Red is brilliant

Yesterday Red went back to gymnastics. She hadn’t jumped in a while, and I like to change things up so they don’t get sour. Ring work one day, then a trail ride, then some jumping, then maybe trailer therapy… That sort of thing.
Anyway, I set up a simple little exercise – ground pole to x rail. Then ground pole, x rail one stride vertical. No problemo, she said. So I moved it to two strides out. Hmm. She wasn’t sure if she should try one big stride, or what the heck I wanted, so she trotted through the first time. Second time around Jeanne used a little more leg, Red got the two strides and the light bulb went on! No kidding? I just canter on down and jump? WOW! So we sent her through again to be sure the light bulb was really on (it was – super halogen), then moved it out to four strides. Red cantered right on through (too easy guys, she said, I’ve GOT this).
Now, this makes it possible to start setting up outside lines to let her canter through. She understands the whole concept. Whew! All those darn cavaletti and cross rails have finally paid off. The fact that she didn’t get flustered and can really think on her feet means I can also start asking slightly trickier questions, like what does one do with a bounce? Can we hop our fence, turn and hop another (We aren’t actually jumping any height yet. That’s not the issue, nor the point of the exercise)? She’s officially five in the spring, maybe this year I can get the pony club people interested.
It is pouring rain out today (again? really? Raining in Virginia, go figure. The whole darn state is underwater and Lowes is out of waterwings), but we were going to start teaching her flying changes. That waits until Thursday, now.

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