Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jump Practise.. and something a little exciting.

I'm a bit late to post these photos, but better late than never at all.

Last week I brought Oscar in for a pop over a few jumps. It was our first jumping session since he'd hurt himself hunting, and as he'd been handling his workload really well over the past few weeks, I decided to test him out over some small fences. Truth be told, we both needed a break from the dressage and we're struggling to hack out at the moment because someone's got sore feet. I have something really, really exciting to share next week and it starts with "we have been given permission to ride on the sand racetrack next door".

Scratch sharing next week, I'm hella freaking excited. It's literally a fence line away, on the next door property, and it's a fully fledged race track where real life thoroughbreds gallop in races (omg). And I get to use it to condition my horse. If that isn't a score for an aspiring ammy eventer, I don't know what is. I'll take him there on Sunday for a wee canter and will probably then leave it for a while as Oscar's winter break is looming ever closer at the end of August.

From September I'll be excited to have the facilities available to really incorporate fitness work into our schedule. Things seem to be falling into place nicely (touching wood), aside from transport, but I'm slowly putting money aside for float repairs and will have that sorted in 2016 for sure, providing I don't get thrown any more curveballs like .. $5,000 vet bills for a kitten that lacks spatial awareness... le sigh. (She's cute, she's worth it ha).

In other exciting facilities updates, we're also allowed to use the perimeter of the rugby field for schooling/werkin' on our fitnezz come summer. It's a nice 15 minute walk away and will provide a welcome change of scenery for sure.

Anyway, I majorly digress! Oscar jumped great last week!

With his usual sloppy style for the most part, and he was a bit wobbly on his lines into jumps - but the main thing is that he was bold and forward and had a sparkle in his eye the whole time that showed he was happy to be doing his favourite thing again.

OK, slightly less than enthusiastic here but this was before he realised it was time for jumping!

Trit-trotting over ze poles (which I neglected to fix up after the kids were galloping around them). 

Canter poles! Letz me at 'em!!

Ok, Ok I wait for you.

*Disclaimer* I pull my horse's mane in quarters to make it slightly less unpleasant for him. Please overlook the fact that it is half finished here, we didn't leave the property like that I promise ha.

Once Oscar was checked once for trying to run into poles - yay hunting!- last time we jumped I had a hard time getting him forward - we had a beautiful forward canter with just enough 'up' to make this closet DQ happy.

I like this canter for show jumping.

We don't take jumping lessons nearly enough to be considered proper 'eventers', but at the last jumping clinic we attended, we worked a lot on our jumping canter. I used to sit in a half seat and just point and shoot, hoping for the best, in our schooling and so I'm pleased that I'm slowly becoming less passenger and more picky about actually teaching Oscar something when we jump these days. 

I took a lot away from this ride too. Another bad show jumping habit of mine is to finish the ride happy to have jumped everything first pop and stayed on, but this time I was thinking about what needs improvement. 

Straight lines is a very good, and very obvious start. 
Our lack of straightness as highlighted by the below jump sequence....

Oscar wanting to go right upon landing, through his shoulder.

But we still made it to the middle of the next jump, albeit following a crooked line.

My less than attractive "that was less than attractive" expression. 
Still happy because these small jumps allow us to make mistakes, but are still substantial enough to allow me to actually feel the difference between a straight ride and a crooked one. 

Second thing to address is technique. This will arguably improve to some extent by itself as the height increases, but there are a 101 jumping exercises out there (literally) to improve technique and so our next jump school will inevitably have a bounce or grid in there. 

Sloppy knee technique in action...

And not the flashiest hind end either.

But we don't jump often, or even with any kind of routine at all really. I'm putting feelers out (this expression makes me uncomfortable haha) for someone willing to travel to where I live to give us a helping hand with our jumping so we can have regular lessons. He's not going to win show hunter points any time soon but if we get our straightness in check he can easily fling himself around a cross country course, and that's what we want to be doing.

And call me bias - it's okay, I really am!! - but he gets all the points in the world for cuteness..

Dreamy McDreamy!

Clearly we have a lot to work on, straightness into jumps and perhaps the odd gymnastic or twenty to improve Oscar's technique, and also my collapsing left rib cage came to the jump party, but we had all of the fun to be jumping again and I just really, really enjoy this horse!

Red faced and tired, but not a care in the world in my happy place :) 


  1. Love all the pictures, and that is so cool that you have access to a track!

    1. Yay, glad you like them! There are so many!!
      And the track becoming available is just so cool!

  2. You guys look great - how fun!! Also I'm super jealous that you get to ride on that race track!

  3. Oh man - access to the racetrack - I am jealous! How fabulous! Glad your boy is back at it. I'll have to go back and read old posts to catch up!

    1. Thanks Shauna :)
      He basically just pulled a muscle in his back after a hard day's hunting. We had some rehab time that stretched on forever and are finally good to go again :D

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