Instead of chatting about colic today (which I. STILL. HATE. — but Batts seems to be recovering ok-ishy-ly), I figured I’d do a lesson recap after my lesson when I actually remember my lesson, rather than days later when I forget my lesson or am too busy to actually recap.
The last few weeks Ranger has had energy. It hasn’t helped that someone has turned him out and I’ve had to get him from the field. OMG, the WORST, according Ranger. He HATES being turned out and then coming in to work. He’s on night turnout so usually he stays in until after lessons and then goes out for the night. So, if he goes out he’s convinced he has no job. If I then catch him, Life=OVER. Which has been the story of my last couple lessons. So, basically the last few lessons have included screaming for friends as we canter to jumps and overall distraction. Add that to the fact that he’s not actually easy to catch… Yeah. Each week we’ve had a boogie jump that includes bolting/galloping over and landing/halting/backing… It’s been fun.
So last night I rushed to get there (some texting with trainer to see if I could ride at 6 vs 6:30 due to a cancel) just to leave my house to a text that said “Oops, I forgot someone, don’t rush.” See, I live 3 minutes from the barn so that sort of didn’t help so from her driveway I texted back, “Ha, now you tell me” and walked in. We laughed about it (I guess she forgot the 4 year old lead liner), and I was told to come out whenever, but at least Ranger was in his stall. I did take my time grooming/tacking and then when I went out to the outdoor.
When I got on, Ranger just was QUIET. I mean, he’s always quiet, but I added leg and he just looked at me. I was exhausted from a night of colic checks and stress, but Ranger? He never takes leg like this. So, I guess he decided it was a day to make me work. Trainer agreed and we had a nice flat ride including extending under pressure (thanks Ranger–I almost considered a pony club kick!), bending, sitting trot, circles, sitting trot tiny circles, etc. Then we cantered and I died to keep him forward. Seriously horse, HELP ME OUT. Oy. Ranger was sleepy. I was sleepy.
So, we started our warm up cantering left lead over our straw bales towards the road and then around to the barn jump/inside single/blue plank which has at times been our boogie jump. This jump I needed to remember to TURN EARLY and steer to it. That said, today it was easy and Ranger just maintained his pace and I was fine and had no issues. Trainer raised the jumps and we repeated the pattern a couple times adding in our inside green line after the straw bales the second time. It was any easy 6 though I did NOT see my spot at the first fence so sort of got left, but Ranger is Ranger so whatever. Then we moved up nicely for the second fence.
We changed it up from here and cantered DOWN the straw bales towards the barn–our other possibility for a boogie jump and then were to continue to the other inside single which was also a 6. While we moved UP to the bales, there was no drop, drag, and bolt in sight and it was a lovely fence. The 6 was nice too and through the 6 corner to the first fence of the line I was able to keep him out and maintain my pace (we were passing the gate and moving AWAY from the barn–life is hard for Ranger…).
Eventually we stuck all of this together. Green inside line, blue plank/inside single/barn jump, outside single, straw bales towards the barn, other inside line. Everything went pretty well but the first jump of the very first line.
My pace was a bit slow (we had only done the line with momentum from other jumps) and my turn was late/didn’t turn with both hands. So we repeated that line (no video, sorry). Same mistake, this time it clicked that my trainer was saying to stay ON the fence longer (using both hands) and then use both hands to turn OFF the rail. Trying that method, the line suddenly made sense. It’s way harder of a line than I realized before! But, we got it and ended there.
As a reward, Ranger got all the cookies in the world and got turned out with his friends. Interestingly enough, he kept returning to the fence to see me (and find out if I had more cookies). Maybe cookies are magic? Last week he was offended by my offering of an apple… And I forgot to by carrots again.