Monday, August 24, 2009

Jumping Good, Ground Poles Apparently Paralysis Inducing

I had a lesson today, following our little show debut. We spent quite a bit of time working on how to get round and forward simultaneously with good results at the walk and trot and some improvement at the canter. Then on to jumping. He was quite forward and happy to jump everything in the ring (including oxer with blue barrel under it). When we got to the one stride, we had a couple reasonable gos, then he started to leave long, decided that was a bad idea, put his feet down, then failed to lift them up high enough, resulting on catching the pole between his legs, going down almost to his knees, tipping me onto his neck, but then somehow patting the ground and jumping the out! Like Bobby Meyerhoff's "Million Dollar Horse" over much smaller fences He then continued happy to jump, but seemed to think the way to avoid landing on them was to leave out a big stride, slightly unclear on that concept. So, Missy put 3 trot poles in front of a crossrail. Finn trotted up and stopped in total consternation. Missy ended up leading him through at a walk. Then he walked through once, then stopped and was led through again. When Missy widened the poles a bit (from about 2 feet between to 4 feet between), Finn bounced perfectly through them. This was repeated about 4 times, then Missy set them to about 3 feet, resulting in a shuffle through (no poles touched, but really random foot placement), then some combination of trotting and bouncing for the remainder of attempts. I'm having big fun with the boy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Finn's first show

Finn went off to his first show today, a DVCTA dressage schooling show. His buddy J.D. was also there, so that probably helped, but I must say I was truly impressed by how calm and business-like he was about the whole thing, despite lack of consistency leading to poor scores. We loaded up and headed out by 6:30 in the morning and when we arrived, just after 7:00, I tacked Finn up and took him down to the arena, where we were able to do our whole warm-up in the very large indoor that had the small arena at one end. Finn didn't seem to mind leaving J.D. and was quiet and equally well-behaved as he is at home through the whole warm up and two tests. Dawn and J.D. won both of their classes. Their score for the second class was a 71.5 (let me just say in my dreams). Finn appeared to predominantly consider the exercise an excellent grazing opportunity as the grass where the trailer was parked was lush and long, with lots of clover. Many thanks to Trudy for trailering, grooming and keeping us on track. Gotta love it when it goes well and you are totally done, leaving the barn by 10:30 a.m. I'm looking forward to the next one, but have lots of work to do in between.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cross Country Schooling

Finn went cross country schooling for the first time yesterday. We went to the nearby Laurel Hill, which is a very nice facility for the young horses. Chrissy nicely brought Gator along to babysit. Loading up was excellent, trailered over quietly. No problem tacking up or walking down the hill or walking around with Gator. Being asked to jump was a bit much for his little pea-brain and he acted more like an OTTB than he ever has. When Missy arrived, she sent us to gallop up the hill, which we did 4 times at a pretty impressive clip (perhaps a tiny bit *more* bit than the KK snaffle next time). He was willing to trot serpentines coming down. Then with Gator done with his jumping, we went down to jump. The little logs went well. He was perfectly happy to walk through the water. The first coop took two tries as did the first wine barrels, but all in all he settled down pretty quickly and once he was settled and realized he was jumping was very good. There was the unfortunate vulture-induced spook, but he gets a buy on that one, really vultures - yuck! Gator scared them away for us. He needs to do this a bunch more times, but for his first off the farm venture since arriving at the end of April, it went very well and today's dressage lesson was also really good.