At the last minute I decided that Rosey was ready enough to fit in the BN group for the Steuart Pittman clinic I had signed up for. St. Augustine Pony Club is putting on some great clinics at a very reasonable price.
This clinic was going to combine stadium and x-country which sounded like fun. Rosey was a tad bit nervous the first 10 min but nothing more than wanting to trot fast. I find it very helpful to just let them have a good canter and relax without fighting with them. I think after her experience at fairhill she was not sure what to expect. She settled in really quickly.
Rosey has been at my farm less than 2 months and her progress is impressive. She picks up everything so quickly and is very eager to please. I hadn’t ridden her as much as I should have been simply because first Tara had to get her ready to event so I let her do the riding, then I went away and now I am sick. Thankfully, the training seems to stick and I just get on and pick back up where we left off.
Our clinic last night was a big jump for what we have been doing in terms of complexity and height. We started out just jumping an x-rail back and forth and then came around through the triple which was a combination of three verticals set at a long 2 strides for Rosey! She was super good here and seemed to understand this exercise.
Next, we put together a little course from the triple, turn right over a vertical, then turn left to a square oxer and down the three stride line of two verticals. Rosey was pretty funny she wasn’t quite mentally in the game yet and when we got to the vertical she sorta ran through it which was just a green mistake. We came back and she jumped it really nicely. She loves the big square oxers! The three stride line looked like a drunken line but we got it done. She was just a bit green but really listening.
We did a few variations of this course and eventually added another ramped oxer that was about 3ft which was the biggest she had jumped but it proved to be quite easy for her. I really liked how Steuart had us trying to just be light in the tack and let the horses find the jumps in a forward rhythm. Don’t make a big move and try not to make a lot of changes. In the beginning, he said I was doing a good job but to remember to not sit and drive when it isn’t needed which is my hardest thing to let go of. I am so used to riding the greenies that when they start acting really green I want to really help them out when I need to just let them figure it out and make their own mistakes.
He paid me a high compliment saying I am perfectly balanced at all points in time even when the horse is all over. I am not sure if I believe that to be the case but I will take it 🙂 I really tried to only give her the defensive ride when necessary and sometimes we had some really beautiful fences where she stretched out her frame and jumped so soft and round. She is really figuring it out!
Next, we incorporated some x-c into the stadium course. Going over the oxer and up the three stride line and then out into the field to jump a ramp coming up, a black pipe, up the double bank, over the 3ft ramped oxer, back down the bank, black pipe again and then the hedges.
This was quite funny for Rosey simply because it was her 3rd time ever seeing x-c and only second time doing a bank! She jumped the ramp so big she cracked my back! Then she came around and sorta went OMG double bank what do I do so we basically walked up and then picked up a trot to a canter making it down to the big oxer. When I turned back to the bank she was thinking oh boy this is great but I was saying to her um nope let’s trot there is two steps down you can’t see. She got to the lip of the bank and went oh yep two steps down and sensibly shuffled her way down. Good girl!
Then we go to the brush and she didn’t really understand the question so instead of jumping it she just walked through 🙂 Oh Rosey how you make me laugh. She jumped it nice the second time!
Steuart liked her a lot and gave us all some really good advice. I walked down to the small ditch with my student and we just walked and trotted that a few times since we were there and it is one more element I want her to practice with. She really doesn’t care about much. She looks at things but quietly works it all out herself and I just do my best to stay soft and out of her way.
I love this mare!
Whoops I forgot to add her video