Saturday, April 05, 2008

Head's Up

And Another Lost Day

I had a horrible migraine on Friday. Chiropractor fixed my neck and the headache started to go away, but it ended up taking until almost midnight. Yeech. Haven't had one like that in a long time.

Well, that made Friday a washout, but it was raining, so it wasn't too much of a loss.

Today, I went back for some acupunture and another adjustment so I'm fine. But I decided to just lunge the Boys.

What fun!! I set up two trotting poles and a small jump--about 2 feet high for Toby. After a flat session, I headed him for the trotting poles. He jumped them, lept into the air and bucked. After several more such crossings, I set him at the jump. Whee!! He took off like a rocket and leaped it in grand style. All I could do was laugh and keep him on the circle. He was having a rolicking good time. He would have had an inspiring career as a jumper but for his terrible tendancy to shy at new things. I suppose I could have gotten him over it, but by the time I bought him I was fairly well over the urge to jump. I did a few clinics with him and one or two shows with jumping classes, but I just didn't want to spend the time getting him over his spooks. I'm kind of glad, actually, as Russell R. suffered from front end lameness as he aged and I'm pretty sure it was a consequence of his jumping career.

Tucker moved right on out on the lunge for me. He had watched Toby's entire session with great interest--or jealousy--and apparently had decided he was going to do his best to impress me. He was lovely over the trot poles. I had lowered the jump to about 1 1/2 feet for him as I haven't done much free jumping with him. His approach is entirely different. He simply trots up to the obstacle and pops over it. His calm attitude is great. When I urged him into a canter, he cleared the jump with a good bascule and a really nice flow. I have jumped him a bit under saddle and he is far more like Russell as he is easy to sit. Toby really can pop me out of the saddle, but Tucker is smooth. Watching him, it looks as if he too would be a super jumping competitor should I ever decide to resume that kind of foolishness. (Sorry, Caroline. Sometimes one does get too old to think a lot about it, even if it is FUN!!!)

Chance was a 90% good boy as well. The 10% not so good was one rather wild pull off the right rein with a spin back to the left trying to escape. While he is definitely improving on the right rein, it is clearly not as comfortable to him as his left. He took about three tries to manage a depart on the right lead, but once he did, he was fine. He was super over the trot poles, handling the distance with ease. And, over the little jump he was relaxed and forward. It's hard to tell over such a little fence whether he had good form like his daddy does, but again, since his career is not as a jumper it really doesn't matter. I did, though, like his willing, quiet attitude about the whole thing.

I do feel it is important for my horses to know the jumping basics. To me, it is an essential part of training, and years ago, it was a requirement in dressage tests. (Bet that would separate the "men from the boys" in American dressage shows today....*G*) I do like to pop over logs and things when I am on hacks too.

However, I am not inclined to jump much anymore myself. Not only have a lost a lot of the skill I used to have, but I am not as confident in the strength of my seat and balance, especially with my bad knees. Dressage certainly has enough fascination to keep me occupied.

But every now and then, it's fun to bounce over something......*S*


  1. i can remember hearing about tests with a jump in them, but never did one.

    haven't taught molly anything about jumping, and don't think she saw a jump in her previous life either - that leg injury in the wagon when she was 3 1/2! and i don't jump ... used to get someone else to jump queenie!

  2. Polo has a cracking jump and is keen but was always so naughty taking him anywhere with lots of other horse's never got the chance to do much!
    Sounds like a good day:)

  3. I ma glad you had a good day.

    I agree with you a good Dressage horse should be able to jump.
    Ingrid Klimke trains her Dressage horses over obstacle. It helps to kepp them interested ^-^