Monday, October 13, 2014

I am....Scary Jumper Lady

After two disappointing jump schools two days in a row, I feel like I'm officially the farm's Scary Jumper Lady.  :-(

You know, the lady who's horse runs around the jump field like a maniac, completely ignoring all input from the rider?  Or the lady whose horse just refuses all the jumps and you're just standing there trying not to be judgey, but inside you're like:


Yep, I feel like I'm that lady that other people feel that (^) way about.  I came out on Sunday and set up a small jumping exercise in the indoor, but then discovered the footing in the jump field was dry and firm despite the rain the day before, so I said "Yay let's go jump outside!"  And because my horse had spend two of the previous three days inside, and we haven't jumped outside in probably three weeks...HE WAS BATSHIT CRAZY.  Like, trying to leave eight feet from a trot fence crazy.  Way too strong, picking his distance five strides out and trying to run to the jump, etc.  So I decided to move it indoors to our little jump exercise, and he was totally different inside.  Soft, quiet, rideable, patient...perfect.  It was a complete 180.  I have three witnesses that can attest to him jumping around like a perfect little hunter gentleman after the extreme shenanigans outside, which I unfortunately also have witnesses for.
He really was jumping the snot out of everything today

So today I decided to do a little refresher and repeat the same stuff in the indoor.  Just a single vertical in the middle, about 2'3", and another single vertical on the quarterline, with canter poles on either side.  Soon figured that out yesterday, and I thought it should be pretty straight forward today.  Everything was lovely warming up, once again the perfect hunter canter, perfect distances, he jumped very nicely and soft and quiet.  We went through the little mini-grid and the first two were fine, the third time he took out the top rail, and the next time through he was good through it.  I should have stopped there and called it a day.  I will kick myself for the next week for not stopping then.  The rest is entirely my fault.

I raised the rail 2 holds to make it 2'9" (3'?) and it blew Bubba's mind.  We had a series of stops even after putting it back down, and I was officially Scary Jumper Lady again, only now with a horse that wouldn't jump at all.  Poor guy had just shut down mentally and lost confidence.  And yes, of course there was an audience and of course they had to see us in a really shitty moment.  I had to put the rail all the way to the ground on one side and rode him through at a walk to get him through the grid.  So to get the confidence and understanding back, we walked through it a couple times, trotted through the half cross rail a couple of times, trotted it as a vertical twice, and then cantered it once all successfully.  I called it a day then.  So we got to a good place at the end with a horse that was forward and willing to figure it out, but holy shit I was embarrassed and felt bad that his confidence got trashed for a bit.

I mean he was seriously awesome early on
So hopefully anyone watching yesterday/today that is reading this doesn't think I'm that Scary Jumper Lady that just yeehaws around and doesn't give a shit about her horse.  He got his confidence rattled and I should have put it all the way down to the ground after the first stop.  And no, running around the jump field is not normal or acceptable either, he can be every bit as soft and quiet out there as in the indoor.  Oh well.  We'll take it easy the next couple of days, with some light flat schools and hacks.  I will probably put that little vertical back up in the middle and do a couple of figure eights over it in conjunction with the flat school, just to keep his confidence up.  We'll see.  Can't wait for Awesome Trainer Lady to get back so we can do some real jump lessons.  Got some good screenshots from the video, he can really jump when he wants to.

My barn buddy was absolutely right:  it was a bad day today, he's a pretty green jumping horse and we're still figuring each other out.  Chock it up to another learning experience.

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