Blogging Bob: I jumped the barrels…

And I didn’t die.

Rode on Friday this week due to Halloween. It was cold and windy and all that. So we rode inside. The problem with riding inside was that there are these stupid evil barrels. And I didn’t want to jump them.

img_2003

Bob didn’t see the point either

Supposedly no horse has had issues with them.

That wasn’t the point

I WAS having issues with them.

I went into a long discussion about rotational falls and dying.

I negotiated an extra ground pole.  Kids, always negotiate with your trainers.

I got over them. No one died.

I didn’t have to jump them again.

The end.

Blogging Bob: Indoors.

This week’s (last week’s) Bob lesson took place inside due to super high wind. After a day spent a fair hill and a couple hours spent contemplating cancelling, I reluctantly showed up to ride after a hasty nebulizer treatment. Because, it’s a perfectly good idea to go ride when you are completely exhausted and unable to breathe, right? (after quickly cleaning stalls)

img_1910

Hermione met her long lost cousin this weekend.

So, I decided to ride mostly because I ended up running out of time and never cancelled.

Due to rain the night before, Bob didn’t get out (while I turn out in all weather, this barn does not). So, when I got on, he was a little gimpy and we spent about 10 minutes or so working out of it. We rode inside due to the high winds (up to 40 mph gusts…).

Eventually Bob was feeling mostly normally and we warmed up at the canter over 2 poles on the quarter line, alternating between  6 strides and 7 strides. This was also when I learned that lead changes are no longer optional. So, the one time we landed wrong when I didn’t quite collect enough for the 7 (and we fit it in but barely), and Bob also decided changes were optional, we continued cantering until I asked properly and he responded in kind. I learned my lesson, he…didn’t.

View this post on Instagram

Cornelia Dorr and Brush Dance

A post shared by Sarah Katz (@katzs44) on

Our exercise we started off with was basically a figure 8 over our 2 inside singles, a nice and easy inviting vertical with flowers and a tiny swedish oxer. While I spooked at the oxer, it rode fine but someone did NOT like getting his change after it… Theme of the night. We got it, reluctantly (left to right). The next couple of times it was a bit smoother. Then he had a temper tantrum about it the last time…

Next (by this point my legs were DEAD and I was ready to be done) we worked on the outside line. Bob was also finished here. So, first time through, I had to kick for the canter, circle (he them was convinced we going to the inside swedish oxer), the approach the line with almost zero pace. I guess I gave me trainer a heart attach as we came in with less than no canter, but I kept squeezing and Bob carried me over, continued cantering, carried me over the out (with the add), and we both died on the landing until I was made to keep cantering until I asked for the change… MEAN… We got in down the long side.

Finally we put everything together. So, upon getting a REAL canter, we actually cantered the outside line WITHOUT the add or the heart attack, then came over the oxer (the opposite way around to the vertical. We called it a day there. Bob was tired. I was tired.

img_1856

So tired, so sweaty!

This all ended with a threat that it’s time to start jumping bigger fences. Crap.

Blogging Bob: Putting things together

Once again, media-less. Sorry!

img_1801

So handsome. 

This is a double lesson recap as I rode on Thursday AND Sunday. Woohoo! I’m seriously in love with Bob! He’s a character. A baby faced, teenaged (13ish) character. He figuring out he can’t bite me (I bite back), is HIGHLY disappointed that he gets smacked when he tries to bite me, and now only halfheartedly tries to “bite” me. It’s sort of amusing. He looks as me, moves closer and closer, and ultimately bites at the air. And get tapped for it. Then sighs, defeated. This is the same horse I was originally told to get from his stall with a crop so he knew not to eat me alive… Bottle babies… Lol. I will say, for all his mouthiness, he actually takes treats like a gentleman, unlike a certain RANGER pony who tries to fit my entire hand in his mouth… Bob eat each treat separately, chews, then gently takes the next?!?!?! Go figure. I’d feed him in his bucket except he’s SO gentle. Probably because he’s scared of me now.

So lessons. Thursday we rode in the dark under the lights because FALL. Fall sucks. I was tired and having breathing issues. But, our flat work was decent AND we successfully mastered out changes this lesson! So much so that I even asked for them after a few fences. Who am I? Lol. We had one stop because I forgot what I was doing and where I was going and basically was a complete space cadet, but it really wasn’t Bob’s fault. I was user error. 100%. I approached the outside single (the ONE fence in the ring that I’m not concerned about) still thinking about my turn rather than riding to the fence and forgot to squeeze and Bob said, “wait, what? do you want me to jump? You’re not really here…” so we didn’t.  A quick kick (just because we’re trying to train him to take riders over even if they forget to keep leg on 100% of the time) and reapproach, and it was fine.

img_1817

unfortunately, he’s a cribber..

We also did our first line. Basically, it appears with Bob, you ride each jump as a single. So, leg to the first, land, woah, collect, leg. Nice, easy, no hesitation. And, as long as I stay back with my body and add leg, he’ll jump anything. Which I learned when we came up to our inside single which was some jump with massive (I mean MASSIVE) pink flowers that Bob really looked at. But, I kept squeezing so he said OK and jumped in slow motion. (our second trip over was fine).

