Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Dressage Horse Goes Eventing

Surprise! He jumps, too!
When I bought Guinness (way back in 2009), I intended him to be my eventing partner. As many of you know, I later decided to retire him from jumping and focus on dressage. The transition was hard for Pig, who truly enjoyed and understood his job as a jumping horse.

I always said I wanted to event him, maybe taking him beginner novice before retiring him. With his retirement looming ever closer, I figured I should get him out and go xc schooling. It seems prudent to make sure your event horse remembers how to jump before signing up for a show... I guess.
The event horse in waiting.
We planned an xc excursion with Liz and Griffin for mid July, hoping the two of them could get some good instruction from a friend of mine.
I am so excited guys. Liz looks mildly worried, though.
I told Liz my main focus was for her and Griffin to get good experience, since they want to legitimately be competitive. I didn't want her to worry about what I was doing, or wait for me at all. Pig and I do our own thing, and we weren't exactly looking to do anything but have fun.
Fun fact! Our local xc schooling property is also a historic county park, complete with sweet old stone buildings. Be still my history-loving heart.
Liz wrote up her great lesson here. She and Griffin really learned a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them completely change over the lesson, both gaining confidence and picking up style tips. Pig and I, though? We just ran around like fools and jumped whatever looked fun.
Including this ditch.
I honestly can't remember what cross country questions Pig and I have schooled in the past. Plus, those schoolings were so many years ago, I don't think they're really valid anymore. Thankfully, we spend a lot of time trail riding over some extreme terrain.
Ditches ain't no thang!
I think all that time spent navigating those tough trails has helped solidify Pig's trust in me. Whatever I point him at, he'll pretty much go over.
Okay, we may have had to have a discussion about going over this instead of around it... 
Watching Pig's ears perk up at fences again, made me smile. It was clear he and I were both having a total blast. Don't believe me? Just have a look... 
Houston! We have takeoff!

The majesty of the massive dressage horse in flight.
Happy horse. Rider trying desperately not to slip off the back end.
My weaknesses jumping were clearly indicated as the issue that would hold us back. While my following in my hands and upper body was pretty solid, my leg seems to have forgotten how to hold on to a jumping horse.

Whoops! I guess that's what I get for doing dressage for so long!
Starting off okay...ish
Beginning to worry my leg might not actually be made of muscle, but instead jello...
Note rider wishing the cantle of this saddle was as high as her dressage saddle, so as to catch her before she flies off the back of the horse.
Pig didn't seem to mind my weaknesses, though. He was overjoyed to get out there and leap over things again. After some jumps he'd give the head toss of jumping old, giving a few extra leaps of pure joy.
Let's GO!
I really miss jumping this horse. He is so game, and so athletic. His joy is infectious. 
That neat hind end. I love it.
He truly has been the horse of a lifetime. I'm so glad we got to go out and jump around again, just enjoying our partnership and being happy. It's super fun to school something where there is absolutely no pressure. Pig clearly felt like he was a conquering champion at the end of the day, and that brought a big smile to my face. Who could ask for more?

22 comments:

  1. His joy was SO evident once he got out there! I told Griffin I wanted him to be that visibly happy with this job some day.

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    1. Aw, I think Grif is happy all the time. :)

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  2. I love this!! Pig is SO full of joy! And I am 100% with you on going out and just doing something that you never usually do and having FUN with it - that's what western riding is for us!

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  3. His face is too much. Clearly he loves it!

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  4. He looks like he's having a blast!

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  5. Hes loving it! I love schooling for that reason, all fun and no pressure.

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  6. Aw PIG! You guys looks awesome!

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  7. he looks great and it looks like it was a gorgeous day. You should do this more often :) He enjoys it!

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