Monday, May 3, 2010

Cross Country jumping at Aspen Farms

Jasper went to his second cross country clinic early Sunday morning! My friend Terri called earlier in the week and said there was room in the Steuart Pittman clinic for a Beginning Novice horse. It was part of the Area 7 Adult Rider's Eventing Camp that lasted over the course of 3 days, but there wasn't enough stabling available to fill all the clinics so they needed some people to haul in every day. She brought her horse Jed up from Portland and they rode in a rating clinic with Jonathan Elliot.

We hauled Jasper and Jed over very, very early in the morning. Both of us wanted an hour or so to hack around the course before the clinic started. We unloaded and Jasper didn't scream, spin in circles, or kick in place. He didn't pull back when tied to the trailer and all halters and lead ropes stayed intact and in one piece. He didn't run over anyone and send them to the first-aid tent. In fact, he stood at the trailer and ate hay out of a hay bag. Is this MY horse??? I was ready to load up and leave 15 minutes after we got there and call it a successful day.

Aspen Farms is beautiful. Rolling hills of green grass, lots of galloping trails, and the jumps are awesome. Terri and I hacked around at a walk and Jasper slightly spooked going by most of the jumps. He did go over a ditch though, no problem.

Steuart is a good instructor and a very nice person in general. Jasper was an absolute rock star. It's like he's been thinking about our other time out at XC and figured things out in his head. He was forward to the jumps and didn't suck back like last time. Instead of breaking down from canter to trot to jump, he accelerated from trot to canter. He jumped most everything out of stride and I didn't do a thing to help him other than just staying still and keeping some leg on. He STOOD STILL for short amounts of time when it was someone else's turn. Baby's growing up!

(YIKES! Turn off your sound)

The only refusal we had was the logs right before the water. He actually jumped it awkwardly the time before, but somehow I lost my stirrup and leather off my saddle and it landed in the pond.

Better it than me.

I was really, really lucky to have the Andreas show up and offer to take pictures and video for me. Andrea and Andrea are clients and friends of Jessica and so kindly got up at the crack of dawn to come to the clinic. Maggie (the organizer) also took some nice shots. I am a little aghast at how bad my leg (and body) position is in some of them... always stuff to work on I guess.

Contemplating the down bank.

Jed & Jasper

We jumped this today. It was big.

Anyway I really couldn't have asked for more. It was a total blast. A possible horse trials in our near future??



allhorsestuff said...

Jasper you sweet and measured your gait is too... just a pro!
I loved this...seeing you is inspiring!

EvenSong said...

WOW! What a good boy Jasper was, forward and willing (mostly). And it looks like he's filled out a bit, too. He IS growing up! Nice job.

It's so neat that you've gotten this opportunity to be a working student; the "silver lining" of the whole job-loss thing. Maybe it'll work into something more permanent, if not with Jessica, maybe someone else in the area?

manymisadventures said...

You guys look GREAT! Jasper is growing up :) I bet you guys will be ready to kick butt at HTs in no time.

I'll hopefully be up in your neck of the woods a few times this year. I'm going to be grooming for my trainer at some events. Can't do NWEC this weekend, but I'll be at both Aspen HTs.

Also, it's funny - I've ridden with Terri before at Inavale camps and the like. I think she was the first one to come up with a pair of crutches immediately after I broke my ankle at the camp a couple years ago. Small horse world!

BritnieAnn said...

How fun!! Thanks so much for sharing, I love reading about your xc stuff, and videos are even better! You do such a great job of letting the horse jump instead of getting in his way, lovely! What a good boy he was! Yay Jasper! I CANNOT wait to hear about yall going to your first trial!

achieve1dream said...

That is so cool! You guys looked awesome!!

allhorsestuff said...

Came back for more the videos!!!
Man I wish I could travel with you and photograph you doing things like that!
thanks for the sweet words! I am addicted to photography..if only I did not have to work!

Albigears said...

Thanks guys! He really did well, I couldn't be happier.

ES- Yeah, at this time I'm pretty sure I'm going back to school in the fall. :)

MMA- I just sent my entry in for Aspen in June! Our first recognized event. Not sure if we're quite ready, but I won't get another chance like this anytime soon. Funny that you know Terri- she is a nurse you know!

BA- Uhhh, yeah, I have to stay out of his way because he's got to figure things out... I think sometimes I close my eyes.

A1D- Thanks!!

AHS- come on up to Yelm to watch the Aspen HT in June! Lots of great things to photograph, it's a really beautiful place.