Monday, March 21, 2011

Enhancing the Calm

Look at me I look skinny! HA! I was giving a pretty big half halt too....

It was pretty HOT and muddy yesterday...sigh. I hate summer heat with a passion. 83 degrees before april is too much. Yankee agreeds. He still has his winter coat! Overall I only worked him about 25 min total, including walking down to the XC field. I only schooled baby fences and tried to work combos to keep him on the ball and not rushing.

He was crazy hyper.

He is always soooper excited to jump and I have a hard time controlling him sometimes. He never runs away, just gets really strong before fences. I am afraid he will jump hollow if he runs at them so yesterday we worked on being a calm pony. More often than not though he took off early and left me behind. UGH.

I tested the waters in holding him a bit more over fences and it seemed to work a bit with combo jumps, but free standing single fences not so much. My plan of attack from now in is
*HOLD him collected on combo jumps...2 strides bounces, coffins etc. Keep him in front of leg but DO NOT let him run at them. He loses carefullness and I KNOW he can jump 3ft from a walk if he has to
*Half halt strong 3-4 strides out on free standing jumps and let him jump them at his own pace then IMMEDIATLY bring him back.

Half halting

This works for XC but stadium is so tight that we still will need a new battle plan for that..

I guess its better that he LIKES to jump rather than not jump...but getting in a fix about jumping and lathering up in 20 min its so not the calm we need. Gosh I thought we were over this last year Yanks.

"Look at me, I'm a retarded ponyface who gets sooper worked up about little baby rails on the ground...I don't know why...I just wanna go fast and Mom doesn't let me. She wants me to behave and I hates its."

So on the 'what is wrong with my horse front'..I think I am going to go with Ulcers. He is very touchy on his sides and hates being girthed lately....Like I said he is back on Ulcerguard though and I am TRYING to get him ample turnout. The field is soo muddy though and he gets infected heels so easily. Trying to balance it is hard!

I think I am still going to look for a new dressage saddle though becasue he is 10x better bareback or in the jump saddle...making me think his dressage one doesn't fit him as well as it used to. My mom SO kindly offered to get a saddle fitter to fit it for his back too, so that is an epic win and really unexpected. I just have to foot the bill for a new saddle. I want a leather one too, looks nicer and lasts longer. Ebay, aawaaaaaayyyy!

ALSO, Training level it is!

Thanks to all who voted! I appreciate your support :D

Happy monday!


  1. nice battle plan for the cross country ;) someone loves to jump a little too much lol- oscar sometimes gets like that at the start of the season though and after a good gallop to let out some beans, he usually settles really nicely.

    and good luck finding a new saddle, i may be biased, but bates maestros are awesome :) and really comfy.

  2. Honestly, I think our horses are twins. I have the EXACT same issues with Gatsby! We have only just recently seemed to figure it out. Some things we have worked on that have really helped: lots of leg! I know it sounds like the opposite of what you want but if use apply pressure from your thigh it actually does slow them down. Combining that with strong half halts and being really strong in my core and waiting to get the deep spot to the fences has REALLY helped us. Hope this helps!

  3. Also, we might be twins because I ALWAYS tell Gats to "enhance the calm" :)

  4. You are so lucky to be able to go cross country! Here (in Yorkshire, England) it's much much too muddy to be able to do anything really (which is exactly why I can tell you what I'm going to). To protect his legs when you turn him out in mud you can put pig oil (paraffin based - I think baby oil is close enough, and some people have said vegetable oil will work too) mixed with sulphur on. Just wash his legs really well before hand, let them dry, then rub the oil and sulphur on (make sure it covers the hair and gets down to the skin). The oil acts as a waterproofing to stop the wet/dry/wet/dry issue of turning out in the mud being a problem (the skin doesn't crack), and the sulphur kills the bacteria. It also has the added bonus of making the mud slide right off as it dries. My horse is really really prone to scratches, but I just put this on his legs once a week and it's never appeared since. Hopefully it will work for you too!

  5. Hey, wet saddle pads are good, right? I agree, it's good he likes to jump :) I always prefer my horses with some go. This might be extreme though.

  6. Nice video! I too would rather have a forward horse that you KNOW is going to go instead of a plug. Boring.

    He looks like he is ready to ATTACK in that one pic with the lather! OTTB in Pitbull mode right there!

  7. harperitis, that is a really neat trick, I will def have to try it out! As for the mud, it is really muddy here too, but I bet not as much as England!

    Stacey, I know right?? HE looks insane crazy. He reaaallll ylikes to jump. lol

    As for the half halts/strong core/leg I noticed it helps to with yanks esp. being an OTTB. Weird but it works!

  8. I love how you say "baby stuff" then jump a big ol' drop into water. I'm doing well to get Izzy into water, period. Can't imagine dropping in right now. ;-)

    Love the last picture--he looks majestic, in a sweaty, hyper sort of way.

  9. hahaha in a very sweaty, hyper way.

    And yeah, its a titch small for him. I used to jump like an idiot with my 5ft jumps..ha. I am much safer now though at least. Kids can be so dumb :P But

  10. Cross country looks like so much fun. I wish I had the guts for it lol.