Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Another video

I thought I would post this video I made last winter about my jumping exploits with Santana and my daughter and my friend Angie. As you can see Santana hadn't done much jumping so we were keeping them small, and of course he had the draw reins on. I only used them a couple of times.

Jumping This & That from Jooles1111 on Vimeo.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Best Laid Plans

Well, my few days off didn't work out quite as planned as far as riding goes. Thursday poured with rain and sleet all day then it snowed overnight so we woke up to a blanket of snow on Friday morning. Friday was quite warm though and most of the snow had melted by lunchtime so I managed to sneak a quick ride. The farm was so wet that all we could do was go out round the block but it was better than nothing.

As my riding plans were thwarted on Thursday I used the spare time to make a video which I have been trying to upload to Youtube ever since. I finally managed it this afternoon by saving in a poor quality wmv format.

When I look back to what I was doing with Santana in the early summer I'm amazed. We seem to be going backwards, which is not good!

On our ride on Saturday we went round the roads again and when we got back to the farm we walked round the outside of the front field. As we turned the corner, something spooked Santana from behind and he was off. I managed to turn him in a circle and then kept him going round and round until he got fed up with it. When I say something spooked him, there was actually nothing, he just imagined a monster. He never used to be like that at all so its a bit unnerving and unpredictable at the moment.

Today I just rode round the circle, trotting mainly with a couple of canters and it was all good apart from first getting on board when he was very tense and jumpy. As soon as we walk of he relaxes. I think he sees my right foot coming over his back and it frightens him, although its not as if anything has happened to make him scared other than the time when I fell off on the ice.

I just can't wait for the better weather and drier ground so I can get some more riding and schooling in and get back to where we were.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Another Birthday

I'm sure as I've got older birthdays come round far quicker than they did when I was young. I seem to remember it being an eternity between birthdays. Nowadays they whizz round far too fast and I don't like it at all!

So, its my birthday today, and I'm sitting here at work wondering why I didn't take the day off and spend it riding. What was I thinking?!

Oh well, I have Thursday and Friday off so I can look forward to the other end of the week.

Keeping my fingers crossed for some half decent weather.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Sea of Mud

After the frozen wastes of last weekend when I only managed to ride for half an hour on Sunday afternoon because the mud had turned to concrete with a layer of ice on top, this weekend was slightly warmer but, inevitably, very muddy. I rode yesterday, but I was far too tense and nervous which obviously transmitted to Santana and he spooked and flinched at everything imaginable. I held him too tight and sat too rigidly, it was altogether not very impressive. Poor Santana, he did his best for me but I wasn't giving him clear signals.

Today, after retrieving him from the sea of mud around his field gate, there was an altogether different vibe. Elby held him for me while I mounted from the hay bale. He flinched while I found my other stirrup, but was fine as soon as we walked off. I made a concerted effort to relax, to give with my hands and to sit back. We managed to pass the area in "the pit" where the monsters hide with only a cursory glance. We managed a lovely swinging trot on both reins, we cantered on the left rein and then ... our worst bugbear, cantering on the right rein. The first time he got his front legs right but the back legs wrong. We tried again and he got it right, cantered half a circuit and trotted the rest. Then we had another go, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke and he did it right again. We cantered for a circuit and a half, no leaning, no pulling, just nice controlled cantering. By jove, I think he's got it!

I don't want to speak too soon but I really feel as though he's so much more comfortable in the Pennwood saddle that it could have been the other saddle which was causing the problem all the time.

All in all a lovely, confidence giving ride. Just what you need on a Sunday.