Monday, April 3, 2017

Jump Baby Jump

Quest and I tried something new this weekend. It's not big or fancy at all but it was exciting for us!

Before the little impromptu jump session, Quest and I took advantage of the dreary, rainy weather clearing up that morning to hit the trails for a quick workout. We did a nice w/t/c warmup in the indoor arena first and set off on the trails. The days of non-stop torrential rain swept away the largest chunks of gravel on the dirt roads and we were left some fantastic footing for decent trotting sections.

We managed to get a solid 4 miles in less than an hour and also visited the mini XC course for three hill sprints. On the last sprint,  I let Quest open up and she immediately obliged, surging up the incline in powerful strides with her tail flagged in the air. When we came to a gradual stop at the top of the hill, Quest looked so pleased with herself haha I have to remember to bring my GoPro out next time so I can get video.

Quest and I had gotten a lot done on the trail by then so we headed back into the arena where we had left A and Mel. While we waited for them to finish, mareface and I played with baby jumps!

The standards were already set up so I just reconfigured the poles for our newbie use. We did a quick ground pole trot review first and then moved up to baby cross rails. Quest wasn't very impressed and trotted over them evenly and neatly each time....Well, at least she didn't rush though or start cantering.

I changed it back to the original set up and added some trot poles for the approach.
Tada....the world's tiniest jump ever

Our first few attempts were more trotting with much gusto but eventually Quest figured out that she needed to pick up her legs.

Close but not quite. She wasn't doing anything horrible, just not feeling motivated....then I had the brilliant idea of adding more leg. I know, totally genius right?

Much better!

It was really neat to see how Quest used the steady repetition of a basic pattern to figure out where to put her feet. She never rushed or worried though, just took it like "Oh okay, we're doing this now." I admit that I've never taken actual jumping lessons so this is me messing around and having fun with my horse. So there are lots to improve on, for starters I need shorten my stirrups from trail length to something more jump appropriate and move my hands higher on her neck. I do believe knowing how to jump properly is an essential, all-round equestrian skill to have though so it'd be well worth the time and effort to learn in the long run.

While I don't think we'll ever go huge or fancy since I'd rather save Quest's legs for endurance, this really was SO fun to see if we could actually do it. We both get super bored in the indoor so I think it'd be good for our mental sanity to throw in a baby jump from time to time during our arena work session days just to get the energy up and going again. Best of all mareface seemed to really enjoy herself with her ears pricked up and brain totally engaged. And I didn't eat dirt either- I say that was a win in it of itself haha


  1. Ahh so fun!!! Both the runny freely up the hills and playing with introducing jumping!! Cross training is the best ;)

    1. The variety is good for us who need our minds kept busy lol And it definitely helps that the mare has been game for whatever I've thrown at her so far too!

  2. What a GREAT workout! My horses LOVE hill sprints, too, and always seem so proud at the top. They anticipate me turning them loose at the base of the hill, too, dancing at first in excitement before surging upward no matter how many sprints we do <3

    1. Quest does the anticipation dance too! I'm a total butt and make her wait and walk before giving her the okay to go though haha our sprinting hill is part of the XC course with jumps and twisty turny sections so there has to be speed control and steering in place

  3. Hill sprints are great and I think the horses enjoy them as much as we do. At least until it gets hard and starts to feel like work. Jumping is also great and helps to build their abs and butt. It is really nice that you can just go out and have fun on her doing all the things. Now to teach her how to do mounted archery.

    1. So far Quest has enjoyed the hill sprints! And yes the plan is to incorporate more baby jumps into our cross training if mareface continues to have fun with it. I really want to get us playing with mounted archery soon, I actually recently got a beginner bow to practice with...