Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jumps, Clean Tack and Rain Boots!

Well last Saturday we had decided to school over some small jumps as a way to change things up. Jay has recently really seemed to enjoy jumping again and with Ryan to help us, it's a good addition to our dressage training routine. The problems occur in our confidence.

There were some jumps set up in the indoor arena where we have been riding but a lesson started and the jumps got taken down for ground poles. So we headed to the outdoor for the first time. One loop around the arena at a walk and Jay was over looking at the sights. My biggest problem as we cantered over crossrails and the flower box (with no pole over it) was keeping my security in that flat, hard saddle. Now my dressage saddle (which I love almost as much as I love my horse) is an older Passier which can be considered pretty close contact when compared with the newer dressage saddles that are around these days. It took a very long time to find a saddle that fit both myself and Jay-R and we definately hit the jackpot with this one.

My jumping saddle on the other hand is completely close contact. It is an older Crump. Great for Eq riders on their comfy, flat jumping, trained horses (no offense intended). Not so great on a round, green over fences horse who is so in-tune to me that my confidence is key. When he is unsure of a spot, he will back off. I need to be able to ride forward and confidently and then he is fine. Not so easy in a saddle that I feel I might come out of. This saddle is also a bit too small for me and doesnt fit him as well as it should. SO... my old Crump has left the barn and come home to be sold. I am hoping that the sale of this saddle, a pair of full chaps, a synthetic dressage girth, a martingale and a D-ring bit will bring me enough money to buy a used Ovation Show Jumper saddle. In the meantime we will either just do poles and raised poles in our Passier or borrow Ry's saddle for jumping.

Sunday brought wind and rain and a couple of stressed, cranky riders. So instead trudging to the in indoor we sat in the tack room and cleaned our tack (as we will do every Sunday). Ry also helped me consolidate my 2 trunks into 1 which makes the tack room look much neater.

For quite awhile now, my paddock boots and half chaps have been on their way to retirement. My paddock boots, which I have had for a LONG time now, have 2-3 large holes in each one. This makes for an awful lot of muddy water making its way onto my socks everyday. My parents are bringing me new boots and half chaps for my birthday in a few weeks (YAY) and I certainly don't want those exposed to the muddiness! SO Ryan and I decided we needed muck boots, aka rain boots from target. We went to Target Monday and Ry got mine for me as an early birthday present to keep my poor feet dry! So excited! Now the mud can just be hosed off instead of following us everywhere we go!

Hopefully some pictures to come next time!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The snow has melted and the ground has thawed! Of course that makes for some awfully muddy ground... but that hasn't stopped us from hacking through the muck to work our boys. We seemed to have gotten off track for a few days almost immediately after getting back on track. That definately won't happen again. It's like starting from scratch again!

Jay-R sure has grown up recently, or maybe I've just begun to notice it. He basically falls asleep everytime he's in the cross-ties and walks across the road, through the field and up the driveway like he's been doing this his entire life. Luckily once we get to the arena he doesn't mind going right to work!

My goal had been to get him moving nice and forward and round. Now that we've been there for a bit, it's time to get put back together. I have to remember that he needs strong aids all around to convince him that I mean business. Hopefully my strength is beginning to come back so I will become quieter and help him out more. Time to do a ton of work without stirrups!!

Today during our ride we took a little break to hop over a couple of crossrails. He went right over them with no hesitation, even the scary striped one that almost bit him last week! Tomorrow we are going to head over decked out in our jumping gear and play hunter pony for the day. His mane got pulled today (poor Jay was NOT happy about this) and tomorrow his face will get clipped and his tail banged.

Good thing he will look the part of a good dressage horse because it's still a few weeks before I get my new non-holey boots and half chaps!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Beginnings

Well the boys have been at the new barn for about a week now. The move was uneventful, they both jumped right on the trailer and settled in quickly once we got there! They now have an amazing, huge grass paddock with plenty of hay and new friends. It is SO nice for them to be able to move around outside instead of being stuck inside all day, bored, because its to "muddy/cold/frozen/raining".

The day after we moved them, we just couldn't wait to ride at our gorgeous new facilities... which we have to hack over to use. So we tacked up these two horses that have not been worked in 2 weeks (christmas vacation), on a cold blustery, flurrying day, and rode them across a road, an unfamiliar open field (well I handwalked Jay on the way there, rode on the way back) and up the driveway. They were champs and acted like it was all no big deal. Once we got to the indoor I was sure the mirrors on all 4 walls would cause a stir. Nope. Jay informed me that he remembers all about mirrors from a former barn we were at and Aidyn just pinned his ears at that other horse trotting alongside him. The hack back to our barn was just fine, except for that strange animal making honking noises at us from "Henry's Ark". But of course the boys didn't seem to notice it.

Unfortunately the below freezing temps and the snow that won't stop falling have prevented further adventures this week. But our tack is clean and the ponies are happy!

Things to work on:

Jay: Basically just getting him back into working shape. Lot's of big round trot work to build muscle back up these next few weeks.

Myself: Remember that pushing him forward is always the answer! Make him pay attention to work and try to trust him a little bit. Take my stirrups away and get myself back into working shape as well... Jay is not the only one who needs to build muscle back up. Hands down and head up!