Saturday, October 18, 2008


No, not the bad kind.

Suspension is a good thing - it means that when Blue is trotting, we sometimes hit these golden moments where he doesn't just put one foot in the track of the other (there's no way I'll ever get him to track up in a phenomenal way, but I've accepted that), but he also gets a bit of hang time in where none of his feet touch the ground. Ya know, LIKE HE'S SUPPOSED TO.

But seriously, I love my goober. He was very good today, and for some reason he was very generous with the euphoric moments. Head down, striding out, suspension...he was even beginning to yield more at the canter instead of charging down the long side like he usually does.

I do feel bad, because I ride the canter oh-so-crappily. I don't know if it's because of Blue or stiff hips, but I have a very hard time having the swivel-hips necessary to follow the motion of his canter. This means when I canter in three-point, I often come up and out of the saddle before coming back in. It's not a thump, but it's noticeable. Or I canter in two-point. But he's noticeably uncomfortable when I sit, not with anyone else. Same saddles, everything. I'm almost sure it's me, I don't want to ruin the horse's back.

So, don't laugh at me, but I practice in the mirror. I just pick a lead and try to simulate the motion. I won't lie - I look ridiculous. But it can't hurt...right?

Yesterday, my boldness got the best of me. We had a loopy, windy course that I was just thrilled about. Being thrilled, I rode semi-aggressively to each fence.

Not good for a loopy, windy course.

It was rough. We both had fun, but there was also that moment after the infamous two-stride in-and-out that Blue let out a "WHOOPEE!" buck that had all of the horse show mothers gasping.

It was fun, but it would have been decidedly less so if I had fallen.

The next time I decided to go for the Add. Because Adds are good for loopy, windy courses. I don't care if it's tight, if he makes it around the next turn (and it's not TOO tight).

MUCH better. We had an awesome tight turn that most people were blowing - I looked around my turn, sat back and everything.

I have a show (most likely the last one of the season) coming up on November 2nd, and I'd like to do the Junior Hunters and Hunter Classic with Blue. It's 2'6" or 3', and I think we'll go for 2'6" because I am pathetically inexperienced over 3' courses and it would be nice to end the season with something that will be easy and fun for both of us. It's a small show, so we could actually pin in the Hunters. If he keeps being as round as he is, he could clean up the flat classes at least. Oh, and the top 6 in the Hunter Classic get a cash prize. I've never competed in a money class in my life, and though the odds are slim that I'll take home any dough, it can't hurt to dream!

My instructor is in absentia for the next week, and Blue gets a week off of jumping. I'm optimistic, because I have so many flatwork ideas and hopefully when she returns we'll have some cool new skills to show off that will translate to our over fences work! Yay!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used to have the worst time riding the canter esp. sitting. I had grown up riding greenies. And the old school mantra from my instructors " He is hot so stay off his back" I had an opportunity to ride a showing Western Pleasure horse one day. HMMMMPH! I got it!! I figured out how to sit the canter. I don't necessarily agree with the fadish way some trainers train pleasure horses, but if you can find one in your area it might do your canter work some good. The rhythym they set is so slow you actually get a chance to feel the motion. Maybe take a lesson on one of their horses. I was a huge huntseat snob about Western saddles, but to REALLY SHOW Western it is hard. You have to be able to do a lot with out using your hands and make it look like you're doing nothing. I still prefer hunt seat but I see where all the discplines help us. Oh andI had had a lot of Dressage lessons before that Pleasure ride. I just had a mind block about the canter work.