So this weekend was pretty normal in the life of Miseventer. I went with my trainer, D, to a jumper show with 4 of his competition/training horses. They have all been struggling in the stadium portion of their events so he wanted to take them out for a chance to learn to pick those legs up. Let me tell you, us eventers know how to make an impression on the hunters of the world! 4 horses, 2 courses each, except for one horse who did 3 and not a single round was clear 😦 Sad day. The young horse made quite the impression in the warmup ring when he spooked and refused a warmup jump and D gave him a good tap with the crop, to which he responded by kangaroo hopping around the arena and grunting and groaning. Those hunters were just gaping, none of their horses ever put that much effort into anything! 😉 All in all, it was a lot of fun. I love watching D ride and studying what he does in every situation. I try my hardest to replicate it then to the best of my abilities (and more often than not get told that I am doing it wrong haha) but I learn just as much from watching him ride as I do from anything else.
Sunday, after I was done teaching lessons I went over to my friend, K’s barn, and we free jumped her mare, Tillie (she documented it here: http://somethingtotalkabouteventing.blogspot.com/2015/07/flying-horses.html) as well as a mare that I have been riding and took to her first event not too long ago. Tillie had a blast, I am not sure if she enjoyed blasting around the arena or the actual jumping more. That mare is like the Energizer Bunny on steroids sometimes! It was fun to see her really start to figure out where her feet were though instead of just running through blindly.
Then came Special. Her name fits her to a T. She is a super cool little mare, very green, a little stiff until she gets loosened up but man is she ever a jumping machine. She has this nice, calm little demeanor that disguises her true abilities quite well. It is very easy to underestimate her and her abilities but that pony has got hops! We let her loose in the arena for a few minutes just to trot and canter around to warm up. Set up the jump to a low 2’3″ vertical to warm up over and she was just as pleasant as could be. After running around in the heat and humidity after Tillie to chase her down the chute, Miss Special was a breeze to handle. She just cantered around nice as could be, popped over the vertical and headed around again. After the 2nd time she stopped in the corner and just stood there waiting so K and I turned away to raise the vertical to make it a little more challenging. Next thing I know I hear the sound of a hoof on the wood boards of the fence around the arena and turn around, expecting to see Special pawing or stretching out a leg so she could eat grass between the boards. Boy, was I wrong! Special had jumped the 3’6″ fence from a standstill and was now living up to her racehorse days galloping as fast as she could up the hill to find her pasture mates! Guess who didn’t get to free jump anymore? From now on I will just ride her through grids of increasing height instead of letting her do it on her own!
Special, the mare in question, prior to our first event.