It would be, of course, the week right before I have a jump clinic with one of my favourite ever clinicians that I suddenly regain all motivation to ride, realize that I have a lot of ass-kicking to do with Murray, and then have to avoid doing too much of it to preserve him physically and mentally for the clinic. Murray’s attitude has become progressively better through the week and I imagine it will only continue to get better with consistent work and structure. He has also gotten sore, though, so I knew that my tune-up jump ride was likely to be at least a little interesting.
And it was.
I just wanted to make sure that we could go forward, jump everything, and not be scared out of our skin at random objects. Which we totally accomplished. But Murray took objection to the extended groundline to the vertical on the out of this one-stride, and could not get through it without playing over the jump or upon landing nearly every time. I mean, really horse. Why did you jump 4′ over a 2’3″ fence? Why are your legs hanging straight down? What is the game plan here?
B coached me through putting Murray together again quickly on the back side of the fence and not letting him think that this behavior is desirable. Once we started to string together a few more fences he settled in, and while we never came out of this combination totally straight and forward, we didn’t miss any fences because of it.
The benefit to working extra hard to get Murray put together before and after fences was really nice flat work. So clearly, we can do it. We just need to be appropriately motivated.
Murray got two grams of bute and I will hand-walk him today (and hopefully a little turnout if the arena is free) to help ease those sore muscles. We will see what kind of pony shows up for Hawley on Sunday!