Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More than One Jump for Blu

Official Records Information:
2 hours

This session started out BEAUTIFULLY! I went into his pasture and began calling him. He poked his head out the stall window and I just smiled and called again. Then I waited. He waited. I waited. Then he backed up and went out the door with what has to be a smile on his face. He ambled straight to me. I scratched his itches for a while and just enjoyed his friendly company. This sort of behavior is perfectly normal for Blu, but it was still nice.

So, I already had a jumping course set up of 3 jumps. One was cavalettis followed by a barrel jump. In our on-the-ground warm up, Blu had serious issues jumping the barrels. I finally kicked out the cavalettis, and he did a bit better, but not too much better. I decided to not jump the barrels in the saddle! As a side note, Blu had great feel on line. He was also very relaxed. He would sometimes settle into his Western Pleasure jog, but I could subtly point forward and he would pick up his life a bit.

We went through our showmanship pattern two times. The first time, we had some issues with setting up, but the second he was better. I noticed that he did not raise his head so much when we trotted. I also had tweak his pivot a bit...and his backing could use some more speed.

I saddled him up and he was very connected with me. Warming him up (this time under saddle) with transitions, I noticed that he was still relaxed. When we made transitions, he was going up nicely (which is a really good thing for this LBI), but coming down heavy on the forehand. I kept at the transitions until he wasn't pounding down on the brakes so much.

After tightening up the girth, we began our jumping. One jump was two tires leaning on a log, flanked by two upright ceramic drainage tiles. The other was the jumping stansions set at 18'' with a ground pole in front of it. Both had barrels about 40' beyond with food on them (not in bowls). First I did each jump individually with stops at the barrel. Blu was doing well, but I was behind him, so I focused on my equitation over the next set, which was to jump one, stop, jump the other, stop. Now that Blu and I were together, I tried jumping the stansion jump, not stopping at the barrel, jumping the tires, then stopping at that barrel. He did it perfectly, without even hesitating! It was so cool, but my mom didn't see, so I did it again, but this time I jumped the tires first and then the stansions. He swerved a bit to the barrel, but I just redirected him gently and he did not argue. I did this twice more, though because I did not reach far enough forward over the stansions and his back legs knocked it off. We also raised the jump to 24''. Does that make sense? Well, no matter, the last time we did it, we did it together and it was very nice.

I took off his bridle, got back on, and rode with the plastic bag-on-a-stick and bridleless for a bit. We loped and jogged around to cool him off and I did two spins. Those are getting faster, but we need to get it down to being a lower phase. We jumped the tires with no swerving or trying to duck out. Just simple readiness. It was great. Tomorrow, I hope I have time to increase it to 3 or 4 jumps before he gets food.

I rinsed off Blu's back and we grazed and walked him out until he was cool. Then we grazed for a good 10 minutes before putting him in his pasture. After I let him go, and just let me tell you: we did it!

Since Blu was wet, I knew he would roll, so I led him around at liberty. I put my head down and walked around and he mimicked me. He did not have it in his head to roll, though, because when I stood up straight, so did he. I put my head down again, though, and began gently pawing with my foot (Blu knows to paw when I paw) and I saw that light go on. I then buckled my knees and plopped down. He began to buckle and walk, too. As he rolled, I stayed focused on him so we could reconnect when he stood back up. As soon as he was up, he looked right at me, and lo and behold, there were about 5 pellets left in my pocket from this afternoon. Yeah! Blu laid down on cue!

Natural Horsewoman Out.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! It is sounds like you have a great partnership with Blu. Keep up the savvy.

    Parelli Central


About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving