Monday, December 4, 2017

another milestone in the recovery

SO. YOU GUYS! Much excitement is happening!

If you were paying attention over the weekend, you'd have noticed that, OMG, Charlie jomped again!!!

charlie is nothing if not an expressive kind of horse. what thinks you about this expression here? lol
All parties rejoice!

A quick catch up, bc I know my posting has been a bit sparse lately: Charlie's been rehabbing this past month. Starting first with tons of hacking around the property, followed by purposeful flat work wherein we had this idea of "restarting" Charlie in his dressage. Every step counts!

proud of his trot pole prowess
But then Charlie grew very suddenly very sour, and we had to step back away from all that pressure. And, obvi, take a closer look at his physical and emotional conditions to make sure he was prepared in every aspect to take what I throw at him.

from certain angles he really looks giant. look at that wee saddle up there!
And in the meantime, he achieved the veterinary- recommended healing landmark of being allowed to sorta kinda jump things again.

Since Charlie has always been happy to jump, compared to his occasional sourness toward, uh, kinda everything else, this was a big opportunity to help move him past his current state of "blah."

embarrassed about his black bridle with a brown saddle
Specifically: I have already shared with y'all that Charlie's got a general fitness issue. He's the most sound when he's the most fit. But getting to that level of fitness means working through some serious resistance. Tricky balance.

bc, silly me, i thought we would just take it easy and the loose ring would be fine. that was a mistake. whoops!
But we dug into some good work with ground poles this past week (big heavy square poles bc..... lazy horse lol) and Charlie did surprisingly wonderfully with them. And seemed happy to be pointed at like, things again haha.

tho he did in fact have some moments of pseudo softness, i guess. sorta. lol
So I actually arrived at our typical lesson slot this weekend not just to hang around while my friends rode, but to participate ourselves. Telling Trainer P that we aren't ready for much, but that she should have her way with us. Which, naturally she was more than happy to oblige.

we jumped this coming toward the camera. an open 3 to an open 4. one long big straight line lol
I warmed us up trotting and cantering around (mostly focusing on forward as all that wonderful beefy roundness has lately been sacrificed to the gods of sour horses who acquiesce to going forward) including going through some trot and canter ground poles, and even cantering over some cavaletti sized jumps.

probably we'll need to trot into fences for a little while to remember patience is a virtue
Hilariously, Charlie nearly killed us through the 33' two-stride while set at teensy crossrail to eensy vertical. He has.... forgotten how to jump again. But most definitely does not care.

So trainer P set us up a small pile of poles (she called it a pyramid) and told us to canter it on a circle for a while on both leads. Not helping Charlie find the pile - just letting him sort himself while I took care of the circle. It was a good reminder for me and we did some nice work on the right lead, tho shit was messy on the left lead.

a distinctly not open two stride line, vertical to oxer
After that, we caught a couple low singles, then part of the triple line to warm up over actual fences. Charlie was a bit hit or miss -- plenty gung ho, just.... not very foot-aware lol. Then we worked down the triple outside a few times.

It was set as an open three (trotting or cantering in) to an open four, finishing over the barrels. This..... wow. This felt like a LONG straight line on a horse who seemed to believe that he should be reaching the jumps as quickly as humanly possible.

the name is Murray. Charlie Murray. Charlie Fierce Murray.
For all our time off, I've been going back and watching old videos. Of both Charlie, and Isabel. Trying to relive the glory, ya know? And I've kinda been giving myself a hard time. Like, why is my position such shit with Charlie compared to Izzy? Why do I stay so behind him, whereas I could sometimes sorta go with Izzy?

emma. girlfriend. shorten them reins, c'mon!
Well. Let me tell you. This ride reminded me about all that haha. Charlie is a big strong horse who hurtles himself across space and time and shows no real curiosity about where his feet happen to fall. He goes to the fence. Yes. This makes him special and wonderful. But.... He also doesn't seem to give a flying fuck about the fence. Which.... makes things a touch awkward lol.

bored over the out jump. good boy!
So.... For now, short distances and bending lines will be our friends. It took us a couple tries to get that whole outside line done in one piece - mostly revolving around me being able to land and HALF HALT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY basically immediately from all the fences.

