I don’t want to get too excited but I may be cancelling my national “burn all the rolltops” tour after all. Though yes, he jumped it on the first try, this may have been slightly excessive:
But let’s back up.
As all grey horse owners know, if you’re in a hurry to leave, your grey horse will undoubtedly be massively disgusting. Probably green, and DEFINITELY yellow. On the flip side, if you have time to spare, your grey horse will be spotless.
New barn is about 10 minutes further away than the old barn from Trainer B’s, so I got there at 10:30 Friday morning with a departure time of 11:15. Truck was hooked up by 10:32, P was groomed and ready to go by 10:40, trailer was packed by 10:43. So that left half an hour.
Husband thought napping was a good idea.
But I had other ideas:
That ball has been in New Barn since I arrived and I’ve been eying it, but never had the time to pull it out before. P’s initial reaction was:
But as long as I was near it he was willing to give it a shot.
Next step: horse soccer!
Then it was time to stop torturing my horse and get on the trailer to Trainer B’s.
We started in the arena for warmup:
Then it was Rolltop Time!
Well, first the ditch. I requested that we do a little ditch work in the hopes that maybe I won’t for whatever reason STARE into it. The first time I failed miserably.
Trainer B: Don’t let it die.
Trainer B: Feel it die?
The second time was A-OK.
And onto the rolltop we went. With Trainer B & his trusty tree branch ready to assist if needed.
Attempt #1. I felt like this heading up the hill to the green RT of Death:
Victory is mine!
And Trainer B’s. He had a little to do with it, too, I suppose.
But it does appear that my work at home has actually paid off. Trainer B joked (or maybe not) that he was going to send me a picture of it to hang in his stall if he stopped at it one more time. So P gets to keep his stall RT-free…for now.
Something that I’m definitely aware of, but have not practiced enough on correcting since we just moved to New Barn, is our tendency to drift right over jumps. And when P stops…it’s typically to the right. According to Trainer J, I tend to tip to the right. Basically it’s all my fault (when is it not?). My left ankle is the one that was broken and doesn’t have the flexibility that my right ankle does, so I’m sure that contributes somewhat to it. So I suppose that takes the list of things to work on up to….well, infinity at this point.
So we did the RT to plank thing a few more times, trying to get us over the center. And very unlike the past few weeks, ZERO rolltop stops!
Then it was time to move on. Obviously he wasn’t going to stop at the RT if he hadn’t by now, so Trainer B pointed us towards a broken log jump with a rail on it. It wasn’t always broken, so now it looks different and P knows it.
With the wind, it’s a little hard to hear Trainer B’s WOW (Words of Wisdom), but here’s the gist:
I let P get away with basically murder. We coast with barely enough energy to jumps which lets P stop with ease. If a jump calls for a level 1 canter, P needs to be ridden at a level 3+ so that stopping isn’t so easy.
My side of it is that if he’s going to stop (which right now is commonplace) I’d rather he stop from a gentle canter than from anything faster. Which I think is valid, but at the same time, I need to change my mental game. Because P can read me like a kid’s book and by now knows that stopping is the easy way out.
Oh yeah, and be straight to the jumps. Always straight.
Then he promptly gave me the middle hoof in the other direction.
But at least we got to jump the vertical that we love so much?
Then Trainer B, because he loves to
torture me keep us progressing goes over to one of the new xc jumps and says, “is this too big?”
But I put my brave face on. Looking at the video, it’s super tiny, but let me tell you: EVERYTHING is more intimidating on a stopper.
And then put the course all together:
And called it a day. Whew!
Overall, it was a great lesson. Obvious what to work on (center of jump, more canter) but it appears we’re on the right track. And I can’t even begin to express how relieved I was that there were no rolltop stops. That was just getting RIDICULOUS.