Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride the horse you have

I'm really lucky you know. My family set out to breed a horse and after losing the Hanoverian X colt that we had to a growth plate injury we breed Connies mum to the Andalusian stallion down the road. And yes he was a nice stallion but lets be honest Andy TB crosses can come out pretty funky looking. We got lucky with Connie she is a very attractive mare with her greatest flaw being slightly back at the knee which means I'm always careful what surfaces I jump her on. She was an ugly duckling I have to say and she still has this tiny petite pretty little head which is a surprise, but she is a nicely balanced functional sort of horse.

The biggest problem I'm having with Connie is that every so often I chase her to a ridiculous spot and it comes from the fact that last season before she went out we had very little collection. We either moved up to a fence or stalled and did an awkward jump. I'm riding a different horse now to the horse I had last year and it's me that has to make the adjustment t ride the horse I have. She is so much stronger, to the point that she is sometimes a strong ride (hence the change to the waterford- it is a lot better than the rubber snaffle I think I would have no horse in that once I got in the ring) But she can collect and hold herself together and it's time I got a little tougher about her doing what I ask of her instead of bringing her along baby slow. She is seven after all but it is still only her second season of jumping and she only did half a season last year before she got put out by injury.

The other problem was me. It's not until I just upgraded with Kate that I even really thought of doing it with Connie, and after her confident performance in the 1.05m championship which she took completely in her stride I realise Connie is ready for way more now. So I'm really looking forward to her first 1.10m classes. Had a little jump play in the paddock today and she popped over a 1.20m upright just as easy as anything and I was like wow I have to stop treating her like the awkward ugly duckling she used to be and really ride this very nice little horse I have here. I have so much to work on though I really need to practice jumping now because just showing gets me in bad habits really quickly, mostly in terms of chasing spots. I'm trying to substitute aggression and speed for the bravery I'm lacking to the bigger fences and I just need to chill out and stop dropping out a stride to the fences while maintaining a confident powerful canter. Man you guys riding is complicated!


  1. It is hard not to chase, particularly to the bigger fences - I've been there myself. But you know what you need to do and have a plan - it's all in the relaxation and waiting. You've got some very nice mares to work with!

  2. Yay Connie! You have the opposite issue of me, if I see the distence is wrong to a big fence I freak out and take everything away. Poor Hux! Thankfully he has a huge jump and just goes "Mmm ok mom you suck and I'll save our butts." Yea got to work on that before I can move up at all. :)

  3. Yep, it's complicated for sure. I do like your bay mares and am so jealous that you get to jump 1.1m!