Friday, November 7, 2014

Rocket Man

I said I would discuss my last ride with B, and here I am, almost a week after it occurred, in typical late Monica fashion.

I also was putting it off a bit because I really hate admitting defeat or struggle. We will get to that in minute.

First off I would like to virtually bitch slap blogger for never getting its shit together with my old layout. Its settings are all wonky and some of my widgets are all screwed. In addition, and most importantly, I can make my pictures extra big. And thats like, imperative. Because pictures.

Especially ones like this that I just really like looking at. Levi tails crack me up. And B is really starting to look nice. And FAT.

dat hay belly doe

Trot swag
He's been a little beast under saddle as of late. I have yet to have a truly terrible ride on him. I know I've said this over and over, but he truly impresses me with his work ethic for such a young lad. The big little man tries so damn hard for me and never gives me any real attitude, ever.

Any flack I get from him is just from a lack in training. I have to remember that he's only five, and not a grown ass adult horse. Its just so hard when your baby is so fucking quiet.... and does literally perfect flying changes (no I mean literally perfect. Go stalk my FB page for the video. Youtube was also on its period and refused to let me share it).

Quietest flying change...ever
I suppose some horses have more of a propensity for changes because poor Yankee is almost 14 (sobs a little) and STILL loses his effing mind over changes. I truly wonder if he will ever be able to do them with any kind of composure. I'll take 1/2 horses doing changes though.

Our only internal struggle with each other seems to be jumping.

I havent had any truly difficult hardships since I was a wee child when it comes to jumping. I've had a decent form, OK skill and until recently, no fear. But god bless it, I cannot seem to ride my dear baby horses' jump to save my life. And he cant seem to jump even the smallest of fences like a normal horsebeast.

Please meet, rocket man.

srsly B?
For the first couple fences, everytime, he does this weird rock back dealio and LAUNCHES over it liek it might eat him for dinner. Every. Time. He also refuses the first time I ever present him to a fence. Not good.

And I go flying. Every. Time.

The most awkward 
No matter what I do, I always end up flying backwards upon landing. If I try and 2 point to the fence...flying off. If I try and close my body angle and stay close...flying off. If I grab mane, I still fly backwards. I swear to god this horses' jump is impossible for me to figure out and it makes me want to cry a little.

I try my best to not jab him in the face, and usually do OK with that. His old owner told me he likes loose contact to the fence and that seems to hold true. Hope I can rule out fear of face jabbing. I'm wondering if he's scared. But then later ATTACKS the fences. So ruling that out. Doe she hurt elsewhere? Doesnt seem to be. Or is he just green? Most likely.

Hes MY horse. I should be able to fucking ride him.

Granted, I've jumped him 4 times, and all over crossrails. But STILL.

At a loss over what to do with this one. Why does he jump so awkwardly at first (and mostly in general)? Why cant I ride him? Questions questions.

I gave up over crossrails and set up a baby oxer to see if he would be a little more round and not...squatty. I also pushed him to the fence. He has a tendency to sputter out before, like hes a little unsure of himself an his legs. As you will see though, after a couple fails, he really gets into the groove.

I guess its just hard to accept that I need to work on rudimentary skills when you're used to scaling 5ft fences with superbeast Yankee and rocking out XC courses.

So what do you guys do when youre feeling a little discouraged? Any suggestions for his wacky jump style or what else I could do to keep my butt in the saddle?


  1. Ugh Blogger!! Hate! I lost my comment. The gist of it is maybe you should try what SprinklerBandit did with Courage. She longed him over jumps for I don't know how long so his baby OTTB brain could figure out how to use himself over jumps. Letting B figure it out on his own might make it easier for you to then figure it out while riding. Going back to basics sucks when you're used to trained horses, but it's so important not to skip those steps!! Good luck! He's gorgeous as always. :D

    1. He sadly is not the best at lunging...he does alright with WTC and is voice trained at that basic level, but tends to dip in going to the right and I can promise he would NEVER step foot over a fence without a rider there guiding him....I've tried it with trot poles. Hes too green...I guess.

  2. aww he's such a cutie - like he's trying so hard, actually way too hard lol. fingers crossed that more miles will do the trick. in the meantime, at least you'll be able to sit anything after riding that for a while :)

  3. Have you thought about putting him on the lunge line and letting him go over some small jumps on his own? It might help him figure it out. You could even set up placing poles on the front and back. It kinda looks (just from a brief glance) that he doesn't carry his head as high as Yank does over fences? Maybe he cracks his back a little more. It's hard to say but I would try letting him jump solo a bit. Then trotting lots of small stuff. Maybe add flowers and what not but making him see a lot of stuff and still jump (this may be easier on the ground) might help.

    No expert here and I don't want to seem like a know it all because I am a know nothing but thought I would share that idea. It helped with Houston when he was rushing to let him realize he can figure it out without me.

    1. No I asked, I appreciate the response! I commented on acheive1dream's post about lunging him, refer to that!

      But I agree it would help...if he would actually be comfortable with it. *sigh*

  4. Welcome to greenhorseville, population everyone! ;-) You'll figure it out. He's different than Yanks. It's ok.

    And sorry, beyond that I'm really tired and want to strangle all dogs who think getting up at 5.30am on Saturday sounds like a good idea.

  5. Well, at least he doesn't completely melt down, he goes over. I agree with those above, maybe some lunging over jumps, where he doesn't have to worry about getting you over, just himself? It helped my mare as she moved up in height. Then maybe ground poles and trotting lots of little stuff, til he realizes they aren't worth all that effort?

  6. I agree with the above and sending him over jumps. I don't think I would've figured out Brantley's style if I didn't do that first (well, also because I wasn't riding him at the time). At least he's a go-getter though. He looks like he really wants to do it. :)

  7. Honestly he sounds a LOT like Smokey. Not to scare you of course, cuz we ended up stopping on the jumping cuz of his eyesight. But he did the same thing, refused every single fence until we got over it, then he would take me to it, but feel stuck sometimes. He also rocketed back and jumped HUGE. That just means B is athletic, and if he gets the right start (which it sounds like he is/has) and learns to relax his back instead of launching he should be fine. As for learning to ride it, well, I never did figure that out with Smokey, he jumped me out of the tack 9 out 10 times; but I did figure out a very strong almost sitting 3 point and just grabbing mane with one hand to straighten the neck with the other up to the base worked well.

    1. ALSO. I couldn't lunge Smokey over jumps either, for the same reasons you can't do B. I TRIED and honestly for him, it made it a lot worse.

  8. He isn't trained to jump - so you have to train him! The best way to set the horse up for success is with a simple gymnastic. My favorite is 3 trot poles, last one being a 9 foot rail, to a one stride. I actually like to do a bounce, then one stride but a bounce is a bit much for him at this point. Make sure you use poles on the ground beside the poles and beside the one stride for guidance. I also put a placing pole in the middle of the one stride.

    This guys should be doing only gymnastics for a few months, to help build confidence and educate where the legs are supposed to go. Let the exercise do the work for you, you just have to get in straight and stay off their back and face. Always always always start with trot poles.

    Good luck!