Friday, October 18, 2013

Back boots and Central Districts 2*

So in the picture above you can see that Connie can cramp a little behind over her fences which isn't desirable in a jumper. Generally you want them to open up behind and almost extend the back legs. Butch has a super back end.
Exhibit A- Though looking at this I'm not sure if this normal for him or more extreme, but then looking at his boots it probably has to do with them. Those boots being so long enourage action behind and because he is already naturally very free behins over a fence it taked very little to encourage him. I ride him in bandages or boots behind that don't encourage any action because when my less smooth riding when I started riding him, I wanted to do everything to encourage him to jump up and round in front and wasn't so worried about the back end. Even now he takes rails in front and not behind. He has to have good coverage behind because he stands all over and kicks himself. Being smart and all that :/
That being said Connie does sometimes have a good back end, it's definitely gotten worse probably due to me killing the back end by sitting up too soon. I never really worried too much because you can always put on boots that encourage the right action and effectively train the trail. So last week I had a bit of a session with some various types of boots on Connie. I tried weight boots first. You are allowed to use a weight boot up to 1.5kgs and sometimes the weight just encourges them to try harder behind.
That made absolutely no difference at all to her so I then went to the big guns in legal boots and tried the Dodas. The dodas are very thick and a bit inflexible and had a ridge running down both sides on the inside. They work because when the horse goes to cramp up the boots grab and ecourage them to let loose behind. These boots work on everything, but not Connie. Her canter got angrier and she wasn't  happy bean but behind she did absolutely nothing different. Maybe I  should have tried over a bigger fence but if it doesn't work it doesn't and if it upsets her already ordinary canter then its not worth it.

Connie was first up at Central Districts in the 1.20m class because I missed my 1.10m class on Butch. Occupational hazard when you are grooming and busy in other rings. The wind was enough that I couldn't hear what was happening over the loud speaker. Anyway, Connie was a Boss and rocked around a technical course clear and relatively quick for second place. Lots of nose kisses for her. On the Sunday we had our first ring 1 start for the season in the 1.20m championship. Once again she was super as you can see below and popped over the water like a treat.

In the jump-off she was going really really well and then me the dumbass stuffed it all up. I was coming down to the last, a big old oxer and just never saw the distance and I think I just kept putting the hand brake on more so I never created a distance either so we sort of petered out to a stop. Soo dumb because she went round and cleared it easy. Dumb ass. Still she was a star and I love her.

With Butch I jumped the 1m class after missing the 1.10m class and it's really a lot too small. He jumped really nicely for a rail in the jump-off. In my Amateur the next day I just destroyed the canter and buried him for a rail and then had a circle to recenter myself and he jumped awesome though I had another rail. My boss thinks the circling is a subconscious sobatage so then I can just ride and not worry about the result which maybe true. She promises me to humiliate me somehow if I do it again. So mean! but probaby a bit necessary.

Sometimes with Butch I feel like I plug into him and it's super easy and smooth and relaxed and other times we just sort of are on a disconnect and I struggle with my eye and get too hard in my hands and high in my elbows. His last class was the 1.10m speed class and he cantered around awesome and I was really happy with him because he was super relaxed. He was a tool at the show fell head over heels in love with Connie and ended up yarded by himself far away and he was much nicer the next day.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

RDA Gymkhana

This weekend the only ESNZ show was far far away in Te Teko so we hit a local Gymkhana instead. It's always fun to get the babies out and have a cruisey day. Well sort of cruisey. Poor Anna was in the saddle from 9am to 1.30pm without a break, and I was shuttling horses nonstop to the ring. I only took Butch because Connie isn't allowed to jump that small any more.

Photos are all credit to Belinda Pratt photography. Finally some pictures of Butch where he looks nice. Until now I have been pretty ho hum about his jumping pictures. He just looks so good at the moment, he is in full bloom and he is just so much happier this year. So the aim was to get a time fault to make sure I went slow enough, he likes to go slow. I would like to point out he does work round in his flatwork but when we are jumping i let him travel in the frame he is comfortable in, even if it isn't the prettiest. It keeps him happy.

Anyway he just did the 1.10m class and he was super. Such a good pony. Stayed nice and relaxed and I only had my one time fault. So stoked with him because I was so nervous.

Incredible back end for an OTTB.

Video of the round.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why don't I share my stories more when I'm spending so much time riding and my blog is about horses.

My phone is clearly giving up the ghost because I swear the world isn't that blue tone. Hacking with Connie and Butch. Ponying is the best for double the exercise in half the time. Also Butch leads really well until some foals chased alongside the fence and the great blouse went to pieces. He is such a loser when he gets excited he doesn't snort like other horses he actually does this huge groan like he is constipated. It is both hilarious and bad for my riding because the laughing makes me weak.

He looks really well he is almost fat. For the first time since I brought him in January his ribs are covered. After having the winter off in eketahuna which is cold and wet, he has come back a new horse. He is hungry all the time which is great because he used to be a bit of a picky eater but he is always eating now which is so good in a hard keeper. Connie is also a good eater but she always has been the little fathead. It's so hard to keep her energy levels balanced with her weight because she needs to feel amazing to jump really well, but at the same time I need to keep her trim for her legs because she has a club foot and is slightly behind at the knee. Still she has a snail like metabolism and can put weight on in an instant but is so slow to lose it. Also Butc now likes cuddles which is nice because he has been so standoffish but we are starting to develop a really understanding which is very cool.

I flat him is spus because he always wants to travel bent slightly to the right which is why we struggle on left turns. It used to be in a course of jumps my ability to turn left would get worse and worse as we went. He turns better off of the outside leg really but because the crookedness and left turn fail is apparent in his flatwork I can work on it on the flat and the spur helps me keep his body straight/ bent left or right as required. He can do it and he feels beautiful, but in needing to keep him really quiet to the fences I leave the spurs in the tack box. He doesn't stop unless I make a complete mare of it and when I get him to the fence both softly and at a speed that feels as slow as going backwards he actually jumps in a round shape which is both amazing and so odd for him. It's lovely though when he is that soft to ride. Of course it's funny he jumps round when he travels so inverted and hollow between the fences. But it's Butch who is mentally a delicate flower so we compromise on many things. Mostly the compromise is in his favour!

Local Gymkhana this weekend so Connie isn't getting a start. She doesn't need to do small stuff anymore. I have decided that she wont enter anything smaller than 1.20m unless she needs the confidence because she doesn't jump well over small stuff and I need to be brave and suck it up and stop being a pussy. She cruises around the 1.20ms so it's no big deal really. Only to me. And I can do it. I'm capable!