July 11, 2009

Proof: Coco can Jump!

Headed to Battle Hill this morning to take Kody for a hack out (and then proceeded to get my truck stuck, and had to get a neighbour with tow rope and a group of people on their way to a what appeared to be a funeral to help! Insane). After that bit of drama we headed down to the arena. It was a very busy day out there. Alison had the horse dentist out and there were quite a few people and dogs around. Despite all of that Coco warmed up really nicely, and Nick had come along to get some proof that she can pop over little jumps.
This time we did not start with trotting poles, but with some small crossbars. She seemed to remember what it was about and happily trotted in and over them (sometimes jumping, and sometimes just keeping a trot stride).
Then we moved onto some uprights. I tried a canter approach, but Coco is still a little unsure of her balance over the fences and twisted a little with a canter takeoff, so we came back to a trot. She had a couple of little nappy episodes near the gate - but less than on Thursday. She doesn't tend to want to nap at all if she has her brain engaged - but if she gets distracted then that's the time she's likely to want to slow down or head back to the truck. After 2 of those episodes today we didn't have any more - so that is awesome.
We even did a related line, through trot. She doesn't seem bothered by fillers. Now it's just a case of getting her confidence and straightness improved. After our ride we had a walk around the other horses and people.. and donkey! Coco freaked out, but came back to me nicely and after a few moments was able to walk towards the donkey (though I did not make her go right up and touch noses). I am so pleased with how much she is improving!
Gem was up for another session of death by crossrail. She must be so sick of them, we do some crossrails about 4 times a week at the arena or at home now. But it is helping her form. She still doesn't bring her front legs together as much as I'd like - but it's improving, and the feel of her is really coming along. She doesn't feel like she throws herself at the jumps, but now she feels like she loads her hindquarters up and actually jumps them seriously.
After doing enough crossrails to bore us both, I decided to have a go at jumping on an angle. She picked it up straight away. Excuse that the 2nd pic below isn't the best timing - but I think it shows just how much of an acute angle she was happy to jump from.
Then Nick headed home to get ready for car racing tomorrow, and I had a quiet ride on Neo. Just bareback, a bit of schooling working on his bend and getting him moving away from the leg, but mostly just having a nice plod around in the sunshine (and not in the mud!).