Friday, February 6, 2015

building a bigger flea jar


B and I took the horses over to FV earlier this week to school. Hauling out so often is exhausting and it sucks paying an arena fee every ride... but there are benefits too. For instance, we got to the barn around 3:00, and were pulling out of the driveway with a packed trailer and two groomed horses at 3:35. And all done without feeling hurried (it helped that the trailer was already hooked up). 

Me thinks this bodes well for show season! 


And naturally the newest trial saddle had to come along for the ride too :)



There were lessons going on at FV when we got there - which kind of surprised us, but the trainer was cool with us riding around. She had also moved all the jumps to set up new and twisty courses. This was not the standard side-diagonal-side we have come to expect, no no. There were all sorts of crazy things going on. And with the exception of an X and two 2'-ish fences, everything was set between 2'3"-2'9".


The above four fences kind of zig-zagged through the center - with the red brick wall fence serving as the in jump to a three-stride line. The purple fence in the foreground was 2' and served as a warm up fence.



In any case, my attention was focused on the saddle and our flat work. Isabel did not disappoint (and neither did the saddle, for that matter). It kind of amazes me the improvement in our contact just in the last two-ish weeks. Like something has 'clicked.' 


Isabel was soft and responsive and not particularly fussy. I like it!!! And when we moved on to jumping, she stayed in this really lovely gear. It was almost like you could just put her onto a certain pace or rhythm, and she'd stay there until you asked for something different. 

I was feeling pretty unsure about the height of most of the jumps set up, so we just started over an X before moving on to the small brick wall below, and the purple jump a few pics back. Isabel felt fantastic tho - taking all the jumps in stride and on a light contact. 


Plus I figured out pretty quickly that this trial saddle is AWESOME - and much to my own surprise, I started going for the bigger jumps too. And it felt GREAT! I felt super secure in the saddle, even when Isabel got serious air over some of the 'lookier' fences.

There was one bobble at the yellow oxer below - we approached on the right lead from a 90-degree turn off the rail with either a forward 3 or balancing 4 strides to the fence (you can see the approach in the zig-zag pic above). The first time I didn't see a spot and Izzy stopped. Can't really blame her - tough approach to a big fence with zero piloting... But it was nbd, we just circled and jumped it twice before moving on. 


All in all, I was THRILLED with the ride. I'm not exactly sure what's different, but lately our rides have all been super positive. Feels good man, feels good :)


42 comments:

  1. After this post I think you might need to change the name of your blog! That is a BIG fence for you guys!! ROCK ON! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha thanks :) i blame it all on the saddle - it made me feel invincible lol

      Delete
  2. Yesss! So happy for you guys! You really need those good rides to keep you going! When does the saddle fitter get a chance to look at this new saddle? Things are sounding so promising :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. seriously! the fitter is coming on sunday, and my trainer will see the saddle in action tomorrow. so... fingers crossed they both like it!!

      Delete
  3. Sounds promising and looks smashing. I'm super excited for you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!! i'm really happy to be working through all this NOW during the quasi off-season

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. it's another bates caprilli (converted to wool) - tho this one is in much better condition than the last one. the adjustable gullet system is very appealing to me since i dont' actually own this horse haha

      Delete
  5. Woo hoo! A good saddle can really make a difference, glad you are enjoying your rides so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!! i was pretty surprised at the difference, honestly - but i like it!! :)

      Delete
  6. All this practice with trailering to new venues is going to seriously give you one up on things during show season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. seriously!!! this horse is a freakin pro! we actually started hauling out last year a few months ahead of when we started showing, and it definitely help - particularly with my own nerves haha

      Delete
  7. You guys are awesome! Happy to hear things are going so well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!! i'm pretty pleased with how things are going :)

      Delete
  8. Ahhhh! so much happiness for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is awesome! So excited for you guys! Fingers crossed this saddle is *THE ONE*!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm trying to keep my expectations realistic... but i'll still be REALLY sad if this saddle gets vetoed by my fitter and/or trainer lol

      Delete
  10. Woopee!! Sounds like the saddle is working out well! I bet you guys are going to rock in show season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm definitely starting to get pumped!!!

      Delete
  11. That zig-zag jump setup looks like a TON of fun! You and Izzy rock. Really really hoping that the saddle fitter gives this Caprilli the thumbs-up!

    ReplyDelete
  12. the jump configuration was super cool - and we only barely scratched the surface of what combos were possible (bending lines ERRYWHERE haha)

    ReplyDelete
  13. YAY for a great ride! YAY for a saddle that might work out! YAY for going at the bigger jumps! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. How fun! That saddle looks to be in fantastic condition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - it's really in very good shape. some wear marks here and there, and the left nail at the pommel is missing it's head (tho bates will be sending me a replacement), but all in all it's pretty good!

      Delete
  15. I'm glad you are having great rides!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm glad to hear you're having some sweet rides! Is it just me, or are those jumps really cute colors? I'd love to have a go at some My Little Pony inspired jumps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! and you're right - the jumps at this farm are super cute colors! they seem to be in pretty good shape too, which is nice lol

      Delete
  17. I think you need to give yourself a little credit for your confidence too! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks haha - i'm workin on it!! (and will probs actually have a blog post about that at some point or another...) it's just hard tho - ya know? one day we feel invincible, and the next day... not so much lol

      Delete
  18. I love this post! So happy, happy, happy! I'm glad the saddle seems to be working out. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!!! the saddle is working out splendidly too - which makes me even happier lol

      Delete
  19. Woohoo! You and Izzy are really kicking ass and taking names this winter!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - i hope so!!! i'm trying to introduce new challenges while being careful not to undermine our confidence -- it's a balancing act for sure!

      Delete