Sometime between Thursday and Friday, I found myself unable to breathe and since then am on new asthma meds, have a new nebulizer, and lots of fun stuff. I shouldn’t have ridden Sunday, but…

Sunday we warmed up with poles at the trot and canter (I died breathing wise) before working on changes. It took a couple attempts to get the left to right, but we got there eventually (I was lacking a little pace). The flat work took a lot out of me… After a nice break, we started over fences.

img_1812

Bob and Splinty

Jumps stayed small, but it was all about control and putting things together. We started with the outside single in both directions and then the inside straw bales. From here, we ended up doing the right lead over the outside single around to the outside line. Super easy and controlled. The nice thing about this line is that it’s right against the fence so I just need to stay against the rail and keep my inside leg on… Lol.

Next, things got scary. My security of the rail was taken away. Lol. So, it became outside single (left lead) around to the INSIDE line (no security). To make it to the inside line, I really had to stay on the rail until I say the straight line and turn with 2 hands. Honestly? I think I kept turning a little late, but it worked out much better than if I turned early so we’ll take it. Bob was a bit hesitant to the in, but I kept leg on and waited and it was all fine. Body back, leg, Bob jumps. Collect on landing, wait, leg, Bob jumps jump 2. Lol. It’s really strange. He just wants to feel his rider there with him.

img_1808

Goof.

So we next repeated all of that a couple of times then added in the outside line, and then the OTHER inside single with the scary pink flowers. Again, all was fine with the first 3 fences (the inside line was a lot better), then came into the outside line and on the landing of the in, had to really hold and then add leg again (this will take a little getting used to). Continuing to the final single, I was a touch forward until I realized that I was forward, got my body, back, and despite Bob’s slight hesitation, jumped it fine, landed, got the change (our only necessary one of the course), and ended on that note. But hey, first real course!

Seriously. I LOVE THIS HORSE. He’s so good for me. He doesn’t care if I miss a distance as long as I add leg.

 

Blogging Bob: Ride 3

This is a tongue twister! I tried Bob Blog, but it was too hard to type! In fact, it took my 4 tries to type it here, so, Blogging Bob (blogging Blob is what I almost ended up with) is the current working name of Ranger Recap’s replacement. Lol.

img_1754

husband photography

Ride 3 took an interesting turn as it took place in the form of a free ride vs a lesson as my trainer was off at a horse show but texted me, “Come ride Bob!” So I guess I passed the Bob test? Lol.

 

My husband joined me so I have media. I almost didn’t as I could barely pull him away from the barn dogs. He was covered in dogs from the moment we arrived and almost didn’t LEAVE the barn to watch me ride. Men. Lol.

Bob was a bit P.O.’d as he was JUST about to be turned out when I arrived and was prompted kept inside. Sorry Bob. But, tough. I decided my ride was just going to be about getting to know him. I need to start trusting him over fences. And I’ll get there, but I still see all the stops we had our first ride. And yet we haven’t had one since. So, I kept it little and easy and we had a nice ride.

Not trot videos because it appears the trot is boring so my husband chose not to video…

img_1755

More husband pictures

Lol.

Canter. I NEED TO SIT BACK. This is what happens when I don’t have someone constantly getting at me! I also need to KEEP LEG ON because Bob “knows everything” and therefore decides when and where we are doing changes once we start… I got a little better staying with him, but MORE LEG with help. Plus, the outside line being against the rail doesn’t help… turning  early = mixed signals… Basically, it’s my fault. But, the first rides I was launching forward and this time I wasn’t so, yay? Anyone was to jump that MASSIVE oxer thing?

Next I just worked on 2 singles. I figured I probably shouldn’t try my first line/related distances on Bob outside of a lesson. Still staying collected/adding leg last 3 strides. No hesitation on Bob’s part anymore so it’s almost like he realizes I’m making him jump now so why try and get out of it? I probably can let go a bit more…

I bored my husband. He was more impressed by the kid on Baron. Lol.

Then we put it together. I probably could start working on changes after fences, but I’m just stopping instead if we’re on the wrong lead because I want to make sure my core is stronger.  My husband couldn’t figure out what I was doing and why I wasn’t doing more…

img_1756

Good boy Bob!

We didn’t do a massive amount, but it was enough for poor Bob to get hot and sweaty. Considering it was 60 degrees and rainy… He’s out of shape. Poor Bob. We walked into the barn where he proceeded to knock over an old cup of coffee and make a mess. Bob, Bob, Bob…

And, in case ANYONE is concerned, Ranger got 2 handfuls of treats and a kiss on the nose before I left. He was in his field SCREAMING because his BFF Coco was in for a ride (forget the fact that he was NOT alone in the field, but it appears he doesn’t care about his other field mate).

