Thursday, 3 July 2014

Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde

So before my horse went on a week's vacation at my mother's I wanted to get out and school Beaumont x-country one more time. So I convinced my coach that our Wednesday night lesson should be at Beaumont.
Isabel and Martini showing us how it's done, after the incident.

The mare started out really well.  We jumped the Pre-Entry and Entry parts of the train and then our coach had us jump the Pre-Training coop in the train.  Mare sailed over it like it was NBD.  We moved over to the new complex and did the Entry line a few times before she had us do the Pre-Training bench.  I will admit that the bench freaked me out a little so I let the mare duck out the first time.  But the second time I actually rode it and she just popped right over it.

The pipeyard also went superbly until we went for the Pre-Training coop with two half circles cut into the bottom.  I got the first actual fear response from the mare.  About 12 strides out she got a good look at it and started snorting and refused to move forward.  I got her going and she slammed on the brakes in front of the fence.  I made her walk up to it, she sniffed it and then we were good to go.  I planned to trot on the reapproach but the mare picked up a canter 4 strides out and carried me right to the fence.  The other girls also all had refusals at that fence, on much more experienced horses.

We also jumped the airplane on the first try.  Considering last time this jump brought out a rear-and-spin I considered it a vast improvement.

The jump she would not jump...
Then we moved onto the farmyard with the black and red feeder that caused us grief at the event.  Let's just say it caused us more grief.  After 2 run-outs my coach told me to hold onto the right side of her face and keep her moving no matter what.  What comes next is slightly fuzzy but the mare went to go left, I blocked the run-out and she reared straight up, cracking me in the nose.  She then went over to the right.  I think she tried to spin left but I had a hold of the right rein and she lost her balance because everyone says she just kind of crumpled.  Descriptions vary but I think she landed on my bad ankle and I cracked my head hard enough that I needed a new helmet.

Too bad Tipperary doesn't have a frequent buyers card.  This is my third helmet in the past 18 months.

I got back on and rode for another 20 minutes, schooling banks, the ditch and the water all without issue but it was decided that I shouldn't try the feeder again that day.

This day was the straw that broke the camels back.  I don't know how to deal with the mare and her tendency to flip a switch and turn into Mr.Hyde.   The fence is not big, it's not even that scary but once she got it in her head that she didn't want to jump it I was unable to convince her that that is an unacceptable answer.

It's time for me to get some more help than my coach can provide.  The mare is going for training for the month of August.  We will see how that goes and go from there.  It's disheartening to have to send her but something has to give, and I would prefer it not to be my body.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Blogger Hates Me....July Goals

There has been a ton that has happened in the past few weeks.  I had a fight with Blogger in which I wrote a big long post and it disappeared.  This frustrated me so much I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to start over.  So I'll start with a goals recap and hopefully my confidence in Blogger will be bolstered.

June Goals Recap

-Ride sidesaddle at least twice a week Only sorta happened, but I did actively practice
-No stirrup work (or bareback) for at least 45 min a week - Total Fail.  I think all month was only 45 min
-At least one no pressure ride Went for a couple of simple low key hacks.
-Complete an event with a number, even if it's K2 high (I've got two chances for this one) Beaumont was an E but Cochrane was a number! (and yes, it was crazy high)
-A jumping lesson (or show) without a single run-out or stop Lesson with Sam, and a 2 day clinic with Sandra Donnelly all with no-runouts
-DON'T FALL OFF - Another major fail.  Two falls in one week :(
-Make a concentrated effort to get fitter (so I don't run out of steam before the end of my course) - Not even a little bit.

July Goals

-No stirrup work or bareback at least once a week (I'm going to start small)
-Focus on dressage and getting more swing in her back and less tension in her neck
-Work on dragging objects
-Work out a financial and time plan for sending the mare for training in August
-Look into alternative therapies for my ankle