches to a crossrail after finishing up on the flat. When Kim was done I nabbed him for some jumping - he was quite unsettled at first having a change of rider but settled within a few minutes and happily flew over all the fences that were set up.
Dani's canter is improving, yay! I still need to work on keeping him out on the circle and not letting him fall in, but it's all becoming so much easier now that he has the impulsion and desire to work for me. He was really sweet in his jumping too - no rushing, just popping over whatever was in front of him.
We still got in a bit close to a few fences (first pic below), but I was able to ride more aggressively for the striding and get him to stand off a bit more (second pic below). I don't mind the occasional chip, and think it's great if we can get himself out of that kind of spot as it's really useful from the point of view of riding. I do want him to be adjustable into a fence though, so his rider can pick the stride if they are confident to do so.
I took him over various fillers and he was good with them. Also put a few of the jumps a bit bigger than what I have been schooling him over and he was happy with that. He's good with his gridwork too now - we've been doing a fair bit with a short 1-stride followed by a long 1-stride to make him really work for that third element. A few weeks ago he'd just run out of steam totally, and now he is coping quite nicely. Always good to see progress. I think the cross-country outings have been fantastic for him in getting his confidence and impulsion up.
Xev has been going really nicely - still really soft and easy in her flatwork. We're doing more transitions in our work at home to help keep her bum engaged instead of just trotting around in a 'pretty frame' so much. Today we did some cantering around with loops in our reins and she just kept at the same pace until I gathered my reins again and asked something different of her -she's very cool like that.
Put her over a variety of fences and what I really noticed today was that her balance is greatly improved. Previously when I'd try and do a rollback style turn she just couldn't do it -she wasn't engaged enough and being a big horse it wasn't easy to manhandle her into doing it. The flatwork must be doing something though, as now when I sit up she not only comes back beautifully but will do a good balanced turn just based on my seat. It's still not a nippy jumpoff turn to rival ponies - but give it time!
She seemed to be having a great time out in the sun doing the jumps as well. She overjumped a few and I got left behind massively in one (purple jump pic just below) where I literally threw the reins at her while I tried to get my centre of balance back in the right place.
I haven't really done any larger fences of any sort on her, so we popped a couple up - not huge, but about 1.30m and she ate it up like it was nothing (rather a non-event, actually). After that I figured she'd done enough and as you can see from the pic of us standing behind the oxer - she was looking a bit sleepy :) After that she walked herself back to the truck while Swifty, Kim & I were chatting.
Next outing for this lot is Manawatu ODE this coming weekend at Aokautere. I miss showjumping already! But at least Tielcey Park has a winter series which should stop me from going insane over winter.


Beckz said...

You have to stop putting up pictures of Xev, I do not need another horse, I already have a full truck lol. Looking forward to seeing how you get on at manawatu.

perfk said...

last time my truck got full I just bought a bigger truck! haha I'm not always the best with logic!

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad to see dani is going well I miss my big fluffy bum I have an extra cover for him if he gets cold. It's a thick one too.txt me when you next go to a how or go for a eventful as I'd love to see how he's going? Awsome well talk soon...cya from leah (danis owner)

Anonymous said...

Sorry I mean when you next go to a show or riding's leah again thanks. Cya talk soon

Anonymous said...