Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little Valley Farm 22.03.010

We toddle out to LVF on Friday for a play, and apart from a white filler which he spooked (VERY quickly) at, he was happy to pop over the little jumps, and we finished with a short play in the water.

He was quite concerned at the prospect of jumping off the cliff (all 20cm or so of it) into the water (mud) but we eventually succeeded.

So, while we were on a roll having taken him out somewhere every day for the past several, it was off to LVF for another play.

I was absolutely thrilled with him....he was just like any other normal young horse, and even managed to simply stare standing stock still at the trains.

Having popped around some baby jumps, we put them up a bit, and built oxers. He was GREAT! really happy with how he went, apart from one wee mis-hap which resulted in me hitting the deck....ooops: After we had put the jumps up I cantered in (probably a little blase) to a white picket with white rail oxer, having stupidly not popped him over it as a baby baby jump.

At the last minute on the take off stride he spooked and ducked out....and I was gone.

We popped over it a few times, very spookily but he gradually became more confident over it .... so obviously he will need some conditioning to those scary white fences.

After that he happily jumped around the other fences.

Then we took them for a play over a couple of ditches and into the water jump. He was such a good boy, and even started to take me to both the ditches and the drop off the bank into the water.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kihikihi Show Jumping 20.03.010

Well, I actually got out of bed, put the horse on the truck, and went....yay: go me!

He was a little googly eyed, staring into every little moving speck on the horizon, but settled ok with a wander around on the lead.

Time to get on...gulp: oh dear; the timing of a polo match next door was not really opportune! However, I did manage to get my brave pants on, and actually mount the poor pony.

He was very distracted, but I managed to walk around a bit, and even managed some trotting, until something set him off and we got a bit of passage.....which is actually yucky cos he is tense and stiff and his head is up, and he is off in his own lala land. OK...back to walk, and did manage to walk around for a bit longer before he got so tense and bunched up I knew it was time to call it quits.

Held him for a while and he did gradually improve; not that he was leaping anywhere, just a bit distracted.

Back into the pen for another blob out (during which time he watched the polo match).

Back on, and he was SO much better. He trotted soft and round, and even though he was going slow, he didnt feel behind my leg, and was very rhythmic. Same at the canter on both reins. yippee.

I even popped him over the X bar practice jump, and then got really brave and did the upright.

Enough for a while, so off I got again and held him until the jumping was finished.

Then Wendy had the brainwave of asking if we could pop the jumps back down when everyone had finished and toddle our ponies around.

I was hesitant at getting back on, thinking I had already done well to walk trot canter and do a couple of practice fences, but Wendy convinced me to give it a go....I am so glad I did. He was really good, trotting around and just popped over the jumps - despite me being an unco blob on top. And he was even better when I managed to maintain a canter, although even if he came back to trot he was good.

He seemed (and probably me too) to focus more on something other than what was going on around him when he jumped.

Yay: progress!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lesson LVF 05.03.2010

Photos by the wonderful Kate of GeeGee photography

His second time to Little Valley Farm; the first being a couple of weekends ago when I got Saarin to ride Willie with him, and he was basically, just like any other 'normal' young horse.

This time however, although Willie was in the yards awaiting his lesson, he was on his own. He became distracted by other horses working, splashing into the water jump, random little dogs, and a TRAIN. At times he grew to about 20 + hands!, but no skedaddles, no spooks and no naughty behaviour.

In honesty, I was the one who became tense and reacted to the situations anticipating bad behaviour....which actually didnt eventuate.

So, all in all I was thrilled with his behaviour, and I gradually became more confident (slightly anyway!)

He did some lovely trot work, we worked on his canter, and finished with some small jumps which I think he really enjoyed. He certainly didnt seem to spook at the fillers, and just popped over whatever he was asked.

So.....yay; more progress

Long Time No Blog

Well, it seemed for quite a while that my records were simply illustrating the principles of one step forward, two back, three steps forward, one back, and so forth.

However, I really feel now that we are finally making progress. Well, it has (again) probably more to do with my mental state, than the horse. There will still be (and are) glitches and backward steps along the way, but I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, and I really dont think it is the proverbial train coming.

So, I have now set myself some goals to aim towards, and will be thrilled if they are reached.

Here's hoping the progress continues....