Which sounds scarily like a Sooty episode but isn’t
On Saturday evening I decided that Vin needed to have some jump schooling.
Possible show jumping at Allenshill on Tuesday and a return there for some combined training next Sunday?
Yep, definitely need to get some practice.
I thought about it for a while and decided to build three small, unrelated fences, on different lines in the arena.
We know he can jump big.
What we need to instil in him is his ability to jump from a slower, bouncier, more consistent rhythm.
So that was going to be the aim of this batch of schooling: rhythm and consistency.
But first the hard part prior to schooling.
Getting out of bed.
Crikey, that’s a hard one.
I’d served The Lovely S with breakfast in bed.
Breakfast in bed is fast becoming a regular feature in our lives.
And then we settled down with our books.
Occasionally stroked and fondled.
Sometimes paused for cuddles.
And a brief snooze or two.
I don’t know when I got up but it was gone midday – The Lovely S had preceded me by at least half an hour.
Showered, shaved, dressed and with both of us in the car, our first port of call was Bromsgrove.
Well, it was lunchtime!
Having eaten we walked up the High Street to Costa for a Hot Chocolate and no cake.
How virtuous are we?
Then I dropped The Lovely S at home.
And made my way to the yard.
Where I fed Beech some sliced apple, groomed him and generally loved him up.
He’s looking good, considering.
No horse will maintain condition having been on box rest for three months and Beech (being a highly strung Thoroughbred) is quick to drop weight at the best of times.
But he’s really not doing too badly.
Down at the field Vin was thrilled to see me; I opened the gate and he walked out, put his nose in the headcollar and said ‘hello’ the way he does.
Yep, I’m now wearing a green polo-shirt, not a white one.
He was easy to groom and stood patiently while I fannied about tacking him up and then building a small course of jumps in the arena.
With that lot finished and me on board, we worked on the flat for 10 minutes.
Lots of transitions to get his bum underneath him, relax his back and get his head working.
And then for the next 20 minutes we worked on our exercise:
One fence repeatedly on laps of the arena to establish rhythm. Then change the rein to achieve the same standard in the opposite direction.
Then two fences repeatedly on laps of the arena to establish… you get it I’m sure. Then change the rein.
Then three fences as a small course still concentrating on maintaining our rhythm, then change the rein to get the same effect…
Twenty minutes of low-level jump schooling.
When I dismounted I was covered in perspiration.
Vin, I’m glad to say,Â was hardly sweating.
He’s a big, strong, fit boy.
With him groomed, fed tea, rugged up and turned back out (and me hot chocolated) it was time to return home.
In my absence the Lovely S had done a load of ironing.
And prepared tea.
And was about to serve it.
Since then I’ve washed up, dried up and put away.
I feel replete.
And very smiley.