Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Perfect Horse is PERFECT

Soonie got the majority of last week off due to a busy work schedule, cold temps, and perhaps a little laziness on my part.  He certainly didn't seem to care.  I spent the day in NYC on Saturday, because work sponsored a day trip and for $20, why the hell not?  So I saw The Phantom of the Opera for probably the sixtieth time, and sadly that exaggeration is actually not very far off the actual number.  So. Yep.

I love horses, hockey, and this damn show
Soon and I went hacking on Sunday, did a flat school on Monday out on the bluestone track since the footing everywhere else was soaked.  That track is such a savior; when the weather is too nice to ride inside and the footing outside is no good, that track is always in great shape.  And at 70 degrees and sunny, no way was I staying inside.  Bubba felt great, giving me nice, through forward movement and using his back well in the shorter/higher outline at the trot.  He is so much stronger now.  We did one turn around the track in counter-canter in each direction as well to end the ride.  Canter is his best gait, and it's nice to ride that kind of balance and power in the counter-canter on a horse like that.  I was definitely thrilled with him and his dressaging out on the track. :)

We did a jump school outside today, and it was probably one of the better ones we've had out there!  That ultra-short rein concept is absolutely the key to him jumping; I feel a little ridiculous with my hands up by his ears, but it improves the communication ten fold, allowing us each to make very small, quiet adjustments.  And despite him having almost a week off and it being a lot cooler today, he was foot perfect out there.  Super quiet and soft.  I had one of the verticals and the triple bar up at 3', which is on the higher end of his jumping experience thus far, and he felt fantastic.  We didn't do any rollbacks, turns, or combinations today since I didn't trust the footing to do anything more demanding than just straight approaches. 

We reviewed the arrowhead jump concept as well, since one of the trainers had set one up outside.  I jumped him out of it to start to remind him, and then once into it (acting like an actual arrowhead), and yes he was perfect.  Dead on straight, confident, just like we wanted him to be.  I made sure to keep my eye up and shoulders back so as not to get ahead of him, because he's very sensitive to my upper body position.  He only needed those two refresher jumps, he felt so good about it I just couldn't get over how quickly this horse learns!

After that, we jumped the 3' vertical to the triple bar, which were both great efforts, and I called it a day immediately after that.  He was listening so well and so stinking perfect that he didn't need anymore.  It was maybe 25 minutes worth of work, and that's fantastic. 

Bubba loves triple bars

He got his two carrots, lots of pats and hugs, wrapped for the night, and afterward I enjoyed this beautiful sunset.  Amazing day.

If you're reading this blog lately and thinking "Geezus, everything is all fucking rainbows and unicorns"....yes.  Yes it is.

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