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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, December 28, 2008

CT Jump School #3

Today, Gogo and I had our third jump school since coming here. Sundays have been our jump days, but last week we did some conditioning work out in the snow instead (well, mostly it was playing around, but you know ;D). This week I wanted to revisit the first exercise we did since moving to this barn, which was a slightly modified version of the original which included setting up a long approach to a vertical, then four strides to a set of trot poles - this time there were four instead of three. Here is the diagram of everything set up in the arena:

A 3' vertical on the centerline in the middle of the ring, then four strides to the four trot poles, a small x-rail for warmup purposes (and for Colleen and Duet, who were schooling pirouettes and tempi changes and were popping over the jump as a reward to Duet for being good), and three canter poles that were set up with two strides inbetween each. Gogo was EXTREMELY cheerful and bright when I was grooming and tacking her up, and came into the ring breathing FIRE and completely in a panic about the fogged up mirrors and open doors (something was apparently VERY scary outside), and it took a long warmup to get her to even CONSIDER settling down. She was on freaking fire! During our rather panicked warmup, we tried jumping the vertical a few times - warp speed before and after the fence. We tried to trot the three canter poles (they were slightly elevated, by the way) and she was moving her feet a bit too fast to do them gracefully. We tried to canter the three canter poles and we could NOT for the life of us get two strides inbetween each pole - I think we got two strides, then one, then we pretty much half-bounced the final one... yikes! I finally had to do a bunch of transitions at the scary end of the arena in order to get her paying attention to ME as opposed to scary door monster, and suddenly she was right there and ready to rock and roll. We trotted the crossrail a few more times after that, then went right in and tackled the exercise. After the first time (which resulted in some violent angry head-tossing after the vertical, but came complete with a "good girl!" after her final halt.... see, it works!) she finally got it, and was completely perfect. She waited for me to the vertical, she jumped the fence with huge bascule and perfect balance, I was right with her the entire time, she continued to wait for me AFTER the vertical, and then came down to trot after stride two or three (remember during the last time we worked this we couldn't even come down to trot at all sometimes, and just cantered the stupid trot poles!), and halted lightly at the end. She was PERFECT. Light, supple, waiting for me, balanced, really listening. She also went through the canter poles near the end and actually waited all the way through them, easily getting in the two strides each time instead of trying to awkwardly bounce them. GOOD MARE. And good for me for just sitting chilly and letting her take her time through the exercises.

She really was perfect. I dunno what was freaking her out when I first got on, but she mastered her fear and went on to have the most productive and successful jumping session we've had in awhile. After we were done, she got her legs washed, mane braided over (it was pulled yesterday, as I blogged about), legs linimented, and bridlepath clipped. I contemplated giving her a full-on bath, but thought about the fact that it will still be just as muddy in the field tomorrow, and she'll probably roll again anyway. Ohhhhhh the horrors of a warm winter...

I like Sundays. Today was a really good day.

1 comment:

jacksonsgrrl said...

Sounds like a great ride! My horse was wonderful yesterday too, what a great feeling! Have you ever tried the Grooma Mane Master for pulling Gogo's mane? I have one and I thought it worked pretty well...but Jackson has ALOT of mane so I just used it to thin it out a bit. Also, I have heard that Oragel at the roots--the kind you use for babies teething--helps numb it topically and also that doing it after exercise works well as the pores are more open in that area and make it easier and less painful to pull. I just know it supposedly can really hurt...and I'm not all that patient with "doing his do" :) so I like my Grooma thingie! I find positive talk always helps with Jackson and my friend pointed out to me a couple months ago that I don't talk to him and tell him often enough when he does really well while riding. I have gotten better and he really likes hearing it! You can bet when we were trailriding yesterday going down STEEP rock ledges that looked fit for only a gazelle that he got a TON of praise....he was awesome! His feet did great too--but I got the usual lecture from my friends that he will probably need shoes if we ride on the rock more often! But he trotted out wonderfully on the rock and was surefooted, no sliiidddinng down the rock faces for us and we had jagged edges at the end of the ride but nothing big that can't be filed out! :)