In an effort to polish what we know, I dropped the jumps significantly and made finding the right distance a priority. Chipping is ugly & I'm over it. However the ground pole thing seems to be hurting more than helping. At least ground poles on the small jumps.
I'd heard it many times from other riders, and it's true. Going back to smaller jumps is more difficult. Why???
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
|his appaloosa really comes out in the summer coat|
A couple weeks ago when the heat and humidity began creeping in, Razz started his bucking fits. It's the same fits he would have when I first got him. The bucks are his evasion to work and he does it with every new rider that asks him to actually do something. It took three months to get that crap out of him the last time. I just had to ignore them, keep riding as if nothing happened. Picking a fight, even the smallest reprimand, was the wrong answer. He would just come back at you with even more. Ride him as if nothing happened, and eventually he gives it up. I mean, he's only causing himself more work with his tantrums. If it's not working in his favor why continue? I wonder how long it's gonna take him to figure that out this time around.
The first bucks came just as I was finishing up a very sweaty jump school. I knew it was close to quitting time but the boy still had a little left in the tank. I made the choice to take him through a couple jumps one more time and then walk it out. I had somehow managed to create six jumps out of all our shitty ring equipment. They were placed throughout the ring with no lines between any of them, and I was just popping over whatever I pointed him at. As soon as we touched the ground after what was supposed to be our last jump, he bucked.
I get it. It's hot and he wants to go back to the barn. I didn't read too much into it, made him trot the tiniest vertical twice so that we didn't end with the buck, and began cool down. He should be a little tuckered. We wouldn't be building the fitness if he wasn't tired. And fitness is the whole point.
The next ride, the bucks started earlier when I knew he wasn't tired. He was bucking in generally the same area (next to the in gate) and they came whether we were jumping or flatting. I like to work on my circles and bending next to the gate for a couple reasons. One is to help disassociate the gate with leaving, the other is because it's one of two areas with better footing for circles. Whenever he gave a buck, I continued with whatever it was we were working on at the time. If it was circles, we just kept right on circling. If we were jumping, I came back around to the very same jumps.
The next ride, even more bucks. At this point I knew what road we were heading down.
I've been recording most of my rides. Almost all have the teenage boarders in them. That's not on purpose. I prefer having the ring to myself (don't we all?). For whatever reason, we ended up in the same place at the same time. I would love to share some of the boy's antics with you guys, but since the teens are in most of them I just can't. The times I was lucky enough to have the ring to myself, the camera was on the opposite end and the bucks are hard to see.
Quality on this video is total shit. I need to figure out an alternative upload method. Also what the fuck was that first cross rail in the second time thru? I mean he barely broke stride. This is what I'm talking about with the smaller stuff now. Razz does not seem to respect the little jumps anymore. I know I have a lot to work on as well, but damn. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that maneuver he pulled. Its almost as if he was an Icelandic horse for a split second going over that cross rail. I remember riding over it thinking "he never lifted at all on that shit. WTF?" The whole ride was more or less a huge bummer. Everything was off that day. I put a ground pole in front of all my jumps after that ride.
And Razz takes it upon himself to jump the ground pole in addition to the jump. At first, yes, it was too close. But I moved it back. I'm talking from 12 back to 15 feet away. In front of a 2'9" vertical. And I swear to God he jumps both and leaves the jump up. The teenagers are gasping and commenting their disbelief. I'm always riding him to the jump, not the ground pole, so I'm on top expecting one more stride. I end up barely coming off his back as we sail over, and my core tenses up in an "oh shit" kind of way. How we make it over I don't know. I jokingly told the teens I think we're ready for a grand prix water jump since we are clearing the distance anyway.
My dad came down to visit and go fishing last week. He came to the barn and watched me ride once while he was here. Razz bucked more during that ride than any others, and it was mostly a flat school. Of course I had to jump a few things for dad to see. I just insisted pony carry on until the bullshit stopped. It's really frustrating though. The teens came back from a trail about ten minutes into my ride, their horses all sweaty. And don't you know they came right in the ring and basically took over, setting the jumps to their liking even though I was using them. I will have to make it a point to come early in the morning or after dark to avoid them when I want a serious school.
Then we received four days of rain. I'm not gonna complain because we needed it and I know a lot of places have been getting relentless amounts of precip for weeks.
Saturday morning I decided there was too much garbage going on in the arena and we were gonna take a trail ride. It was a little foggy in the beginning but cleared nicely. I came across the neatest tadpole pool in the sand pits. It was a milky green color in places, and just milky in others. Not a nasty color. But interesting and rather serene. The whole ride was serene really. The woods were calm in the fog.
|it was beautiful in person|
|a four wheeler donut track|
On the way back in I grabbed a shot of the corn field and track. The field goes to the tree line and about 1/3 of it over my left shoulder isn't pictured. I'm sure I'll be getting my fill of the track later on this summer.
I found the leg bone of a deer in Razz's pasture Saturday morning, too. It was still hooked together by the cartilage when I found it, but as I carried it out of the pasture I was flinging it around, like a set of nunchucks with a tiny link in the middle, when it came apart and half of it flew through the air. I watched the single bone cross the sky and it reminded me of the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey when the apes are fighting among themselves. Both leg bones ended up in one of my gardens, accenting the feral cat skull my husband brought home last week. Total score!!
Sunday morning I went out early to get in a dressage school. I rode actively for 45 minutes. We never jumped at all. I focused on my position, and going an entire ride without a buck. I was really happy with how my lower leg felt, and we made it through with no bucks!! Yay for the little wins :)