October 4, 2014

Jump Start HT: Takeaways

 First, the good kind of takeaways:
Bucket, ribbon medal, drink cooler, pad, and full set of 4 Equi Flexsleeves.  Jump Start is a great place to win stuff, if you're into that!

Now for the riding takeaways:

1. Lower leg needs work, both over fences and galloping.  This is a subject for another post entirely.



2. He may always be this kind of XC ride.  I've since talked to a woman who runs her Sec D Welsh Cob prelim, and she said he's always jumped up instead of across, and to this day he's still pretty sticky to the first three fences before he settles in.  She called it a "Cob thing".  It doesn't bother me, but it will be something that causes me to move him up the levels slowly unless we can truly figure it out.

Prelim Cob and his owner going XC schooling a couple of years ago.  Now that is a lower leg!

3.  I need a watch.  Fox River Valley, we were just trying to survive our first BN event with a number not a letter.  But this one, I had something to ride for, and I would have rode it entirely differently if I had a watch.  We were so far under time, but I was still riding aggressively (between the fences, not at the fences) to the very end:

But there's a 3b here: That aggressive (read: fast) ride made him jump better.  Loads of forward plus me knowing to get his hind end engaged before the fence by sitting up in the upper body and half halts (rather than sitting down on him like I used to) really made him jump across in places.

The Prelim Cob owner confirmed the same thing: the bigger the fences and the faster the XC, the less sticky her Cob is.

4. Following that...we CAN make time without issue.  I just need to ask him for it.  For most of my life I have been afraid of going fast, and my fear of the height of the fences at FRV, plus his "You really want me to jump this, eh?" at the base of the fences at FRV, probably made me ride with a more controlled canter there.

I may call him my dachshund, but he's got a cardiovascular system to make up for his short legs.  One of the things I've always liked about him conformationally is his massive nostrils:

I've seen many warmbloods with smaller nostrils than that.  Air intake, no problemo.  If I hadn't done Jump Start, I would have spent the whole winter after FRV thinking he had a time problem.  So glad we decided to do this.

5. The height is really, really no problem for me anymore, even on XC.  I respect it, I set him up well for it, and then I know he's going to carry me safely over it.  No need to be afraid - and just a few years ago I thought I'd never jump anything ever again.  Cool feeling.

6. I am more in love with this horse than I ever have been.  He's really getting fun to ride in all three phases, and more and more it feels like we're connected at the brain.  That's fun!

All in all, it was a great season.  I think the only things we'll do from now until April are jumper schooling shows and maybe some indoor Dressage shows.  As I told L Williams last week, "This pony needs to do jumper rounds until he's so bored his brains melt out of his ears." (Which has been CJF's advice to me with him at every step of the way so far)

Because bored horses don't jump fences like this:



  1. Sounds like a really successful learning experience! And I won some FlexSleeves last weekend too lol.

  2. You can get the big yellow watch, in colors even, from europe cheaper than getting it in the US even with shipping.

  3. congrats again on a great outing - and the swag! i like all your takeaways and self analysis too

  4. Great post, it really sounds like you two are in tune! :)

  5. Wahooo congrats and good takeaways!

  6. Wow, congrats! I am discovering that I have the same problem that my pony sometimes jumps up instead of across, especially on fences that are a little spooky for her.

  7. Lots of good points - number one thing to get the horse to jump over is to go forward! Some horses jump better out of stride when you are off their back. From my personal experience, a horse who jumps like this might like a rider who uses more of a "jumper" position. Think Eric Lamaze or Ian Miller. Off the back but not completely in two point. Two point but with shoulders back and belly button up. If that makes sense? Anyways, just thought I would add in that suggestion for a try some time over the winter!

  8. A fellow Cob rider has just linked me to your blog and all I can say is.. THANK GOD I'M NOT ALONE! hahaha

    Everything in this post is so relatable to my own Cob who has her first Intro level (we are in Australia) start this weekend! Argh!
    Can't wait to read more about you and Connor :) :)

    Oh and as far as watches go, this is the brand I use. Love it!

    1. Your comment made me laugh out loud and read it to my husband! That's great! You should start a blog too, I want to follow your adventures too! Thanks for the tip on the watch - I think that's going on my Christmas list.

    2. If I had any idea how to, I would love to share our Cobberising-land-whale adventures. Haha I will look into it!

      As for the watches, they're great. But I always end up still 2 jumps from home when it starts beeping. Poor ponies legs are only so long! :( hahaha