I’ve had P back from the worst selling attempt ever for exactly 2 months now. When I decided to sell him due to lack of time, we were doing things like this:
When I got him back, it was like restarting him off the track again.
Through 6 weeks of “dressage boot camp,” with some check-in lessons with fabulous Trainer J, we got back to this:
So we added in jumping with new Trainer B. Our first time back jumping was with him, and we literally spent an HOUR walking and trotting over a cross-rail and a tiny plank, because P was just so nervous. And then spent almost every day that week replicating it, with varying degrees of success.
Well. Slow must be the new fast, because P has come a long way.
Our last lesson with Trainer B was a week ago, and even though P gave me the middle finger and I fell, we were able to jump a course in the pouring rain with many successes, yet one BIG glaring weakness.
Because not only has P not jumped in awhile, I haven’t in even longer. The last time I jumped P around on a regular basis was November, and my am I rusty. I apparently have lost the ability to see a distance to save my life so while I do well riding around the course, the jumps themselves have now become the problem.
And P is NOT the horse anyone experiments on, or learns on. I’ve never met a more unforgiving horse.
So next week I’m going to start some jumping lessons with BO on her trusty school horse, Patrick. When I first approached her, she was all, “How do I teach an eventer?”
But when I saw her yesterday, she was all: “Give me two lessons. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and I have just the exercises for you.”
BO knows all about distances, comes up with great exercises, and I’ve seen her teach a bajillion lessons- she knows her stuff. She’s also the only one I let ride P when I couldn’t get out to the barn to ride on a regular basis. Correct riding is correct riding, so here goes nothing.
Friday we went back to Trainer J, because while our walk/trot progress was basically the stuff of champions, our canter work left something to be desired.
And basically my horse is awesome. Especially when he’s in the presence of Trainer J. He’s had a crush on her for FOREVER.
She’s basically a wizard.
And bonus! Husband learned how a dressage girth works.
So our dressage homework is to spend more time on transitions. ALL THE TRANSITIONS. Up until now I’ve been spending time working on each gait individually, so now it’s time to put it all back together.
I went out there Saturday with the intention of schooling him over whatever course was set up. But it’s been raining so much here, all the jumps were dismantled so that the arena could get drug. So I decided to pop over a cavaletti thing to warmup and then make husband set up some jumps. But P was so good and calm over the little thing that I changed plans and decided to actually practice what I’m bad at.
And dare I say, it was alright? Not that I am majikally amazing at distances now ,but rather my horse was like, “Whatevs, let’s try again.” The video shows the last 4 attempts, and doesn’t take into account the 15 or so that came before it. P was CALM, y’all. CALM.
And that, my friends, is a miracle all on its own.
Love husband going, “That was all you.” Thanks, George Morris, I hadn’t thought of that?
Then I watched the slo mo video he did and was like, “WTF am I doing with my hands over jumps now? Why am I pulling back? Why is my body betraying me?”
More practice. Sigh.
So we’ve got our dressage HW, we’ve got our SJ HW, now onto XC.
I took P to Kingfisher on Monday with a friend.
And that is the only media I have, despite the Cambox you can see on my helmet. Because technology sucks. I had the first 45 minutes or so (I didn’t fully charge it apparently), and I went through and edited it down, and saved the project, but since I didn’t save it in a different format before deleting the footage from the Cambox…it’s ALL GONE.
But anyway, here’s how it went.
P hopped right into the water. That was the first thing I did- zero hesitation. So then we went to our little log that we’ve jumped so many times before and he wouldn’t go near it. Like, stopped 10 feet out like it was about to sprout horns and leap at him. Need a visual? Here it is:
We ended up getting a lead over. Because, WTF there, P?
So we do the log back and forth a few times. Then move onto the cabin that we’ve also jumped many times before. It’s actually in the first video of this post. And he stops like 3x because leaping over it.
So then we head to the ditch. Zero problems. We finally paid back our friends and gave them a lead over because my friend’s horse wasn’t so sure. Then we went to the banks. Zero issues. Then we jumped a couple more things and finally P was his regular old XC self and was fine.
But for real, I can’t figure him out sometimes. Typically…people who start their horses below BN do so because they don’t have the “scary” obstacles such as water, ditches and banks. My horse has never had an issue with those things, but he’s unsure of a log?
And P’s all like:
So anyway, my goal had been to get out there and hop over a few fences, remind P that XC is still a thing, and I suppose we accomplished that. It’s nice to know he’s still good about the things that a lot of horses have trouble with, but it was a little frustrating that he was unsure about things we’ve jumped in the past with no issue.
I didn’t ride yesterday, due to feeling like crap, but I’m going to haul myself out there today for dressage riding, because we have a lesson with Trainer B tomorrow. Then Friday will be another dressage day, Saturday will be a light jump day, and Sunday we go XC schooling again! This time at Wind Ridge with a fellow blogger whose horse I need to hang out with P to show him the XC ropes. I’ve never been to Wind Ridge, but have their August HT tentatively planned, so I’m excited to get to go.
In more exciting news, my haul from Riding Warehouse is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! After buying the boots (because there was ONE pair left in stock, what was I supposed to do?), I went back and added these:
And a purple Kastel. You can never have enough Kastel.