I swear this kid spends most of his time thinking I’m a ridiculous human. Which is ironic because I spend a lot of my time thinking he’s a ridiculous horse. Honestly, we’re both right.
But anyway, on Saturday this big kid did a thing… his very first “formal” jumping session! He’s hopped over a couple logs before and I pointed him at a few jumps when we went on our last off property outing, but this was his first actual structured at-home jump school.
Last week I set up a very basic grid (a trot-in one stride) with just poles on the ground and trotted him through that a few times on one of his hack days. Since the SO was here this past Saturday and he actually wasn’t in a hurry for once, I asked him to be my groundperson so I could ride Presto through the grid and have SO build the elements for us as we went along. Kind of an essential step that is a real PITA to do while you’re alone and without a groundperson, unless you like getting on and off a billion times. I do not.
We trotted through it once just with poles, then built the second jump to a crossrail (which he just trotted over like he was bored), then progressed to both jumps being crossrails.
Then a crossrail to a little vertical.
Then the vertical became a wee oxer.
Then the oxer got a little bigger and wider.
If anything he was a little over eager most of the time, wanting to take a canter step over the trot pole coming in, which combined with his big gangly stride made the distance short. But for his first attempt at anything like this, I was super pleased with him. He was forward and straight and seemed to understand it right away, like it was easy for him and he enjoyed the game. Next time I’ll modify it a bit, giving him more trot poles coming in to see if we can’t take that little canter step out before the crossrail.
It was also SO’s first time ever setting jumps for me so he got to learn all this fun lingo like crossrail, vertical, ground line, trot pole, oxer, etc. Have to admit, he took to it pretty fast too. We’ve got two quick learners in the house. AND, he hated a couple sets of rickety standards and rusty jump cups so much that he was like “where can I buy you new ones, this is awful”. So ya know… I uh… did him a favor and sent him a link to some standards and cups. I’m a nice person like that.
I definitely do need some more standards though, I don’t really have enough to make a full course with oxers, and I will certainly never refuse someone who wants to give them to me. I may have also sent him links to some flowerboxes and fillers too. Ya know, just in case he wants to be extra thorough.
I think we might have a jompjomp pony on our hands though, y’all!