November 18, 2020

Aeres' First Under Saddle "Jumps"

 Mary and I have six weeks left with Aeres. We spent the first eight weeks fixing her up physically and doing a lot of Dressage. It's paid off in spades - she looks amazing right now, and we keep having to adjust her saddle fit. We used to have to shim the heck out of Connor's jump saddle to get it to fit, and then a few weeks ago we had to reduce the shim height, and finally on Saturday we went without any shims:

It's a hair low in the back, but fit so well in the front we decided not to mess with it.

With the last six weeks, we plan to focus on jumping. When we lunged her over a jump when she first got here, she showed a natural understanding of the question, and her expression gets softer and and her mind gets more engaged when we do pole work with her. I'm not sure if it's because she's burnt out on Dressage, because she specifically enjoys pole work, or if it's just because it's something new, but she really seems to enjoy it more than anything else.

Except snax. She enjoys snax more than anything else. Will work for animal crackers.

So on Saturday toward the end of the ride, I asked if Mary wanted to pop her over something. Of course she agreed, and she immediately directed me to setting up a good introductory exercise. Between two placing poles set 9ft from the jump, we first set up a pile of poles between two standards and they came over them at the walk:

We did both directions for everything but I'm not going to bore you with a thousand low-speed GIFs

Then the trot:

Pink glitter Punk Ponies boots, because I was tired of acting like an adult after hearing all the horrible coronavius news on Saturday

Then we turned the pile of poles into the tiniest crossrail:

And finally Mary had me put it up to maybe a 12" vertical:

Mary was thrilled. She never changed her tempo, she never got worried, she didn't freak out when she rapped the jump with a foot. The only thing she did freak out over was when she hit it hard enough to make our, um, kinda rotten and falling apart jump standard fall over completely, which we gave her a pass on.

And Mary's position here is why she's starting Aeres over fences and not me! That leg! Those hands!

She never really did jump the vertical, just trotted bigger, and Mary and I paused to discuss whether we wanted to push her to actually jump today or not. After talking through it, we decided to end on a good note and not overface her just for the sake of getting air time. 


  1. Aaaaah she's so stinkin' FANCY! Love it!

  2. She's so smart about it! And she's sort of right not to jump since it's basically a raised cavaletti. I feel like it's easier to convince them to jump that height then it is to convince them NOT to jump something that height. (Rio was never in his 23 years able to figure out raised trot poles. It was ridiculous.)

  3. I'm impressed she is coordinated enough to trot over something that tall!