ahhh, so finally I figured out how to get these darned pictures up. Here's the fun story!
We started out on a lovely warm day, and Bijou had been enjoying working mostly like this:
She's had been very simple with relatively little head tossing, wanting to stretch down, almost plodding along at times?! This was our nice happy pace and she has been happy to take longer and longer stretches to get a really nice trot. It's so much fun to ride, and I have a feeling that it is largely due to the fact that I'm getting her out more with the help of MM.
I just love her little face! And then we started jumping. This was the first time she had approached anything with standards with the intent to go over it in about 7 weeks, due to losing a shoe and my lack of gung-ho-ness to make her do it. So, MM suggests that she would like to see what she does when she jumps so that she'll know what to expect. I told her that she hasn't jumped in a while (not really realizing at the time how long it had been) but we set everything to what I thought would be almost too easy heights and trotted up to the first jump set on a diagonal:
I tried to make a caption "Oh! You want me to JUMP that thing?!" but I think I failed. Next time I'll do it in photoshop instead of being lazy and doing it in paint :P. So ya, I think she just didn't even expect that to show up in front of her. She wasn't totally paying attention, but I gave her enough space to see it, I think she was in denial. Oh well. Despite how off balance I look, I actually stayed on and it didn't ever feel like I was really going to come off, although after looking at the photographic evidence I have to say it looks pretty dramatic. So one dirty refusal down, we go around and take it again, now that we're paying attention:
And we jump it a little big, with a funny spot, which is why I'm perched atop her like a bird. It really does show you how good your position is over fences when the horse has NO CLUE what she's supposed to be doing. I did it a few more times, along with a few other x-rails in the arena, and we called it good on a last good note:
Hooray! that was... 10.8.10 and we're now at 10.21.10 phew. I have taken her around and raised the x-rails to 18" and even cantered one or two when she gave me a beautiful controllable canter. Not bad progress in 2 weeks if I do say so myself. I even trotted her across a 'liverpool' made out of blue astro-turf :P So basically we are learning that things near the feet don't eat the feet, but we have to pick up the feet. I really need to get some flowers and a gate to put up in the arena to get used to how those look too.
In more current news... Phew, there's a lot of that too. I have my first x-country schooling day planned on Sunday!!! I'm nervous but excited but nervous. I've taken Bijou elsewhere than our own property, and she's usually done just fine. I just hope it stays that way. She was also in a lot worse shape physically and I think she didn't have the calories to allow her mind to do that crazy TB thing that TB's just love to do. I'm just going to go into it with the idea that if we walk around on x-country for a bit, look at scary jumps, maybe even touch one?! then we'll consider it a success. It's hard because I'm going with S, who's had her horse for 4 years, and has gone through all this stuff with him. He's always been a super champ about not getting spooked by anything... so she doesn't really get it (or know how to deal with it) when Bijou is. I'm hoping that she'll be understanding but not really expecting the best when I just want to take things slow for my first time out. I've gotten a serious dose of caution since I broke my ankle, I don't want to do something STUPID again and get hurt and hate my life. But I'm still excited and hoping for the best :D
In other recent events, Bijou choked on her beet pulp last night. I went out late after running around finishing up some errands and rode pretty much until dark. I walked her around several times, trying to take extra care to cool down. I guess it wasn't enough, because she was still really hot when I finally felt under her chest. All that hair (even after a low trace clip) is making her retain a ton of heat. I really wanted to try this new calming supplement, its SmartB1 from smartpaks. I thought, oh give her a handful of beet pulp (which I wetted like always) and let her eat it. Well, I don't know if it was because she was hot, or just a fluke, but she got some stuck. It was the strangest thing I've seen in a horse in a while. She picked up her head, did the Flehmen thing where they flip up their upper lip, and then with every muscle in her body she heaved like she was trying to puke, but couldn't. There were two other girls I know out at the barn, so I took her over to them like "what is this?!" and one of the girls used to have her horse at a place they fed cubes, and the horses would choke all the time. So I called the vet out and had him pass a tube to unblock it. She got some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial stuff just in case she aspirated anything and went off to the medical layup pens because she couldn't eat for a few hours. I checked on her today and she's fine. I wish that I would have taken video or something because it was just so weird.
Ok, this post is long enough now I'm going to bed :D