Thursday, December 1, 2022

silly season schooling

We're getting to the time of year in Maryland where the ground is basically constantly wet. After enough dry days in a row tho..... Ooooh the footing is just *mu-ah!* perfection! 

lately the herd has been hangin out in literally the farthest corner of their {giant} pasture
Especially since rain was on the forecast again, I decided to take advantage of current favorable conditions to do some jompies with Charles and his newly discovered zest. 

it's a full quarter mile round trip just to get the horse in lol 
This past year I've tried to get a lot more intentional about my jump schools at home. There are basically always jumps set up, and usually interesting lines and exercises, which helps a lot. Except.... The jumps are generally always set to crossrail or 2' heights. 

god it's worth it tho <3 <3
Sure, it's fun to occasionally bomb around some tinies.... But... turns out, I take the schooling session a lot more seriously (as in, I don't fuck up as much) when I actually take time to set heights and walk distances. What can I say -- I just ride better when I have a plan, ya know?

lol, behold the Dad Bod in a slightly different environment.... considering his options while i set fences
For this ride, I didn't really go crazy --- but wanted to play with the gymnastic-y type exercises set up: a creatively visually interesting (but ultimately easy) 1-stride; a compressed 2-to-2 treble... Plus I set up a line of trot poles spaced at a bit of a longer distance than I normally do.

fairly open set of trot poles!
I really liked these trot poles, too. We played with them throughout basically every phase of the ride. Obvi first to just get a feel for them while trotting around. 

But then we also played with doing transitions up into trot immediately before the poles; and transitions down from canter to trot right before the poles. This slightly more generous distance worked well for both scenarios, actually, and Charlie nailed the exercise every time, good boy!

oooooooh it's an angular in-and-out!! boxes set into a ">   >" type configuration, 18' distance
Charlie actually, uh, nailed pretty much everything. Well. Almost, haha. Homeboy felt good. He's so bold and brave, too, didn't even blink at this unusual box configuration at the one stride. 

bi-directional 2-to-2 line, set on Trainer P's distances of 30' to 30'. turns out i was WILDLY OPTIMISTIC when i built this line up, haha. hahahahahaha
The treble tho.... Ooh. Hmm. Well. This, uh, did not go quite as well for us, LOL. As in, Charlie was not at all on board with the 30' distances, and it's a friggin miracle we never ended up with a 2-to-1 by accident... 

Idk. Charlie knows how to do this exercise. He's done it at bigger heights too***.... But idk. Our last big jump school was the birthday cross country spin, plus he's feeling all Hulk Murray-ish with the new NSAIDs on board.... And maybe I'm having just a little too much fun getting run the fuck away with by my favorite pony.... So.... Eh, maybe not the right day for this. 

(**Seriously tho..... Who remembers the Chuck from this lesson?? Somebody pinch me, bc I'm getting serious flashbacks with how freakin good he feels right now. Could it be? Does he wanna go bigger and faster again????)

unrelated -- new pair of Tuffrider schooling boots. i like them! not real leather, and the brogueing on the toe cap should be farther away from the toe on the outside boot edge (imho), but they're comfortable and will serve as perfect beaters so i can stop wrecking the zippers on my nice boots
To be clear --- I didn't mess with the distances for any of the jumps on this particular day. They're generally always set on lesson pony strides, which, again, Charlie knows how to do too. But... I *am* allowed to change distances. If this particular line stays set up for a while, maybe next time I'll just stretch it out a scootch haha.

when your filthy horse serves as his own grooming tote
It was fun, tho. In an ideal world, Charlie would do a little bit of jumping about twice a week -- whether that's one day of gymnastic type Grid Pro Quo exercises, and another day of more traditional course work. But with all the inconsistencies of late, we obviously got pulled off any normal sort of schedule. Hopefully we're past that, tho! 

december decorations!
Conditions in Maryland generally stay mild through early winter (knocking on wood), so I'm also hopeful we've got a fair amount of outdoor riding still ahead of us. Maybe even a few more adventures? We shall see, I suppose!