 

Ranger Recap: 100% Bob

I’ll warn you in advance. This is a media free post written at 5am. Lol

I’m struggling with what to rename the Ranger Recap Series as it appears it will be Bob from here on out. Ranger is needed for other lessons (don’t worry, he did get his treats!) and Forrest is currently out of commission. Bob is stepping up and trying his tricks and scaring people along the way (lol).

This week we spent more time being intentional about flying changes. I had to work a little harder to get Bob going and forward, both at the trot and canter (lots of tripping was happening and he’s not the soundest of horses or he wouldn’t be sitting around for anyone to ride. He’s serviceable but wouldn’t pass a ppe). Much better once he started using his hind end vs dragging it around. At the canter, I had to do a little growling at him when i added leg to prove I was serious…

so changes. Bob sort of throws is entire body into it and my core is…not strong. I was getting the lift hand part but flying forward. I needed to approach it by thinking lean way back and keep adding leg. He’ll do them w/o the leg, but they are so freaking dramatic. After several tries and a break, we got a few nice ones.

We kept the jumps really low. Not because height was an issue, but because I didn’t want to have to think about the jump at all. So, when my trainer started to put a cross rail up to a larger on to start with, I told her she could keep it small so I could just master everything today. And this is how I didn’t stop at one fence last night.

We started with the cross rail (adding lines in the sand 3 strides out for a visual cue for me lol) and all was good–collect until 3 strides then leg, same other way. Repeated with outside single. Next thing you know, we’re jumping the outside single inside cross rail around to the inside quarter line skinny with no warning and all is good. Both directions.

So what changed? I’m not sure. We had one fence last lesson that we sort of ran of of gas and jumped a close short spot but I kept leg on him and Bob said, “OK! I’ll jump!” And since then, I know as long as I add that leg, he’ll jump. Our first left lead to the outside canter, I rode to the short spot which Sunday he would have stopped, BUT I kept leg on him and said jump and there was no way in hell he wasn’t jumping. Again, after that, no inkling of concern. We took short spots and long spots and Bob started filling in the pieces for me. I just squeezed.

I’m sure once we do lines we may have so rough moments, but I feel 1000% more comfortable on him. It’s almost like a switch was flipped and he realized I figured something out and he’s meeting me halfway. After the lesson, my trainer commented I could jump anything in the ring now. How I felt last night? Probably. You rise up to Bob or you crumble. I’m not crumbling.

Ranger Recap: hello Bob

This edition of Ranger recap takes an interesting turn as it features Bob rather than Ranger (Ranger did get treats).

I was able to sneak in a make up lesson today (Sunday) but the offer came with “we’ll try someone different.” I figured I’d ride Forrest and he was an option, but when given the choice between point and shoot Forrest and Bob, I chose Bob.

Now, I knew nothing about Bob, I just knew he didn’t remind me of Subi in looks and way of going and that was a good thing. Emotionally, I couldn’t handle chestnut ears.

So, meet Bob.

Bob was a bottle baby supposedly so he is a bit mouthy, but other than manners, he’s a good boy. And huge in comparison to Ranger and even Batt… lol

Much to my surprise, I was actually able to get on. Lol. I was worried that that might not happen 😂 but fear not, my foot did reach the stirrup without anyone dying. And we survived the hack portion of our lesson. Lol. Bob actually bends. Very strange. At the canter we worked on changes. Or rather, I started to cross the diagonal and Bob changed leads. I was told to set him up and he’d change the second I asked, but I did nothing. I started to turn and Bob took over. So yeah, must work on having control.

Bob says you don’t have control now either…

Then jumping… so yeah. This is where the wheels fell off a bit. [we mostly worked with the outside single both ways and then added the inside single]. So Bob isn’t a lesson horse. He likes support to the base and with long spots, squeezing to say, yes, we do jump this. Ranger just says, screw it I’ll make up for every last mistake you make, lady, just get me the treats!

So first time through, I forgot how to ride and we went wide turned last minute to the fence and stopped. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Took 2 attempts to get over then had it, the other direction, same issue. Not with going wide, but with not riding to the base. Bob also decided that if I wasn’t 100% committed, why should he help. So, crop encouragement, turn, too much pace, issue.. but we got through it.

Somewhere along the way, my trainer said the magic words. Collect the canter until 3 strides out and THEN squeeze like crazy. All of a sudden we jumped everything. Granted, it was 2ft and we were stringing 2 jumps together but it clicked.

Of course, before it clicked, I also had to make sure I wasn’t ruining him with my errors but was told no, just need to learn his buttons. Once I do, he’ll take me over 3ft and I’ll wonder how I ever found him hard.

I’m not sure why we ended up so color coordinated… 😂

So it appears Bob is the new ride for now. My trainer wants to watch my confidence, but I said if it looks like it’s taking a beating, just throw me on Ranger for a lesson or 2. I need the challenge and lets be honest, does Ranger really need to be jumping 2’9/3′? Probably not. Just because he can doesn’t mean it’s not time for me to move on at least temporarily.

So for now, hello Bob.

Hot and sweaty! 88 in late September! No thanks!