Saturday, October 10, 2015

jump school with Bali (and making plans!)

I took Friday morning off work so Isabel could get her teefs done (have no fear - pictures of one angry mare will be forthcoming lol) and capitalized on the quiet arena by getting in a proper jump school with Bali. Complete with rearranging the lines and jumps for some fresh options.

dirty boy got introduced to the vacuum. and was indifferent. what a good baby!
I've popped Bali over quite a few jumps in the 3ish weeks since I started riding him. But it's usually kinda random - like, eh he's being good let's give it a whirl - and dependent on whatever was already set up in the arena.

sometimes he wears dressage tack too
So I wanted to actually try some honest-to-god course work, with lines measured appropriately (rather than for the deadhead lesson horse shuffle stride) and heights set from 2' (the warm up fence) to 2'9", with the majority set at BN. Left lead turns, right lead turns, bending lines, straight lines, long approaches, short approaches. Ya know. The works.

entirely too much cute
Because, you see, I have plans for this cute little bay. Muahaha. Not spilling the beans quite yet... but suffice it to say that I wanted to ensure we can safely navigate a 2'6" course (without me eating shit again). Ooh and we've played with some dressage tack recently too. He and Isabel are almost identically sized through the barrel (tho Bali is ever so slightly wider at his withers, but still quite narrow) so he wears her saddles well. Convenient! So yea. Stuff's gonna happen!! :D

he's very inquisitive! 
But anyway, some details on the ride itself. Friday's weather was WEIRD y'all. This past week was gorgeous sunny crisp low 70s - perfect Fall weather. But then it rained Friday morning and it got... steamy. Like, weirdly misty foggy muggy steamy stuffy. Borderline HOT. Combined with the wet footing, I opted to keep the warm up short - just enough to loosen up Bali's back (he's been starting out kinda stiff lately.... poor baby needs some attention!).

wheeeeeee canterrrrrr!!!!
Then straight to jumping. One fence on a diagonal in the center was set for 2' so I circled that at trot a couple times (sorta splatting over it the first time, but a nicer effort after that) then at canter. Bali tends to get a little gappy so I've been trying to get him closer to the base... but forgot the whole part about getting him lifted up front and pushing with impulsion from behind. So I had to remind myself to, ya know, RIDE the horse, don't just pull Emma!

relaxed horse is relaxed
Then we just started working through the lines and single jumps - a 4 stride brush box vertical to the lattice (2'6" in, 2'3" out), a 3 stride blue to blue diagonal (2' in, 2'9" out), a 2'6" square oxer on the outside line, 2'9" orange vertical on a diagonal, and 2'6" coop at the end. He ate it all up, no questions asked.

Bali can be a little wiggly and green, but is super honest. The biggest detail I need to remember for jumping him is to get him LIFTED up front - especially as he tires he'll get really low in the poll and lean on my hands. That makes it harder to see a distance, and harder to get that nice canter we want.

Really tho, he has a lovely canter. He can land easily on both leads, has mostly easy-ish simple changes, and half halts really well. Tho he'll get a little dive-y and try to fall in around right turns. It's all just green baby stuff tho - the raw talent and affinity for jumping is already there.

crappy quality screen grab > no screen grab
It's kinda exciting actually - he just naturally already does stuff that I've had to seriously work on with Isabel. Riding him around like this - knowing perfectly well that I'm making all kinds of mistakes and he is just such a good honest baby... well it really makes me want to take actual lessons with him. See how he really develops, ya know?

So that might be something I try to do later this fall or over winter. We will see. In the meantime he's started getting used in a couple lessons again and has apparently been very good. Yay job security!!


  1. Wow! He is looking so steady at the canter and maintains that approaching jumps--think you have a gem there! Can't wait to see what you have planned for him. :)

    1. I'm already pretty smitten w this horse - he is just so cool!

  2. I'm happy he can give a few lessons again now and that he is improving!

    1. me too!!! he's got a lot to offer the lesson students!

  3. His blaze is adorable.
    I love that he's coming together more and more for you!

    1. i LOVE his blaze lol. and he really is coming along very nicely. he's a very simple and quiet horse, just got a little derailed by a lack of regular schooling

  4. He is so cute! Glad to hear that he's doing well.

    1. me too - he really is a very nice horse, and a fast learner


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