Tuesday, July 18, 2017

getting the game!

The lesson schedule at OF last weekend got a little futzed bc apparently jump trainer P has a personal life too, go figure. So we ended up taking another big group lesson with some of the regular lesson kiddos too (as opposed to the boarder / ship in lesson we normally do).

<3 his gung ho expression!
Plus trainer P is still confined to her crutches (and will be for the foreseeable future, so frustrating for her!) - but at least this time she had a volunteer jump crew to help set fences. It still meant for simple exercises tho and not a lot of adjustment between rounds.

and his calm demeanor while waiting in the shade between turns
Actually we've been very very spoiled by trainer P during our years riding with her. She has zero problems having horses at like three different levels all in the same group, and will set fences accordingly all day long. Up and down and up and down, and moving things around as needed.

It's honestly a lot more than I've seen.... any other trainer do haha so I shouldn't be too pouty that she's currently not up to that level of activity.

big horse jumpin!
Plus - there's certainly no harm in cruisin for a little while at this height, which I should point out has only very recently become "nbd" again to me. I appreciate the feeling of looking at the jumps and kinda shrugging like, 'well I wish they were up another hole, but this is fine!'

i also appreciate the moments where he is starting to really balance his canter
If I'm being totally honest here too, I've got plans for Charlie. Ideas for how I would like to see things unfold in the short term and long term. And a lot of it has more to do with my own feelings of "unfinished business" and my own ambitions than anything else.

moar jompies!
Which. Ya know. Is totally fine, right? Like ultimately, at the end of the day, most of us are pursuing horse sports for reasons that could be considered kinda self-serving, right? Like we do this for our enjoyment. The underlying assumption, tho, is that we're not doing it at the expense of our or our horse's well-being.

breeeeezin thru a corner lol
This being the key balancing point for me as an amateur rider. Especially knowing that my own skills and abilities have relatively narrower margins of error at higher levels, I have to be sure that my ambitions for the horse don't override my need to prepare the horse for how it's going to be. Because, spoiler alert, I'm not suddenly going to become a better rider just bc the jumps go up.

dis how you get air on a giant horse over small fences
Charlie spent a looooooong time jumping around 2' - 2'3 learning how to make every single mistake in the book. AND learning how to cope when *I* make every mistake in the book.

And? He's basically got it figured out. We're clicking, things are gelling. It feels pretty easy. Rough around the edges. In need of refinement, polishing, schooling. Ya know. The usual. But it's going well. We both feel a little ready for more.

i also appreciate that he's really filling out more. and DAT TAIL THO <3
In the meantime, tho - there's no harm in spending time at this 'new to us' height too, going through that same process of learning how to make mistakes, how to cope with imperfection, and how to keep going after something goes a little wrong (liiiike, for instance, jump 5 in the video below lol). And hopefully, we'll continue refining our technique along the way.


The thing I like the most about jumping Charlie is just how easy and confident he feels. Because it makes me feel easy and confident. Something I haven't felt about jumping since breaking my leg. He's FUN. And he's just so so so good. Above all else, these are the qualities in him that I want to continue fostering.

We still have a lot to learn - the biggest struggle right now is landing in the same canter we jump from, being able to rebalance and compress him to a shorter stride quickly upon landing before we reach the corner. He's not necessarily resistant - he actually IS trying. He's just, ya know, never been asked to slow down after going fast. He's figuring it out tho.

go baby, go!
But it's definitely in lessons like this, where things are a little easier, a little lighter on challenges, when I find myself getting really excited about what the future could hold.

And in the meantime, some changes are coming in the next couple weeks that will hopefully make it that much easier to continue Charlie's transition into the event horse I want him to be!

29 comments:

  1. It sounds like a very productive, confidence boosting lesson.

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  2. Balancing human ambition with the needs and welfare of the horse is so very important. It looks like things are coming together nicely for you.

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    1. Yea it's a balance for sure. The last thing I want to do is undermine either of our confidences but it's still time for a challenge. So far so good tho!

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  3. Lots of great changes here from a few weeks/months ago :) You guys are coming right along and looking great. Can't wait to hear about the exciting changes!

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    1. thanks!! and definitely more to write about the upcoming soon haha, gotta make sure all my ducks are in a row first ;)

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  4. Ch-ch-changes! :-D So fun to follow along as Charlie gets more and more comfortable in his job, and I'm looking forward to hearing what you have up your sleeve next!

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    1. thanks - i've been loving watching him settle in too, definitely makes my job easier! here's hoping to more and more of that same feeling!

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  5. He seems like he has such a good attitude about everything- what a sweet boy. A willing yet forgiving horse is just the best partner to learn with and to teach! At least as long as the rider is fair- I think you strike a super balance of letting him succeed and pushing him to improve.

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    1. omg, 'willing yet forgiving' is exactly what i need in a horse - with that added dash of boldness that makes everything feel so easy. and that's such a good point about the fairness. esp with charlie, who has had a history of sourness, it's so important to be fair to him bc the last thing i ever want him to do is quit!

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  6. "Easy" is right! That course just looks so smooth and FUN! :D

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    1. easy and fun are my favorites :D

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  7. The video was great! We all have jump #5's :)

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    1. lol for real..... at least he cleared it tho? haha!

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    1. we're always adapting, right? :)

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  9. Love that last photo! His topline looks ah-mazing!

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    1. thanks! it's so freakin excited to see some of these changes in him!

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  10. Ditto on loving that last picture - it just looks like you were both having so much fun!

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    1. we definitely were - he's a blast to ride these days!

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  11. He is so game to all those fences. Y'all look so good <3

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    1. thanks! he feels SUPER game these days!

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  12. God I love him. The best part about him though is how he's helping you gain your confidence back! That's so exciting.

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    1. ugh yea it really is so exciting! it got a little rocky in the middle there when he kinda sorta starting figuring things out, but thought he was a lot more clever than he really was and things got reeeeeally unpredictable haha. but now that he actually *IS* more clever, it's way better!

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  13. That last picture tho....OMG I am in love <3

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  14. Look at all those JOMPIES and he's like nbd. Such a cool customer now!

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  15. Such a good feeling to ride a horse that gives us confidence!

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  16. Yay <3 I'm finally getting some confidence and jumping 2'3 makes me want to jump higher too! Makes me excited for my greenies to start jumping them

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