Then we practiced over that same 2 stride that Charlie nearly killed us through while it was set to microscopic heights. Luckily, once set to the height you saw in the pic above, and when trotting through, Charlie actually handled it quite beautifully a couple times in a row. good boy!

gif not representative of charlie's gusto thru the rest of the ride lol.
also, no that is not slo-mo. omg it totally looks like slo mo tho.
Then, to finish, bc Trainer P is sadistic and bc I was determined to get some sort of media from the ride, we did one final bending line. Which, naturally, Charlie loped through like a lazy and disinterested hunter, chipping in over the out oxer bc snooooze.

So. Uh. I, uh, totally swear the horse you see in that gif above was like, totally strong and gung ho and galloping around and whatnot like crazy. I swear. You just have to believe me here.

hacking back to the barn again <3
But who cares, right, bc WE'RE BACK BABY!!!    ;)

37 comments:

  1. Welcome back to the world of jompiessss

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    1. God I missed it lol, and was legit scared I somehow forgot how to do it ! (Jury still out on that one tho ;) )

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  2. Yay. That sounds so awesome. there's a part of me that thinks that jumping Carmen over some small jumps (like really really small) would be good for us.....

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    1. Ooooh you totally should!! Cross training is great for any horse at any leve, and it's also pretty amazing what a simple single cavaletti exercise ridden on a circle can tell you about your rhythm and balance lol

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  3. I suppose that is one side of owning such a tall guy, the jumps are only small speed bumps at that height and don't require his respect. Glad rehab has gone so well for you guys!

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    1. Ha yea srsly. That's something I don't always remember too - like trainer P set these jumps a little higher than I expected our first time back, but then as I was hurtling down that triple line from one end of the arena to the other in 0.005 seconds, a very real part of me wishes the jumps were a tad bigger and more impressive to Charlie lol

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  4. YAY! So glad you're back and also that he's excited about it too

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    1. Omg for real. It's a huge relief!

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  5. How exciting! And I love how he makes every jump look little

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    1. ha yea seriously. i missed that quality very very much while jumping velvet lol - from whose back the jumps do not look quite so small!

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  6. The happiest news!!! Here's to re-building those jomp muscles!!

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    1. yesssss, my favorite muscles to work on :D

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  7. Woo Hoo! You must be thrilled to be back at it!

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    1. definitely, it was almost surreal to be getting to jump him again lol, it's been so long!

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  8. It DID look slo mo HA! And so happy you had a great lesson (WITH JUMPS) YAY!

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    1. lol true story: i had to go back and check the original video file to make sure i hadn't accidentally set the gif to slo mo somehow. but nope, that's just charlie's patented hunter lope!

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  9. WHOOOOHOOO!!! So freaking excited for your and Charlie to be able to get back to jumping- even if it's a bit rusty at the moment! Now you have all winter to get him geared up for spring shows! HURRAY!!

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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    1. ha exactly! hopefully the ground conditions stay good enough to get in lots of practice over the winter too! i'm sad there aren't many options for shows over the winter but it's nice enough to be back at it!

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  10. hahahaha oh Charlie!!! You are the silliest tall TB ever :) Glad to hear you had a successful knock the dust off lesson!

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    1. haha seriously. still more dust to be knocked off for sure lol, but it's work we enjoy!

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  11. Yay for finally jumping again!! He looked awesome in that last gif!

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    1. i'm so happy to be allowed to jump him again haha - it's been too long!

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  12. man what a lovely early christmas present!! it'll be a little rough around the edges to start but I'm sooo happy that he's back over fences not too much the worse for wear!

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  13. Go Charlie! (And Emma!) Happy for you both.

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  14. Gah, no I didn't check in over the weekend! OMG how AWESOME!! I love that GIF at the end. I watched it rotate like 10 times before realizing it WASN'T slow mo haha! But I'm soooo happy for you! Woot!!

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    1. ha yea he's got that lazy rocking horse hunter canter down pat. when he's not busy doing his strung out race horse canter lol

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  15. Yay!! Glad you've having fun together.

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  16. YAAAYYYY!!!! So so so pleased to hear this! Also "mostly focusing on forward as all that wonderful beefy roundness has lately been sacrificed to the gods of sour horses who acquiesce to going forward" is EXACTLY what I'm going through with Basse at the minute!

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