I set my course on Monday knowing that I wouldn't have time late int he week, and I put out lots of fill for Henry. I want him to be really prepped for his upcoming shows. As I was setting the jumps, I realise it would be really handy to have 2 extra sets of jump stands, and an extra set of cavalletti blocks. I have a set of heavy metal wings which are fine, but awkward and not the safest so I would like to replace them one day. My lighter stands make life so much easier!
|These ones! Not complaining too loud, they were free.|
For once I decided to ride Coolie first and I made the decision to ride him in his dressage bridle. Usually I jump him in a universal bit, and use rings on his breast plate but he doesn't love that bit and I want him more into the contact when we jump, especially over show jumps. At home this is generally fine, but I want him to be responsive enough at shows to use his snaffle. He will never go XC in a snaffle though, far too much adrenaline!
Well, pony was on FIRE. I kept the jumps low, and worked on riding forward to the jumps and his adjustability in the softer bit. He was really good, listening well for the most part. He was nice and responsive, bu my aides definitely feel more muffled in this bit. It's an odd feeling, like he can hear me but it's fuzzy. It's something we will work on more, and I will aim to show him in his snaffle when we go jumping next in a few weeks.
|Ah Mum, dis jump too small, k?|
Over all he felt really good, and jumped well. I think he needs slightly bigger jumps to really focus on and I was having a hard time getting me right, but it wasn't too bad. He felt like a fat pony next to sleek, tall Henry! Poor fellow, he's actually very sporty!
Henry was second and he warmed up fine, though not as on my aides as normal. We started trotting very a very small cross rail and he was a bit backed off, but I put it down to the cones at the base. He jumped fine though, if a little less energetic than normal. We gradually built up the course and he was fine, but really not with me. Usually he is so into jumping and last night he was really hard to keep together and not in front of my leg at all. It was really hard work.
He knocked a few rails and I thought maybe the jumps were too small, although they were all set to about 65cm. So not huge, but not too tiny. He jumped new fill with a bit more enthusiasm but still not his normal self. I was starting to get a bit worried although there was nothing obviously wrong. After a few good curses we called it a day and I was feeling it, having worked hard to ride my beast.
|This is new, and normally would result in a lot more air...|
I hopped off and Henry immediately did a HUGE pee. Poor boy had been busting! I wouldn't want to jump with a full bladder either. Hopefully next time we jump he wont need to go so bad...
|Pictured: me working way too hard.|
Oh, and even with a full bladder and minimal effort, Henry still makes jumps feel tiny. I need to remember that!
|At least the jumps look too small for him!|