Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taking the Path of Least Resistance

And Watching the Jumpers Fly

Got up early to see the show jumping part of the Men's Pentathlon. Well, that was enlightening.

All I can say is the horses loaned to the athletes--as they must ride horses they do not know after a 30 minute warmup--were largely saints, though a few were saints with strong senses of self-preservation. And, it certainly did point out that riding a horse with some success over fences takes a lot more skill than people realize.

Certainly more skill than the majority of those men realized. I saw perhaps three decent rounds. The rest were scary for horse and rider. Guys were hauling horses's mouths, landing on their backs over the fence, crashing into fences, falling off, and in at least two cases, throwing the horses off their feet. Mercifully, only one human got hurt with a bloody nose and maybe a black eye. As for the horses, hard to tell, but I'd suspect there may be some injuries there and certainly a lot of training ruined. One horse, at least, had the good sense to just quit jumping altogether.

What a relief to see the real show jumpers right afterwards. Suddenly, every rider on course looked absolutely fantastic. Of course this was the second round of the individuals so they were the 30 best riders in the world, but my eyes saw them with a new found appreciation and admiration. The best moment was when both Mclain Ward and Beezie Madden took a shortcut in the jumpoff by jumping a section of decorative bushes to make time. Ward's effort did not pay off as his lovely mare, Sapphire, came too flat and fast to the last fence and had a knockdown. But Beezie pulled it off, went clear and won the bronze. Then Bengtsson of Sweden and Lamaze of Canada jumped off for gold and Lamaze won on a clean, fast round. It really was show jumping at its best.

In between the two competitions, I went out and lunged Tucker for about 20 minutes at the trot, beginning the effort to build up his stifle. Later, after the show jumping was over, I went back out and long lined him for about 25 minutes getting him to work on the bit at the trot and canter. He does look fine physically and didn't appear to have any trouble doing the work.

I did not ride as it was pretty hot out there and just the lining had me soaked with sweat. But it was a good effort, so we are on the way.

I went for my swim, came home, fed the Boys and then headed out to school for a reading of my play. It was very interesting having the teenage actors reading the roles, but we all agreed, I need to do some more work on the format and adjust some of the dialogue. I figured as much. but all the pieces seem to be there. Now I just need to uncover the way to put the puzzle into another configuration.

I have just under a month to do it. Guess I will be busy. Once I wrap my brain around exactly what I need to do, I'll be fine.


  1. Jean you are an inspiration. I like the way you work with your students, writing up play and making them playing it is great. It must be such a feeling of achievement

  2. Regarding Tucker ... I am not sure it is a physical thing anymore.

    If he works fine on the lunge or long-lines but not under-saddle ... hmmm He is a smart horse, he might have work-out that undersaddle he might get away with bullying you.

    Don't know??? I find it weird that he works fine on the ground where you are more self-confident and assertive, but not ridden.

    But then you are there, you can feel him.
    If I were you I would ask Kenny Harlow to have a look at you two working, no?

  3. I totally understand why you dont want to push him incase he dumps you but he does probably realise this and pushes his luck at times.
    I had to ride it out with Polo as bucking was his reaction to most things
    "oh thats scary"- spin/buck
    "oh theres lots of horses about its exciting"-buck
    out hacking "oh im being left behind"-buck
    also "no I dont want to do that"-buck!

    Having said that I didnt do very much school work in the past so never had to worked through it in that area until I had the regular lessons with Ryan.

    I rarely get a buck now and if he does its usually a "wayhey" fun buck whereas in the past they were nasty head between the knees broncs so I didnt really have a choice to learn to sit them!:0