I participated in a competition with Grace a week ago (or something) and it was a complete disaster. We were supposed to jump only 1.10m class and as I got a bit in hurry after I'd jumped with another horse in 0.90m we didn't get that much time for warm up. It usually works best for Grace to warm up for a really long time before entering the arena, like something between 30-40 minutes, even tho she's one of the laziest creatures on the entire globe. She just needs her time to get all her joints and muscles rolling and that's not exactly what happened this time.
As the result of half-panicked warm up, Grace became very suspicious when entering the arena and she really lost her self-confidence as soon as we crossed the startline. I felt so stupid because it was entirely my own fault that she wasn't properly prepared and as soon as she refused to jump the sixth vertical I cutted the game off. It didn't feel fair to keep on jumping when she clearly tried to tell me it didn't feel allright. What did I learn? One should always have someone to help with horses if they're jumping with more than one!
Oh well, shit happens and I'm glad I learned this lesson in such a "little" competition. Speaking about competing, I finally managed to get myself a Swedish Green Card, which basically means that as soon as I get my licenses fixed I can start competing for real. So far I've just been jumping in practices we call "pay & jump", where the Green Card or licenses are not required. It has however been excellent practise for me as a rider because I can sometimes get like super excited about competing and be focusing on wrong things. This has definitely improved under the time here in Sweden and hopefully I can keep improving it even more.
|Rubin decided to throw away all the blankets from his door so you could see his precious face better ;).|
Even when jumping with Grace didn't go that well, our team got a feeling of tiny success when Rubin went through his life's first dressageprogramme ever. The programme was very simple, basically just trotting and cantering in nice big circles and changing the direction every now and then. The easyness can be explained with the fact that in our school the students get to know a little bit about young horses while studying the last year. The programme was made for four-year-old horses and it was perfect start for Rubin who has very little experience of any kind of special events. I understood he has been in a test for 3-year-old horses but I don't really know if he's been in any other 'competitions'.
However, he managed to gather something like 65% and I was soooo proud of him! Even when he thought the dressage fence was a bit scary in one specifik corner he was as cool as always and did exactly as I asked him to do. We still have some work to do with transitions between trot and canter but hey, that's why we keep on practising! His frame is quite okay even tho it shouldn't really matter in this early stage. It feels like he was born to carry himself in a round form and I don't really need to think about it as much as I have to do with Grace every now and then.
Jumping with Rubin has sometimes been a little bit sketchy. Every time I try to jump with him on a lesson he just gets some kind of a "lock" in his mind and he simply doesn't want to jump. I don't really understand this because when I jump by myself he technically flies over every obstacle with no problem at all. I don't however find this as a permanent problem, he simply needs more practice. Our trainer told us to keep jumping more often, especially the tiny obstacles he usually sees as some kind of jokes.
It's anyhow a bit weird with his behavior because even when we jump by ourselves we jump colourful (scary) obstacles and the indoor arena is almost full with other horses. But on the other hand it's good that he gives me a little bit challenge; it teaches me so much more than a horse that would just do everything perfectly as soon as I sit on the saddle.
It's only few days until the Christmas break which means a lot of physical work for me. I'll be working at our school's stables (as usual) and I will take care of at least three horses (mine + Cindy) which is the absolutely best way to spend the holidays. My family was a little bit disappointed when I told them I wouldn't come to Finland for the Christmas eve but it felt like they were more okay with it after I visited Finland a couple of weeks ago on my father's birthday. They kinda need to see my face every now and then to make sure I'm still alive ;).
I will probably visit Flyinge some day in January because I really want/need to talk with the teachers about studying in there. I have this slight obsession with training horses and I really, really want to continue my studies with young horses. Flyinge has this one-year-program for those who are interested in young horses and when I heard about it I was like "That's it. That's what I'm going to do". But I'll talk more about it later if I get my darn butt there.
Ps. My computer's screen got broken on the flight between Helsinki and Gothenburg so there won't be that much pictures this time..
|I just had to take picture of the oxer we jumped with Rubin one day.|
It's ridiculous that he can jump this high with no problem but as soon as we're on a lesson he suddenly can't get over a verticle that's like 0.30m tall..