Like Prairie. Being a beastie. At four feet.
After our super fun jump sesh with the scary liverpool, I told S I wanted to get her in the irons over some fences again so she could feel how responsive the mare was being. Maybe then we could collectively identify some goals and strategy for our next few weeks of rides. In a serendipitous twist, Supermom mentioned she'd be up for a visit with camera in hand - which meant we'd get some good pics of the ride (better than my iphone snaps anyway).
I dragged out a few fences (rolling poles with my feet to do a unexplained explosion in the slug population and their preference to attach to all the poles). I set up the ever-scary gate, a 3 stride line on the diagonal, and oxer on the far long side. I figured that was all S needed in order to string endless hunter courses of line/diagonal/line/diagonal/line.
S warmed up over a few cross rails and P2 demonstrated that she is still leery of jumps (especially small ones) but she also gave S a glimpse of her new found adjustability (so long as she's in the twisted full cheek)
|go hocks, go!|
Finally we put up the rails a little and started asking for some courses. Changes are still.... unreliable, though they are improving if she doesn't get them right away, which is nice to see. S let her work at a slightly "bigger" stride instead of trying to cram her into a tidy 12' measured pace. All was well and Prairie was doing fabulously, aside from a propensity to smack the gate LITERALLY every time she jumped it.
Poles? no problem?
Gate? that needs to be hit.
|She did better over the gate when we added ground line.|
|Over jumping... and hanging her knees|
|(tidy little hind toes)|
|(the frame worthy shot of the day)|
|Final height 3'6" in front, 4'1" back rail|
|The mare makes everything look small - so here's a scale shot with Supermom. Also, Supermom would want me to say that she's not "that short" the jump is just monster huge. :)|
That's going to be fun when we master (or maybe just learn about) the other aspects of jumping a technical course. Or when we figure out how to collect our canter... buwahaha
Prairie was sweated through pretty thoroughly so after a few minutes on a loose rein it was off to the wash rack for a scrub down. I will say, I was pretty happy with how quickly she recovered and got her breath back. At least one of us is in shape...
|loosey goosey wind down|
Ultimately I really do not expect Prairie to be a super successful hunter, but I do think that she might be fun to spin around a Jumper ring. I'd enter in Jumper divisions for this show, but I think it's wiser to get our feet wet with some slower, simpler courses with straightforward lines and less scary jumps.
So, Hunter Land it is.
We'll get a full day of schooling in on the Friday before the show, and if they mare feels rock solid we can always adjust our entry, or add a couple Jumper courses if we're feeling cocky. Mostly my goal is to get the mare some experience over fences and away from home. And also get me showing over fences. It'll be her first show away from our happy little schooling show park and my first time showing over fences since college. I'm sure that entering an Equitation Division is a brilliant idea (eye roll).
In conclusion September is booking up! The 7th-9th we'll be in Hunter Land. The 14th-16th I'm taking P2 to visit Summer Camp for a weekend clinic. Then the 22nd is a quick little one day dressage show east of the mountains (assuming the current wild fires don't burn up the show ground).
Bah. Of COURSE I just bought nice white full seats and a new dressage coat. Of course I did, now that I need tan knee patch breeches and a huntcoat. BAH. Every time I think "self, now you have everything you need" I go and enter shows in a new discipline.... sigh.