Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pony torture (aka grid jumping)

Poor Misty-moo. I still haven't had much time to ride her, but I'm really going to aim for consistently riding at least twice a week. I need to make time for that because I feel so much better after a ride!

Misty had an interested buyer come down for the second time to ride her. Sadly, they still haven't gotten back to me so I think it's a no-go. She wasn't super good jumping for the girl (though she was super good on the flat, I was impressed. Spurs might have helped a lot in that...). Besides the interested buyer jumping her, she hasn't been jumped in a long time... Since November probably when we went to that show. So I'm not surprised she was sticky about jumping the terrifying barrels with the prospective buyer, and if you accidentally hit her in the mouth just once (heaven forbid) then she bunny hops the next several times, afraid that she's going to get hit in the mouth again. She finished out good, but she had to be ridden on a loose rein and the girl was used to her pony taking off after a jump. Ha, that would NEVER be a problem with Misty.

So I decided I needed to jump Misty more, since I am selling her as a jumping horse. She just needs more miles and she'll be fantastic. I've been told by multiple trainers that "I ride like a trainer, so I need to ride my sale horses more like a beginner" meaning I need to do less "helping" the horse and more sitting back and letting them make the mistakes so I can correct them and hopefully eliminate those mistakes (you know, real training).

Right now, that means getting Misty to need less leg to a jump. She needs a ton of leg in jumping. Which is fine with me, I'm used to horses needing leg (except Jetta) so I've got that part covered. But a junior rider isn't going to want (or possibly even be able) to give her as much leg as I do.

So I set up a grid. I've never jumped her through a grid, though I'm sure her lessor did over the summer. Lines are one of the hardest things for Misty. She sees the second jump and gets distracted by it so she wiggles her way up to the first jump, lands crooked and wiggles to the second jump. I'm hoping grids are going to help with that straightness and hesitation.

Four jumps (including the scary barrels) with the last fence set at 2'6" and the first cavaletti was set low so I could trot her in the first couple times. All the fences were set at a single stride, I think next time I'll set it with some single and some two stride fences. And bump up the last fence to a 3'.

The first couple times in you would think Misty had never seen a jump before. But once she got a good look at the barrels she decided it was fine and could jump everything. I was glad I put wings on the barrels because she almost decided to go around them a couple times, then decided she'd have to jump the wings anyways, so she might as well just jump the barrels. She still needed a lot of leg, but by the end she was really keeping a nice pace, not looking at the jumps and getting those one strides perfectly. She has a really short stride so you definitely need to keep a more forward pace to make her fit those strides (I think I even set the strides shorter for her).

Overall, a really good ride that I need to do more!

And some more cute pictures from when Misty decided that the flag in the corner was terrifying so we had to do some desensitization:

"Ok, this isn't actually that scary"

So much pony torture

Her face after playing with the flag. Poor thing.


  1. She's such a cutie! Can't believe she hasn't sold yet.

    1. I can't either. But I guess I can't complain that much since I still get to play with her and love on her!

  2. ha life is so tough for poor Misty - those barrels, the horror! lol seriously tho, that grid looks like a perfect exercise, glad she figured it out so well!