Friday, April 19, 2024

better is good

Happy Friday, everybody! It's promising to possibly be a busy weekend around these parts so I'm trying to clear the backlog off my phone while there's still time...

another day, another trial saddle. this is a county solution. wool flocked, stamped narrow, monoflap. 
Plus, ya know, we're still in the thick of saddle trials. Basically the same day I put the Custom in a box to return to the seller, another possible candidate got ready for shipping -- this time a County Solution. 

looks worthy of a proper test!
So naturally, I was eager to put the saddle immediately to work!! My barn mate and I headed up to the jump ring, wherein I actually set up a a slightly larger selection of jumps for us to play with --- 3 singles with one along the outside and the other two on diagonals, and a diagonal line measured for four strides that I figured we'd trot into for five.

actually set myself FIVE fences for this ride -- including a related distance!
And everything was set to verticals with some amount of fill, except for the related line of Xs. One of the jumps was even the set of random boxes that have been hanging out around the edge of the ring for the last few months!

learning patience, one step at a time!
I tried to channel our recent dressage lesson with C in our warm up, just focusing on slow and steady and never really letting Doozy get on much of a roll. It's hard to tell if it really worked or not, except that honestly the mare was generally quite good. 

plenty of fill + panels and stuff too!
Like she still wants to make a bid for all the fences, but seems increasingly willing to resign herself to trotting into things. I think we can and will get back to consistently cantering fences soon enough, but she just needs to learn that speed isn't the solution to everything.

we introduced the boxes too!! 
She's so brave, tho. It's honestly pretty wild. There's all sorts of clutter around the ring these days, plus various random poles strewn about on the floor... But she just doesn't care. Didn't even look at the boxes when I presented her to them --- just, ya know, proceeded!

tried to jump everything both ways, so every jump was 'new'
I think it actually kinda helped trying to string a few things together and build more toward 'course work,' too. Like, she didn't always know where we were going, but would tune in and balance up a lot more easily when she realized we might be making a turn into the unknown.

switched it up to a bending line!
Like when I was going to come back up the related distance the opposite direction, and Katie suggested to actually bend from the first jump over to the boxes to catch them from the other direction too. And it worked great!

was fine!
Like Doozy kinda made a bid at the first jump, to the point where Katie (who was videoing) actually just assumed I'd pull out of the line... Except that as soon as we made the turn, Doozy was like, "OH!" and settled into her stride to the boxes! Good mare!

starting to learn to work together a bit
I honestly didn't really spend all too much time jumping everything a million times either. Like, we got everything from both directions, tested out some skills... and then moved on. Bc I had another agenda item on the list --- catching a few xc jumps!

and ermagherd we snuck out to the fields for a couple quick efforts!
There are still loose horses turned out in all the xc fields, which is kinda a bummer... Normally the rough board horses get brought into sacrifice paddocks on round bales for the winter, leaving the xc fields open to easy hacking... 

But for some reason they stayed out this year. And naturally one of the herds was right in the field I'd hoped to play around in -- the field that contains the entire loop course for the itsy bitsies, plus the first, second, and final jumps for all the rest of the courses. There would have been a lot for us to try, but, eh, not with the loose horses.

this line of fences is technically the warm up ring for our events, but there were two good fences for us so it was perfect
Luckily, tho, the warm up area was free and clear of distractions, and had a nice natural log, plus a hanging telephone pole type thing. Doozy hasn't ridden out in this field in months, and certainly not since she started jumping. So this was basically all brand new to her, and she just clocked around like a pro. Good girl!

Time will tell on the saddle, but I'm honestly feeling pretty optimistic about the big picture right now. Doozy is still pretty hard for me to ride... But at the same time, it feels like she grows up more and more after every off property trip we take.

mare managed to damn near scalp herself in turnout somehow... ugh poor thing, it looks super sore :( 
pls honey, just be pretty!
One step at a time, just making things a tiny bit better slowly, so slowly... but surely. And as they say, 'better' is good!! 

TGIF, y'all. Hope everyone is looking forward to a great weekend!


  1. I am in a similar but less advanced state with mine. I am absolutely sure the work is NOT pretty, BUT it is consistently getting better and more fun. Like 'they' say the first step to being good at something is to suck at it.

    1. agreed 1,000% !! and anyway, isn't "better and more fun" the whole point anyway??

  2. It's hard now, but I think you two are going to be a great team faster than you think. She's so smart and really seems to love the job. You're doing a great job! Hope the saddle works out!


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