I put off this post (surprise surprise) because I wasn't sure if "Bacardi good behavior "was a one ride" fluke or not and my last post about him was incredibly emo & I was having another mental breakdown about horses in general.
Past that now (will this be a monthly thing for me??) and moving on from the second guessing.
I have ridden B every day for the last week, with the exception of yesterday, which was amazing. I wish I could do this every week because unlike Yankee, he benefits from work everyday. I had a LOOOONG weekend due to the PT's being out of office for a medical seminar, so I wasn't required to show up to work...which was incredible for my pony time.
|repeat media, don't care|
The ride after was another flat day, and B maintained greatness.
|Such a good baby|
Pretty much the same everytime, amirite.
The next ride I wanted to bring back some jumping. My friend L showed up again, which is always lovely because get media and second opinions! She's a really good rider and I enjoy her company at the barn.
For always, B has had a little issue with quickness in-between lower height fences. At first it was because of weakness and as most of us know, weak horses tend to snowball over courses. Then it morphed into gusto after he learned how to carry himself and realized jumping was best. Now its flat out not listening to half halts and blowing through fences because they aren't tall enough. Literally. He sometimes takes out the entire fence because he's traveling so far DOWN and refusing to listen to half halts and effectively jumps downward....its possible.
|Case and point.|
First thing I did was change him back to his golden wings elevator bit.
Then, my friend L got on him and showed me a little trick she uses with her reining horses.
We would hop him over two crossrails, at his preferred speed (yes, his speed...which is full on gallop) and then halt him HARD after the line, about 4 strides after.
It was messy. It was ugly. It looked a little like this..
|Such impulsion. Very canter. Much uphill.|
A few things you might notice. I am not sitting down. We tried that and it lit him UPPPP. We realized that if we ask for the halt with pulsating hands (so we aren't ripping his face off) he has less to fight and brace against (his favorite) and we aren't jamming down on his back.
Then, once he was halted, we asked for a turn on the haunches 180*, moving his shoulders while his butt stayed planted. Then, canter off and do the line again. Wash. rinse. repeat.
(This is what I referenced in my last post about teaching him in about 10 minutes flat. He went from not knowing how to do this, to doing it the second you moved your hands and asked with your heel. Genius level when he wants to be.)
After 4 tries only, he was like, "OH OKAY, sit back and slow down after fences, I get it now".
Literally four tries.
After that he was a dream after and in-between fences. I kept practicing string together the outside line, the liverpool and the oxer line and he maintained even rhythm and consistency throughout. #PROUD
I try to keep the fences lower for work like this, because it is more difficult and there is no need to always school 3'3. It is fun, but not necessary. Especially because when I do ride, most of the rides consist of flatwork then some light jump school work.
After the coursework, I felt good and confident to send him through the grid thinking he would be abel to maintain a balanced uphill canter.
We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to stringing together a lot of fences in a grid. He tends to get so so so strung out and the good effects of the grid never really take place. I've never seen a horse turn a one stride into a bounce before, but he has the stunning ability to jump a grid of 3 fences in 3 bounds, no joke.
First, he tranters over the ground pole...
And proceeds to bounce through the grid like it was set to bounce distances. All I could really do was laugh, because the amount of athleticism it takes to do that and not knock any down was impressive. It also felt really good, which is weird, haha.
|long spot much|
L was videoing and at the end of one pass through I was cackling and said "WHAT was THAT".
Eventually, I was able to get him to sit back a little bit and slow his roll through the grid, but for now, I think I will focus less on gridwork and more another things. Sorely tempted to jack them up to 3ft 3in and see his that backs him off, but that smells like disaster. He did do remarkably better though when I bumped the last oxer up to 2'9...
|Much better with some more height|
The next day I repeated the exercise L taught us over the outside crossrail line and no fights were had and he halted calmly and without issue.
SO that was neat.
The rest of the week I focused on flatwork and hacks and gave him the day off yesterday. Today will be an other jump school and hack before I leave for KY for the weekend.
I'm running another Tough Mudder saturday in the 93* heat, so if I don't return its because I died.