Posted by: shannonc | August 13, 2009

Put them up!

I can’t believe I said this.  The words “could we jump the skinny flowerbox?” also passed my lips.  Who is this stranger fitting into my breeches?

Good news item #1.  In our continuing quest for pony’s own saddle we met the Amerigo fitter before our lesson today, who spent a lot of time with us and put me in something for my lesson I did not expect to like,  but really did – their DJ model.  I’d ridden in a borrowed CC monoflap, and liked it a lot, but its tree will not fit the pony because of his scoopy back (that’s PC Amerigo lingo for “your horse has absolutely no topline, you freak, what kind of flatwork are you doing anyway?!”). 

Good news item #2.  Well, good from a proud of pony perspective, but not so good in general.  While the pony was on the cross ties getting his tracings, a big horse on catty corner cross ties had a pretty major explosion with the farrier working on her – rearing and flipping over with a great cacophony of ripping and clanking noises.  Accompanied by the frightened screaming of humans as well.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  It was a terrible thing to watch.  But the pony, who was the only other equine in the vicinity, held himself together admirably.  He worried and startled a little, but didn’t freak out.  I thought that was pretty brave.  I was shaking, but he wasn’t.

Good news item #3…the lesson.

We flatted some to play around with the saddle.  I liked the balance and access to the pony’s barrel, and he seemed to be thinking about relaxing and raising his back, so we pointed him at a couple of small jumps.  He went to the base!  Still a little hollow and slightly zoomy, and I still need more supple on the turns, but did I mention he went to the base?  He didn’t run off afterwards, and he offered a comfy bascule…seemed happy as a clam…I think he liked the saddle fit.

I’m getting ready to be sent out on another course when the aliens oozing into my soul take possession of my mouth and that’s when I hear myself actually asking to jump bigger.

Well, I mean, my reasoning is not bad.  I know that 2’6″ still looks big to us as a team.  At least one of us, preferably both but at least one!, needs to think it’s no big deal in a month.  I am utterly sure that if I go walk the BN stadium or xc at KO and my eyes are popping out of my head, we are not going to make it around, because he is going to be asking questions.  So let’s get used to this and let’s have some problems at home please. 

Naturally, even though I know this is right, in no way did I actually want to do it.  It’s like hacking with loose barking dogs and landscaping machinery and terrifying plants:  I know I have to get through it, but if I could just pay a small fee…say, a firstborn child…to skip to the other side – no contest!

So no one was more surprised than I was when the pony went around a couple of 2’6″-2’9″ courses like a little pony sportscar.  Not perfect, mind you.  He tried to stop at the castle again and I ugly-stuffed him. This time instead of becoming irretrievably riled afterwards, though, the next time he treated it like a normal fence.  He also looked hard at the skinny with the tall flowerbox fill (no rail, just a box the size of your typical brick wall with six inches of fake flowers sticking out), and I trotted it, damn me to hell, because neither one of us really enjoys trotting fences.  He peeked too at a striped yellow and white swedish oxer with flower fill underneath.  Anyway, you wouldn’t have confused the pony with a packer, but he went!  And he went happily, and he sat down in front of the jumps, and we got almost all of our leads, and I had a smile on my face the whole way around that you couldn’t have whacked off with a 2×4, because I could feel in the air how good he was.

The thirty percent good fences we’ve been averaging rocketed up to about eighty percent today. My favorite moment was getting in sticky to the barrels on a four stride bending line to an airy red oxer.  We landed and I asked him to move up and he did!, and got out beautifully.

The fitter was still there and I was sharing the lesson, so we had spectators.  At the end they told me they were forming a pony fan club.  His face is just so cute when he’s having fun, and he snaps his knees up like nobody’s business when he’s jumping well.  They had a good laugh over his new name too ;)

On top of it, I was assured that the pony wants to lift his back, as he really gave me moments today, but is a little afraid because he just hasn’t had the right thing on him yet.  He is sore in interesting places – the far sides of his back, for instance, as if the panels on the Innovation were too wide across for him.  There is a maybe-fit in the warehouse I could buy on sale (discontinuing the leather type) depending on how the math works out on the tracings (math?).  A chance anyway that I could get him into something good quickly.

Good pony!!  Now, more of this!  Four weeks left in the countdown!



  1. :)

  2. Go on with your brave bad self ;) Yay!

  3. Good for Shannon and Kisses!

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