Posted by: eventer4life | June 16, 2010

Lessons at Rebecca Farm!

I love his new sheet (: Doesn’t he look adorable?!?!?

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I was up at Rebecca Farm for lessons/cross country schooling! I took 3 (supposed to take 4) lessons with Sarah Kelly! 2 cross country, 1 show jumping.

Monday, we drove up to Rebecca Farm and I had a late afternoon lesson. We went out on the cross country course. A lot of the jumps were basically underwater from rain/sprinklers, but there was still a lot to jump. We started out jumping novice, because I have never taken him out on a cross-country course before and only jumped him once plus when I tried him out. The first couple times over the Novice, I was riding really really bad. I haven’t been on a cross country course since October and you could DEFINITELY tell. I started to get it figured out though, thanks to my superpony. Then we started jumping the Training stuff. The first time over the Training jump (a super friendly rampy oxer) I was scared to death when we got up to it. I got up to the base and was like OH MY GOD and just dropped him. My leg wasn’t on, ughhhh it was bad. He ended up jumping it (superpony!) from a super deep spot. It was reallyyyyy awkward and just BAD. But we got it. And then I felt a lot more confident knowing he can jump the Training stuff basically without impulsion. He’s a talented guy (: After that I was a lot more confident. Sarah had me get a lot more gallop to the jump and we started jumping it better! then we went up to another jump, a table-type jump on a downhill. He jumped it awesome! Then we went to the tables….again amazing (: We then went to the banks. He LEAPS off of banks, so we were trying to chill him out, walking off a little tiny bank. He got better, so we went to the slightly bigger (it was maybe 18″ tall) bank. He decided he WOULD NOT go near it. We tried for a while and it just got him more and more flustered and freaked out. So we walked him off the little bank again, then decided to try again on Tuesday. We went and jumped the ditches-just took him a second to get over them and then he was awesome. Then we went up to a log on top of a hill and he jumped it really well. I galloped him up the hill (didn’t get him going as fast as I should have!) and then collected back to jump it. Once I got him going even just a little faster, he compressed and collected better and jumped better. So I really need to go faster!!!

Tuesday, I had 2 lessons. I had a show jumping lesson in the morning, and a cross country lesson in the afternoon. In my show jumping lesson (this is getting redundant…) he was AWESOME. We figured out that he pops his right shoulder out to avoid me and gain control of the situation. So, if I bend him right to keep control of his right shoulder, he is a lot easier to jump. My first round was kind of out of control. (I don’t think it’s on video). He was getting control and basically I was riding like a little kid. I would point him at the jump, put my leg on, and he would jump. From what spot, I had no control. What pace he was on after, I had no control. Then my next round, we had figured out his right shoulder trick. I had control of pace. I had control of the distance (not that that was necessarily a good thing haha. I had a reallyyyyyy long eye). I was actually riding him! There was a triple set up-which Dawkins got really really overly excited about jumping-and she told me that while the middle wasn’t that great because he got excited and I didn’t take a big enough half halt, my approach was “beautiful”! I was so happy about that (: I did another course and it was even better (:We didn’t want to overjump him because we were going out again that afternoon.

In the afternoon, I had a light cross country lesson with 2 other people. We did a lot of the same stuff but he was SO MUCH HOTTER today. He just wanted to GO GO GO not sit around and wait for the other 2 people to jump. We got in some major fights about speed, until Sarah told me to just let him go! Let him go as fast as he wants to, but then bring him back. Bring him back earlier than I would on a more experienced horse, though. That actually worked! When he galloped as fast as he wanted to, his energy wasn’t bundled up and out of control. Plus, I had a lot more to collect so he had a lot more power. It was still slightly insane and crazy but it worked. We jumped into the water and he was good about it. He LEAPED off the banks into water, but didn’t even hesitate(much). Then we went back to the banks so I could get a lead off of the evil bank. But he would have nothing to do with it. He got more and more freaked out and flustered until eventually we had to give up again. We did the ditches again, and then the drop log again. He was good about them again (:

Then at around 8 I went back and hiked out with Dawkins (and a stud chain and lunge whip :P) to the bank. We stepped on and off the little bank a bunch until he was actually calmly stepping off. I then had him step up the evil bank (weirdly, he had no problem with that). He was good about that. I then just let him chill and eat at the base of the evil bank. Sarah thought that he might have been weirded out by a mound that was in the sightline of the evil bank(coming down). So I walked him up and down that a couple times, and then took him over to the bank. After a couple minutes of trying to run me over (I put on the stud chain and yanked on him a bunch….it might not have been the best thing to do but he was going to charge me over to get away from the bank and I wasn’t going to let him get away with that), I finally got him up to the edge. I let him eat a little and chill out, then started encouraging him to jump down. He was nervous and backing up and trying to get away. Finally, I put the lunge whip behind him and snapped it over and over again. He went up and down a bunch….really nervous. Then he took a HUGE leap off and I instantly dropped the whip and praised him a TON. I fed him treats and let him eat for a bit. Then I took him off the bank over and over and over again. We probably went off 15+ times. He actually started stepping off more than leaping. Once we had done it enough that he was jumping off without a second thought, I did it twice more haha, then let him eat some more and walked back to the barns.

I poulticed him last night so this morning at like 7 I went to remove the poultice and feed him. I gave him his grain and took of the wraps and saran wrap and paper and then I had to remove the poultice. Of course it was pouring rain and there was no hose in sight. So I attempted to remove poultice with a sponge. BAD. IDEA. It took me 15 minutes per leg to try to get it all off and there’s STILL white on his legs and it WILL NOT come off. I was scraping and picking and scrubbing it off and UGH.

I noticed a weird little bump on his left hind fetlock while I was removing the poultice. It didn’t bother him at all and he was totally sound. Then at 11 for my lesson I tacked up and went to warm up, figuring I might as well and then I could ask Sarah about it. He was super sound when I warmed up. When Sarah showed up I got off and pulled off his left hind ankle boot to show it to her. It was hard, with no soft spots in it. She called Hawley to see if it was there before, and it was definitely new as of that morning. We made the decision to not ride him, just in case. We think he probably just hit himself on the bank on Tuesday. So I’m going to give him tomorrow off as well, then flat him Friday, Saturday, Sunday? Maybe. Jump him Sunday/Monday and then gallop him Monday/Tuesday. I’m not sure exactly what. But hopefully it’ll go down and will never bother him!

I leave for Inavale next Wednesday, Junior Training! Sarah actually said she’s used to kicking butt in dressage and she’s worried about me and Dawkins because we’re going to kick butt in dressage (: I’m not sure how accurate that it but it was nice! My mom also was freaking out and asked Sarah if she thought I should go Novice at Inavale, since it’s my first event with Dawkins. But she said she thought that we would do great at Training and that Novice would kind of be pointless. She said that she was being completely honest too!!! Ahhh I’m excited!!!

Updates on the bump this week…hopefully good news!

Oh he’s at a new barn too….in a pen at my dressage trainer’s barn.

Here’s video from this weekend!!


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