Thursday, September 29, 2011

We're going to a show... woot!

I think we're going to head to the little Hunter/Jumper show on Sunday! Jasper's knee seems fine and we had a good schooling day today. I think we'll do a couple of 2' classes and a couple of 2'-2'6 classes. My friend Kodi came out this morning to play jump crew and take some video with my crappy point and shoot camera.

I've been trying to not jump ahead. When I watch the video frame by frame it looks like I'm jumping waaaay ahead on the way up, but then end up in a pretty good position over the top of the fence. He, however, looks pretty good to me considering the lack of schooling we've had this summer. There is a little more tail swishing than I like... but he's got a nice rhythm and isn't rushing.

I think he really likes jumping. He even started to do a flying lead change for me right as I was asking him to trot to do a simple change. Cool!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whoooooa, Waterford!

Jasper was SO angry about having the Waterford in his mouth. He HATED it. Sure did listen though, a little too well. He tried rooting a few times, popped himself in the mouth, and about flew over backwards. I was being as soft as possible and trying to leave some slack in the reins but he still went around tense with his ears back. It wasn't all because of the bit... he was hyper and wanting to run and really just wanted to give all his attention to the horses in the nearby field. He would speed up and then realize the punishment was that damn bit and would throw his head up in defense. And then down in defense. And then get angry and begin to hop. So anyway I'm just going back to the KK Ultra for dressage and the French Link for jumping and am going to quit worrying about his tongue. I believe I'm going to try the Waterford on a horse at the ranch that pulls the reins out of the boys' hands. I think it might be perfect for him.

Today was a great ride. Same arena, but the middle of the day instead of dusk with all the horse eating shadows. I set up a grid, barrels, one stride to a vertical, one stride to a second vertical, 2 strides to barrels. I'd say the verticals were about 2'3, a little higher than the barrels. The first time we fleeeeeewwww through it and did the 2 strides in one. I second guessed myself... was that really a long one stride? I thought I measured 30'. So we did it backwards and lo and behold, it was two. I discovered something really important today. Jasper responds to half halts between jumps. I never even tried before because I totally assumed he'd be oblivious to them. We jumped the grid both ways, first from a trot and then from an easy canter. Our last time through we landed over the last vertical, I gave a half halt and a "whoa!" and got a nice 2 tot he barrels. He was balanced enough after barrels that he was able to stop easily and smoothly and I jumped off and gave him lots of praise. Good 'nuff...!

It's the first time we've jumped since he injured his knee. He seemed very sound to me. He'll have tomorrow off for sure, then I'll go out on Tues. or Wed. to see how he's doing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Musings of no real relevance.

The guilt was getting to me even though I've been fatigued lately and only had one day off this weekend. I forced myself to drive out to the barn to at least clean Jasper's run-in and give him carrots. Then I got there and he had his head over the door of the stall, all bright eyed and expectant and adorable. So we went on a ride, I thought it would be good to get him out of the barn area and hit the trails since it's been a couple of weeks.

He was really amazingly well behaved. Soooo out of shape though. We saw deer and 3 flocks of turkeys. As usual, the last field I make him walk through on the way home got him all amped up so by the time we got back to the driveway leading back to the barn he was more excited than when we left.

I'm thinking of taking him to a little jumper schooling show on Oct. 2. It would be our one and only competition this year. I figure we could to the 2' division without much practice or need to get in shape. Just kind of go and pop around, see what happens. I don't want him to forget how to do it! I would like to start competing again next year... hopefully with a horse trials or two thrown in there.

I LOVE his color, especially now that his dark winter hair is starting to come in. All three of my horses have been bay with no white. Mindy was very red, almost a blood bay. Alexandre is a dark bay with red highlights. Jasper is a dark bay with golden highlights. He almost takes on a grulla-ish buckin-ish look in the fall.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Bit of News

Look what Kacy over at All Horse Stuff sent me in the mail! She's been reading about my bitting woes and sent me this Waterford to try. I've never used one before and I'm curious to see how Jasper reacts. My only concern is that it will be too harsh for him and he will avoid contact with it. We will see! He may love it because it's nice and flexible. Fingers crossed it is the miracle cure. :) I love our blogging community. There are some very generous people out there.

In other news I got my old job back at the boys' ranch. Without saying much over the internet, two years later I am back to running the horse therapy program for boys with histories of abuse and neglect. There are only four horses left, and three of them are angry and resentful of their jobs. Hopefully I can turn them around. Send them good vibes if you'd like. I'm almost certain I'm going to keep Jasper at the barn where he currently lives... it's such a great place and they're building an indoor. It would be great to see him everyday but I'm not ready to bring him to the ranch. It does mean that I'll see him even less if that's possible. After working all day with horses the last thing I want to do is drive out to another barn and do more horse stuff. Ugh. I dunno.

In unrelated news I went to the doctor's office today and left with a $1000 bill. And I thought vets were expensive. The CT scan experience was very strange. They thought it was appendicitis but I just have a cyst which is good because it will eventually burst and heal on its own, and the pain will go away. Too bad it couldn't have waited 6 months until my health insurance kicks in. D'oh! Oh Canada...