July 20, 2011

Free Jumping

Today was the big day! We started practicing free jumping for the upcoming ISR/Oldenburg NA Sporthorse Performance test, to be held in September in Lolo, MT. Rose hasn't been down a shoot before, so practicing seemed like a really good idea. We do want to do well at inspection after all. Given that I've jumped her under saddle a handful of times now, I felt confident in the fact that she would know to go over the jumps. My only insecurity was in the fact that I had no helpers. None. Nada. Zilch. Apparently people around here don't see any value in free jumping their horses. Oh well.

It took me about 45 minutes to set up the shoot on my own, and about a half hour to tear it down. Not too bad... Now, how was I going to get her down the shoot? Images of horses past that I've sent down shoots came to mind. Several people in the arena with whips in hand. It was never super easy, but always fun. Well heck, I thought, we can do this. I led her down the shoot, longe whip in my left hand, Rose in my right. She saw the jumps and....went for it! Heck yes! This was gonna be easy and fun. Everytime she went straight for the shoot and seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself, and the treats she got after she finished the shoot. Slowly I put the jumps up and in the end she was jumping a ground pole, ex, 2' vertical and 3'-6" oxer! I am so proud of my girl, and excited to start jumping her bigger next summer. There are certainly fun times ahead for this duo! Below is the video and some still shots. Enjoy!

The final jump set up
Rose posing with her 3'-6" oxer
Rose looks more and more like Gatsby all the time
A still of the final jump
Next time I promise to remember to zoom in on my video camera, and to enlist AR in taking some photos. 

Happy trails and swooshing tails!
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  1. What a clever mare you have! She looked like she was really having fun..and it looked effortless. :)

  2. Aw she's really enjoying herself! That's the important part right there.

    Also I'm new to your blog... she's a Gatsby baby? I'm not an English rider but have boarded at several English barns and knew a few Gatsby babies... the morgan crosses I knew were really neat little babies with incredible conformation.

    Look forward to reading more.

  3. I love her antics afterwards. What a girl!

  4. She looks like she was having a blast! I love how amped up and excited she was getting, although I hope her kicks of joy isn't something she does under saddle lol. Thanks for sharing the video. I loved watching her jump and play.

    Also next time is there a safe place to put the video camera so that it's broadside to the jumps instead of head on? I love watching them go over from the side. :)

  5. She made that look so easy! And it looked like she was having a great time, too.

  6. No, rest assured she is all business jumping under saddle! It was nice to see her kick up her heels and have fun with it though, as she doesn't even do that on the longeline anymore (thank goodness). I'll see if I can get an angle shot next time. It's hard with our arena lighting though.



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