Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jumping Lesson on a Red-Head

This past weekend a friend of mine messaged me, asking if I would like to join a jumping lesson on Sunday morning riding his horse. I didn't have to think twice and agreed to it, happy at the chance to get some instruction as well as to ride a "new" horse. Admittedly, my excitement soon turned to a bundle of anxiety and nerves, as I had never really seen this horse perform much before.

Rookie the "rockstar"



The irony in this is that my friend's horse is a barrel prospect and hadn't been jumped much (maybe one or two single fences). So it was going to be a bit of a learning curve and I wasn't sure how his gelding would perceive the new change of work. I was promised the horse, Rookie, was sane and wouldn't kill me, so at least I had that...


The lesson itself was really fun - I was able to ride with two of the most fun and hilarious people ever and Rookie was a solid and safe dude. He certainly was not a jumper by trade and was pretty flat with a non-existent bascule, but he didn't hesitate or show any kind of uncertainty to his new job.

There were two different variations of the course we did:







Pretty simple elements, given the fact two of the horses in the lesson were green to this whole jumping business.

After Rookie and I sorted out more of a forward button (he likes to jog and lope like a real Western horse) and were able to amp him up a bit, we worked more on trying to get him to utilize his back. Of course, with jumps that are only about 2' high, it's a difficult task but we tried nonetheless. The other thing we worked on was bend in the corners - he really struggled to the left and had a hard time softening for me.
Coming down the line.
But other than that, he was totally game and reminded me a lot of Suzie. It was a pleasure to ride him and I was happy at the chance to try him out. I felt pretty good too, considering I rarely ride other people's horses, much less jump them on the first go round!



Heading down the two-stride line.

Getting a nice little jump at the Swedish.

Start of the line.


So no, he isn't a fantastic jumper. Will never make it to the 3'9" division and probably won't be jumped much more in his life, but I think it's wonderful that his owner reached out and gave Rookie an experience most rodeo horses don't get. Having an all-around horse is what it's all about for me and the fact that Rookie took to it like a pig in mud was just icing on the cake.

The interesting thing about Rookie is that he is a lot like Suzie in the way he jumps and responds to the jumps, so I was able to get some instruction and information on how to fix Suzie as well as Rookie. I can't wait to apply it next year and see how it all pans out!

16 comments:

  1. Looks like you had fun on the Rookie! It's nice to have a horse who has a lot of experiences and doesn't do just one thing. I miss jumping and would like to do it again sometime. Right now I don't have a horse that is steady enough or has good enough legs but maybe someday... Glad you got to have a good experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, sorry to hear that <3 Maybe one tell you will have one!!
      And yes, it is super fun to have a dependable horse that just goes. :) Makes my job as a rider easier haha.

      Delete
  2. That looks like so much fun! Also, at the risk of being creepy/stalker-ish I know that barn, it's the same one I used to ride at when I worked in the area - thanks for the pics, they bring back some happy memories :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's actually really cool!! What year did you board/work there? I'm wondering if I ever met you before.

      Delete
    2. I worked as a seasonal provincial park ranger there forever ago, 2002-2005 I think. I met a nice lady who let me ride her horses at that barn on the weekends, but I can't for the life of me remember her name or even the coaches name. Lots of trail rides and the lessons were dressage lessons...ha ha I have a terrible memory for people but of course I remember the barn and the horses!

      Delete
    3. Aw man, I wish you remembered the horses!
      I wasn't riding at Copperside until about 2008-2009, but I bet my friends would have known you!

      Delete
  3. what a cool opportunity for both of you! i'm always so impressed by how game you are to just go out and jump around like nbd, whether it's on a new horse or if it's been ages since the last time lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're just little jumps - nothing special LOL.

      Delete
  4. We love your super equestrian blog, so why not come and post it for more coverage at Haynet, the UK's No1 Equine Blogging Network! Come and visit us at www.hay-net.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  5. looks like a fun lesson and Rookie has the cutest face.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rookie looks like a sweet guy! I'm glad that you had fun.

    ReplyDelete
  7. He's so cute! Glad you had a great time :)

    ReplyDelete