Friday, November 25, 2011

In between shows...

Last spring when I took Lola to the UC Davis Event Derby, I SWORE that by the October Derby I would have Bear ready to go for his jumping debut. This was because it was such a convenient and "greenie friendly" event at a good price. I lucked out that the event got pushed back to the beginning of November leaving me a little more room to cram in some work!

So after the dressage show we squeezed in one more lesson and started to put the pressure on to really accept the bit and stop his nonsense in front and start focusing on pushing forward from the back. We had a great lesson and could really see a ton of improvement in his fitness and strength, as well as breakthroughs on understanding submission and seeking the bit instead of being behind the bit to evade the connection.

We also went to a poker ride where I won the 4th best hand! I was so surprised because there were so many people there. We had fun, and I got a second poker hand free for dressing up in costume! Bear looks pretty stunning!

I also hauled him out to a friends barn to do a little jump school. I walked him around while she warmed up her horse so that he could settle in. He was pretty distracted, so it was nice to wait it out and be able to enjoy a ride on a quiet and relaxed horse an hour later! So I spent the first bit leading Bear around and raising jumps and measuring so that she felt good about the height that she'd be jumping at the Derby. Then I dropped all the jumps back down the the smallest cross bar height and warmed Bear up. We had just four set up, and they were all the the center of the smallish square arena, so it wasn't much of a course, but still got Bear to pick up his feet. He mainly just trotted them one foot at a time since they were so small, so I did canter over one twice. He was quiet and didn't think much of it. That was the extent of our jump schooling before the show! I mean they would be tiny cross rails, how much prep does a pony need? And I had already done well on the same dressage test, so that was in the bag, right?

I was feeling pretty proud that in one month I had gotten Bear ready for this despite all his time off! I was pleased with how easy it had all been. I was feeling a little to secure and stopped pushing to really prepare him; I was in for a surprise...

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