In my lesson last week, Drifter was pretty lazy and dopey. I was actually pretty happy about this because the last three weeks or so, he’s been pretty spooky and revved up – particularly in one stupid corner where, apparently, there be dragons. (Screw you, winter in Wisconsin!)
Anyway. He mostly ignored the Dragon Corner in our lesson, which was fantastic. In fact, he was so checked out of working that Coach Leanne decided that it would be a good day to jump higher. Up until that point, we’d generally been doing lots of ground poles and up to around 2′, sometimes 2’3″-ish as he is still learning to jump, and because he’s been more reactive than his usual calm and cool self.
This was the kind of day when he needed a little more respect for the fences, so up they went, to between 2’6″ and 2’8″. The goal was not to necessarily be perfect and pretty – we just needed to wake him up and get him to focus on the work instead of sleepwalking around.
And wake up he did!
Please ignore the funky lead swapping. Even though he was more dialed in as the jumps went up and the work got more challenging, he still sometimes seemed a little surprised to find that there was a jump in front of him.
But what I love about this horse is that he doesn’t care! He doesn’t find a jump in front of him and go, “ACK! A JUMP, I BETTER STOP OR GO AROUND IT HOLY CRAP!” Instead, he just sort of figures it out and goes for it. Of course, sometimes that means he takes the whole jump down with him if he can’t get his feet up in time (as you saw in the video)…but even then, he’s not bothered by wooden poles crashing around his feet.
Also: Can we just look at this (super blurry) screenshot from the video where his knees are tucked up to his chin and he appears to be clearing the the top of the standard, which is 3’6″?
I ❤ him.
More posts chronicling Drifter’s journey:
The start of everything. | Septemer, 2014
On choosing a show name…two years in advance of needing it. | October 2014
Growing up and learning on the flat. | December 2014
The handsomest horse ever. | June 2015
Our first jump! | July 2015
One year together, complete. | October 2015
Researching Drifter’s origins and breed. | October 2015
Sorting out how to jump over stuff. | October 2015
Really getting the hang of the whole “jumping” thing. | January 2016