Jumping (through) distractions

First, as an update from my last post, my horses are IDIOTS. I put their regular bale in my existing Shires large net (I’m not sure if it’s this net or if it’s a discontinued full bale net, but either way, it easily fits a full, 2 string bale) in their feeder. Idiot horses ate 5 lbs in 2 days. 5lbs. They CAN and DO eat from the 2″ holes in stalls or elsewhere, but NOT in the feeder. So, small holes are out. I can’t risk Subi not eating. So I ordered a large hole net and we’ll give that a try. I’m just trying to keep the hay in the feeder so maybe this will work? Idiots.

Moving on.

img_2722I was able to ride last weekend but due to circumstances, I only rode saturday. I had a great ride! And a terrible ride. It really depended on how you analyzed the ride. I really need my trainer back for a lesson…

The weather was really nice and I considered riding outside, but I was a chicken and the other horse out there was not one that would provide a calming presense… So, I stuck to the indoor. That said, all the jumps were removed so I was left with some poles and plain standards to work with which was fine. I left the trot poles up, and set up 3 cross rails.  In the end, I had a poles on the long side, a cross rail on the other and 2 cross rails on figure eight.

When I got on, Nay Nay was quiet but had energy. I decided just to trot. And trot we did. Around and around and around. We circled and added poles and circled. Eventually I decided to add in the cross rails and all was good. He was a star. We did all our jumps and was perfect.

After trotting, we picked up the canter. For some reason, now when we canter to the left, Nay Nay starts tossing his head as we pass the in gate… He’s fine, but throws a tiny fit… I decided to throw my hands at him (it worked to the right to help fix our right lead canter) and fit was over. Finally. We cantered a nice circle and walked. Continued to the right and had a lovely right lead canter. He’s gotten SO MUCH STRONGER to the right.

img_2720While he was getting tired, I decided we do all our jumps a few more times. We did our first circuit one time and he was great. Then came direction 2. Oy. Issues. We did our first fence and it was fine, then as we were coming over our second jump? Forrest walked in with his rider and Nay got distracted. We made it over, but I failed to realize just how distracted he was. We continued to our last jump and headed right to Forrest and nope. Nay full out said, THERE’S A HORSE IN HERE!..as we were trying to get over our cross rail and crashed and burned… We should have been able to get over it but Nay backtracked instead and took it down. So I had to get off, put it back up. Then Nay was convinced we couldn’t. He was tired and done. I finally hopped off and walked him over and fine, he was over. After I got him over, I put it down a hole (it wasn’t big, but I made it slightly smaller just because), and we jumped it a couple times and called it a day.

I’m made at myself partially because 1, I should have stopped before I got to the stopping point 2, I should have realized he was distracted and overrode to that jump and 3, I should have predicted all of this stuff. I wish I could have ridden Sunday, but I had pre-existing plans so that was out before I even got on Saturday.

I really need a lesson AND possibly a training ride to make sure I don’t ruin him…

Still down on myself for all these mistakes I’m making!

10 thoughts on “Jumping (through) distractions

  1. I’m sure you’ll do just fine next ride! We all have days like this (can’t tell you how many times I’ve kicked myself for not stopping when I should have). I hope your next ride is better, and I think Nay will be fine :).

    • Stopped earlier probably isn’t the best wording because honestly my only regret is not stopping before Forrest walked in. I just misjudged how distracted he’d get. I regret not pausing after the first jump to let him look at the new horse or adding lots of leg because he hadn’t worked that hard and had another horse not walked in? I doubted we would have had issues. So regrets that I can’t control everything!!!!

  2. He has such a sweet face ❤ and yea with a new horse you’ll end up going past the stopping point a few times before you know exactly where it is. That’s part of the process. And also part of the horse learning that focus is important.

    • 90% of this post wouldn’t have been written had another horse not walked in, you know? He’d have gotten over his jumps and we’d have ended and all would have ended well. In hindsight, I should have been a psychic and known a horse would walk in, distract him, and turn an A+ ride into a C- meaning I should have ended early, but that’s insane too… so, the answer is, he needs to get better with horses in the ring and focus on me. Ending early to prevent running into distractions certainly isn’t the solution… I’m obviously a little more level-headed since I wrote this (I just didn’t publish it for a few days).

  3. Okay, first, this is how we learn. Second, you aren’t ruining him. You got him back over and finished on a perfectly fine note. Next time you’ll have a better idea when to finish. Lesson learned!

    • It’s not even the when to finish, it’s the managing distractions. He’d have been fine had the other horse not walked in. Honestly, I can’t ride and say, we’re going to stop here because another horse might walk in and he could get distracted. That’s insane. I was probably on for 20 minutes and no one was even there when I got on. But, I could have been more assertive the whole ride and that would have helped. That is the lesson I learned after my last ride because I really had a different horse when I demanded he carry me every step vs asked in the beginning and expected he continue to carry. He’s not there yet. I didn’t really how different the two rides were until I rode consistently the entire ride.

      • Gotcha! Sounded like it had been longer than it was and that he was tired. But I agree totally! Distractions will happen and he will have to learn to ignore them. I find it so hard to figure out the correct amount to be doing as a rider, especially with the young ones. Not as in time, but like you say with assertiveness. Like we want them to learn to do all the things correctly, but it’s tough to know how much help to give at a given moment. And I agree with you, this is when it’s the best time to have trainers around!

      • Yeah. It felt like it had been longer and he WAS tired, but he gets tired after 10 minutes of work. I could stop every ride after 10 minutes, but he’ll never get stronger. I have a rule with my husband that I check in after 25 minutes when I go out and there aren’t a lot of people around (I don’t count the teen on Mikey as anyone as she wouldn’t make sure I was alive before leaving). I didn’t quite hit that point as after 25 minutes, he calls me. So it couldn’t have been that long.

        We did a lot, but he still only trotted for less than 10 minutes total (including the issues with the jumps and corrections) and cantered around 3 times each direction. He didn’t do that much. But, he was tired. I have a lot more perspective now that I’m way on the otherside of this ride. I also know realize that this ride, up to that point, wasn’t perfect, but that he was offering a lot. I wasn’t providing him with enough. Hindsight. It teaches a lot. I will say, I’ve learned a lot in this time when my trainer is away, but I’ll be so happy to get some lesson in again! 3+ weeks alone is a long time with a green bean!

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