Posted by: shannonc | July 3, 2009

Kiss THIS!

Oh, my.

Yes, it was nice to have a lesson this morning that didn’t take place in the rain.  It was the first ride on a clear day in recent memory.  But who is this pony?

Pony (on 6 stride line):  this one’s 5.  See?  *Zoom!*

Me:  uh, 6 would have been fine…the first one is twelve inches tall.

Pony:  where’s the next one?

Me:  *half halting* there’s a corner here…might wanna come back a little…

Pony:  *accelerating* back, schmack.  OOOOH.  An oxer!!  *overjumps by 9 inches*

Me:  *madly regathering reins*  Pony!!!

Pony:  where’s the next one, where’s the next one?  How about that backwards panel there?

Me:  *halting*  Pony, pay attention!

Pony:  *grabbing the bit and taking off* I know what I’m doing!  Just hang on!

Me:  Pony, you do not know what you’re doing!  You’re running like a bat out of hell!

Pony:  but you kept saying you wanted me to be confident!  You said you wanted me to take you to the jumps!

Me:  let me clarify.  What I had in mind was more prop plane, and less space shuttle!

Pony:  look, lady.  I appreciate what you’ve done for me and all…but let’s lay our cards out on the table here.  I’ve decided that pilots are wildly overrated.  Have your people contact my people.  We’ll work something out.

Me:  I am your people!!!

Pony:  shhhh…I’m trying to jump!

I have to say that in all my years of riding, before today I’d never had a lesson in which the instructor chanted, on the approach to each fence, “take your leg off, take your leg off…”  The pony was looking for the long spots, jumping big, and not wanting to come back.  Yes – this is the very same pony from before, the chicken one!  We did have a runout, but it was because we came to a looky fence too quickly and he was too much on his forehand.

Taking my leg off and having him flying out the front was giving me this horrible backwards feeling.  Ugh.  He wasn’t worried at all.  He was having way too much fun.

Eventually, I demoted us to trotting.  And that sort of worked better – he picked up the canter a short 2 strides out usually, and patted the ground at the last.  It was still not pretty, with him throwing his head way up on approach, but he was jumping in fine form…fine, Novice-sized form…and making me fight for speed and balance the whole way. 

Then we went out on the xc course for a pony xc check-in before this weekend’s event, and got pointed at the BN log.  Which was really an Elem log, a nice 2’3″.  He came in a nice balanced canter, then became a wigglemonster 4 strides out – mostly evading left (that left shoulder…*&@^^!!).  I got behind him and rode his tail over the thing and he ran off afterwards, then came back the next time and accelerated at it.  A hard check on landing made him stuff his ears in my nose.  Pony was NOT HAPPY about being controlled.  Meredith said, jump this one instead, pointing at the N log.  The way things are going…are you sure?  I asked, visions of flipping over it dancing in my head.  Yep, it’ll ride much better, she said.  Zoom.  Uh huh.  Okay, how about plan B, back to trot.  Either log, she said.  Just make it happen.

Trotting the smaller log went well and I was ready to stop.  That flossing my teeth with his ears thing really put a scare in me.  The pony doesn’t have all that much neck.  But Meredith had other ideas. 

Now come back in canter, she said.  How about you just sign my death warrant? I thought.  Umm…really?  Yeah, she says.  Let’s see how fast he learns.  So, I canter (leaping into it from the walk, which was the way we cantered all day).  I try the N log this time, hoping it will back him off maybe.  He canters it quietly, except he surprises me by standing off the distance.  I feel a little bit like I just jumped something at 3’6″, but I know it must have been 2’6″, and I ask just to make sure.  Nope, she says.  That’s Novice.  Full Novice?  I ask, casting a furtive, panicked glance over my shoulder and thinking, if the BN log was 2’3″, the N one must have been undersized too – right?  Oh, well…maybe not, she answers.  It might be 2’10”.  Well, of course…*gulp*…of course, only 2’10”.  What was I thinking?  And he, uh, jumped it like it was 2’10”?  I get a little smirk.  That’s a scopey pony you have there.  Huh.  Maybe it felt 3’6″ for a reason.

Now I’m all set, except for having no idea how to make a plan for the courses this weekend when I’m clueless about what I’ll be riding.  Bold, forward, just backed off enough by new fences that he’s perfect pony?  Pony that pulls me out of my seat and has to be checked back by a skydiving bungee cord pony?  Pony who’s spooked by everything?  Run backwards pony?  Run forwards pony?  Would the real pony please stand up before I give up riding altogether??  We’re not even going to *discuss* what my equitation felt like today.  Meredith was telling me the courses were well ridden, but let’s just say I’m glad there was no video camera at this lesson!

I’ll say one thing for pretty sure.  I think the pony himself picked his new name today.  Hey, you up there, he said.  Kiss this!



  1. You had too much drama today! From crazy lesson to Stephen lodging fishing equipment in to his hand!!!! At least it wasn’t one of US in the ER from riding incidents!!!!

  2. Hey, I heard about that too! Good luck this weekend!!!

  3. Love the new name! Absolutely perfect. :)

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