Berry is evolving quickly. She really flourishes with constant riding and attention. So I thought it appropriate to announce the great things she’s done over the last week.
The first one: She got clipped for the first time. At least I think it was the first time, I don’t know if they clip on the track. She was an angel and did not care at all. I did her bridle path, and then, because I’ve never body clipped before, she got a wonky racing stripe down her side.
I have never needed to clip before with Vintage, but Vintage has a super thin coat naturally. We haven’t even started winter and Berry is sweating rivers when I ride. My thought was to do a modified hunter clip, leaving the places her blanket didn’t cover hairy.
She was being super good and just standing there, but I lost my nerve and forgot what I was doing. Clipping is serious business, and I just can’t take the pressure.
Both the trainers at my barn commented on it. “Wow… that’s um.. interesting.” and “Please tell me you aren’t going to leave that poor horse like that.” Well, I was planning too, but now that you said something I guess I’ll do something about it…
Berry’s other accomplishment (which also includes mine!) – I did a full course of jumps with Berry. Hurrah! And I did it several times! Both directions! And Berry really and truly jumped! My trainer described it as “cute”, which is better than previous descriptions of “legs everywhere”, “clumsy”, and “in the process of crashing”.
Going towards the first jump, I felt a surge of fear, but I pushed it down. I’m riding like I can’t fall, and I decided “fake it til you make it” is a good way to show some confidence for Berry, and it seemed to work. I did end up confident, or at the very least, not afraid.
We started with the same jumps from our last lesson. Surprisingly (or maybe not) that line that I was having such difficulty with was not a problem this time, although it was a seven and she kept doing it in six. She was getting a bit too enthused about jumping.
After that line, I was immediately told to jump a brush box with flowers. It looked kind of scary, and it was kind of big and full, but I trotted on up. Berry gave it a funny look, but she popped on over it. My trainer had me turn around and jump it the other way, and Berry decided that since it looked different from that side, she wasn’t doing it. She slammed on the breaks and I ended up on her neck. That didn’t scare me either though, I actually laughed, did a little circle and jumped it.
Then we did the most terrifiying jumps yet – a line of green felt boxes with brush. They were wide. The first time we did it, she did a giant leap over the first box, and then down the line she kept lunging right, left, right, left, like a weird dance, but I tried to keep her straight and she popped over the second one. My trainer afterward said there were some birds that made her uncomfortable, and her weirdness didn’t have anything to do with the jumps.
Then she had me do it all together. Outside line, diagonal line, other outside line. Berry seems to really like jumping, and that’s not a bad thing at all! I had to focus on keeping her slow, and sitting back. My position was a little weak, but my trainer said I was releasing well, I just need to hold myself better. Luckily I can trot around in two point for as long as I can stand it at home.
I really wish I had pictures of today! It was so exciting, and so much fun. I’m really proud of her, and I’m so happy that I have her. She is green, but she’s such a gentle, forgiving horse that I feel like she’s perfect for me. Dave and I decided that when I do show her, her name will be “Care Bear” because she is so caring and loving, and so snugly! Now she just needs some rainbows to shoot out of her eyes!