Posted by: eventer4life | January 20, 2012

January 20, 2012

I’m trying to make an effort to write more often, so here goes! I apologize in advance for the length, I don’t have much to say right now (:

Dawkins has been fantastic lately! We jumped up quite a bit in one of our lessons, and he was clean and jumping great! Super excited for this season! Just need to work on the spooky ride, so that I can keep his stride consistent and not sit down and make him hollow his back. We’ve also done a lot of practice with jumping corners, as I have some (mental) issues with corners. I’m lucky to be riding at a barn with a corner in the ring, so every time I jump I’m able to work on it!

I also went schooling yesterday at Galway Downs. I’m doing the fundraiser clinic this weekend, so the goal was to get him back to the level of confidence he had last fall! He started out unbelievably spooky-pretty much running sideways and trying to spin away going to the teeny log in warm up. I got him over it a couple times and we went out on course. He improved a lot once we got out there! He actually surprised my trainer and me with how confident he was. We schooled mostly Training level, with a few small Preliminary jumps thrown in there, including part of the 1* line through the water! He jumped everything very well, and I was super happy with him.

Of course, the next thing we worked on was the Preliminary corners. At Galway, the corners are fairly easy but…they are corners, and there are two of them. I have actually never jumped them before (took the options last fall), and was glad to have the chance to work on it! I rode badly the first 2 times, and he ran out, but once I actually RODE he jumped great! I managed to jump both of them, and once I was committed and riding tough he jumped even from quite an awkward line to the second corner. Now I just need to jump a couple (million) more corners, and it’ll be great!

Another thing that I’m really excited about was his bit- he’s gone in a mylar thing lately, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I had brakes, yes, but he leaned on it quite a lot and sometimes it felt like too much. Well, we decided to try a full cheek gag on him-then switched it to a full cheek SNAFFLE and he was fantastic! I’ll ride him around the one day event next weekend in it and the clinic this weekend in it before trying it at a real event-as I’m still skeptical- but I’m thrilled that we were able to decrease it so much and have him majorly improve! A couple months of flatwork with a pro does wonders (:

Raffy is also doing quite well, just working a few more things out! She has improved significantly over the winter as well. 

I’m taking Dawkins to the Galway fundraiser clinic this weekend, Preliminary at the One Day Event at Three Day Ranch next weekend, then going Preliminary at Galway Downs in two weeks! I’ll try to write a couple more times on here before that, but we’ll see if I manage to do that. (:

Thanks for reading!


  1. Haha! No worries on length – today’s post was great! Just out of curiosity – what do you do to combat the spookiness? I have a friend whose horse has tons of monsters living in his head and the spooking gets old really fast. Thanks!

    • Mostly, it’s been a change in my riding to get him as good as he is as well as lots of time spent schooling over small, but spooky fences to get his confidence up.
      Once he got confident over fences (which took…oh about 6 months I’d say) I had to learn to ride him differently. When I first started riding him, I used a ton of leg to a ton of hand, so that he was entirely packaged up and that made him feel secure. We’re trying to get away from that now, and I’m working on just encouraging him with my seat, so that he always knows I’m there.
      I just got really lost in what I was writing, so I apologize! Basically, as long as he feels that I’m there for him he’s a lot less spooky. And when he starts spooking, I bend him away from it with a lot of inside leg which also helps.

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