Let the jumping commence

Any thoughts that I had about being able to sit down and do some extra work this long weekend went out the window somewhat, time just seemed to fly but it was filled with good things namely family and ponies oh yes and 3 days on call for work!

The start of the weekend had me feeling a terribly bad mum again. I have always ensured that Fleur (and all my horses) receives regular visits from a specialist equine dentist and keep the check ups to the requested levels by them. Her last dental treatment was March last year before we moved to Wiltshire and I was told fine for a year so organised for her to be seen this week by the regular dentist at the yard James Clee EDT. I had seen him work last year and was impressed but as it was only a month after moving and Fleur being treated I didn’t get her done then. So yes imagine my shock to be told that although some work was visible on the lower teeth her uppers looked like they hadn’t been touched in years and were cutting her mouth badly to the point it was surprising she hadn’t developed an abscess. The poor girl hadn’t been showing any outward signs and has actually been schooling really well, it just shows to me how much she wants to work and tries for me which although is great to know she has blatantly been in pain but without sticking my had up inside her mouth which I obviously wouldn’t do I wasn’t to know. Still doesn’t make me feel any better though but lots of corrective treatment later (and will be getting a 6 month checkup) and our plans changed again but at least given a few days without a bit her mouth should heal up nicely!

I was originally going to go showjumping on Friday at West Wilts but that was an immediate no. I instead borrowed an English hackamore so I could work her without a bit in her mouth. I XC her with a kineton noseband and have previously schooled her in a standard bitless bridle so I was confident she would work well in it. Friday I schooled her in it and went well so Saturday I decided to do some fast work and have a play over the small XC fences on the farm to see if I had brakes as I wanted if possible to still attend a XC clinic today (Monday) that my RC was running due to Larkhill being next week. Suffice to say brakes were in place as was steering phew so decided that we would still head to the clinic.

Today was the clinic at Boomerang, which is just XC schooling heaven, essentially a huge 40 acre field stuffed full of every XC jump imaginable. With Larkhill looming close the plan was to have a nice confidence boosting outing and that is exactly what we had even if still using the hackamore. There was a bit of a confidence wobble at the log with step into water but with some perseverance and quiet encouragement she quickly regained confidence and was jumping in nicely. We jumped a large number of novice fences including stringing together some testing combinations. I did actually wear my helmet cam (read that as Hubby’s snowboarding head cam that I have nabbed for the eventing season 😉 ) for the first time but was very good at forgetting to actually turn it on when I was jumping, doh! Hopefully I will remember at Larkhill especially as BE have granted me permission to share with you the resulting videos 😀

Here is the short amount of video I did manage! Youtube has unfortunately decided to cut off a significant proportion from all 4 sides so going to have to try figure that out!


Oki not wanting to feel left out also got to try some jumping. She had done a small amount last year but I took the decision to start from scratch and see what happened. We started with trot and canter poles a set of each side by side to save time and effort and then built them up to fences. What can I say other than she was keen and rather enjoyed it I think 😀

This was literally our first and second jumps. The first time she caught me a bit by surprise as I was expecting her to back off and well she didn’t!

When she started to just lift her legs a bit higher rather than actually jump we moved to canter poles and a straight bar which she happily popped over as you can see and I rather like her natural technique as she is nice and tidy infront. I will freely admit currently she is moving away from the fence a bit faster than I would like but seeing as we jumped a grand total of about 5 fences I believe that is allowed at this stage and obviously will be worked on 😉

Her flatwork in general is coming on very nicely and I keep forgetting she has only been here 4 weeks. The canter is showing huge improvement (the below video is of her worse rein) as she learns to bend through her entire body. The trot work is normally more consistent than this video shows as well now but having just finished jumping we didn’t have chance before our friendly video holding assistant had to disappear to show the better work which did follow after.

20130401-203333.jpgI’m really pleased with her progress and hopefully her first very low key outing will follow in the upcoming weeks but first just a small matter of Larkhill with Fleur and hopefully a saddler visit beforehand.





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