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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sun: Making Do (and a Mess); Mon: Gogo's First Corners!

It's been a rather successful two days, interspersed with some, erm... happenings. Well, one main happening really. Yesterday, I decided to bite the bullet and try my gallops in the orchard, hoping that it was dry enough, so armed with my GPS for the first time, we set off.
First thing I noticed was my GPS's fitfulness in the trees. It seems to get confused when you're anywhere that doesn't have a direct line right to the satellite, which, when you're in an orchard, doesn't really seem to work all that well. I spent the entire span of my trot sets circling the field in all directions, looking for the best possible route for a faster rate of speed. And, well.. there wasn't really a good route anywhere, honestly. I chose as best I could, and used the GPS when we were under open skies. It ended up working all right - we were on a big oval that was only really under treecover on one end (the dangerous end, where I got attacked by tree branches when we were going 470mpm!!). In the open area, I was interested to find that was I thought was 350mpm was actually more like 300mpm, and what I thought was 470mpm was actually more like 500mpm!! That's very nearly Prelim speed kids! I adjusted slightly (speed up and slowed down, respectively), and was pleased to find how easy it was for Gogo. She was awesome! We got pretty sweaty by the end because of how humid it was, but back in the barn Gogo was bouncing around on the crossties like an energetic and very naughty pinball, so it doesn't seem to have worn her out much.

10 minutes walk warmup
4 minutes trot
1 minute walk
4 minutes trot
1 minute walk
4 minutes trot
2 minutes walk
4 minutes 350mpm canter
1 minute walk
4 minutes 350mpm canter
2 minutes walk
5 min 470mpm gallop
15 minutes walk hack cooldown

We galloped in the snaffle and she was amazingly responsive, light, balanced, and delighted with herself. And then, of course, the happening: I went back up in the field to check out the footing and.... I turfed it. Of course. Not badly, of course, just left a steady trail of small dents, but that's more than I expected. So I tamped everything back down to where it was before and am just hoping that the grass recovers. I thought it was dry enough! (Later edit: Thankfully, everything recovered just fine. Grass rocks!)


Today, Gogo jumped her first corners!

With quite a bit of success I might add.

Her introduction to corners was simple enough, just three poles up on Bloks in the center of the arena, creating a simple triangle like this:

But here's the catch. There's nothing to frame the horse in - no standards, no nothing. So it's all about straightness and honesty. Not an exercise for a green horse, but I felt she was up to the challenge. And she was:

Woo hoo!! Actually her first and last jumps were the best (video is of the last). We had one run-out going the other direction the first time we approached it (I'm sure I just created a hole somewhere for her to slip through), and after that had no problems. She definitely was straighter and more honest approaching it from right lead to left, which is odd, because whenever she's wiggled in the past (and had the single XC runout of her life), she's always run off to the left. I did have to give a few strong corrections here and there, mostly when approaching on the left lead (why was she wanting to run out to the right for the first time ever!), but we ended on that lovely last jump, calling it a day. I'll revisit this one for sure, as corners are a vital part of the upper-level XC experience and we're going to need to be able to school them properly out in the open when the time comes.

Tomorrow, it's back to dressage, then more dressage, then MORE dressage... and then a good gallop, a conditioning hack, and a day off!

ELEVEN DAYS TIL GROTON HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Very nice corner - you should be proud of yourself and your horse - corners are very difficult.

Veronica Lodge said...

I love setting up corners like that, great for schooling!

manymisadventures said...

Hmmm, I have never gotten far enough that I've considered corners. Pandora's a pretty honest jumper - maybe sometime next year I can challenge her with one.

Gogo looked lovely going over that corner! I love watching you guys make progress.

Patricia said...

Shorty would die if I asked him to jump a corner. Shorty grinds to a screeching halt if I ask for trot over three ground poles spaced equally apart. Very nice form! You guys look great.