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April 28, 2015: Jumping Lesson #2

I was nervous prior to my second jumping lesson this year. Odd, how it works – what kept coming back to mind was Raudi’s previous refusal and my coming off. Never mind that she did behave three quarters of the time in last Friday’s lesson. What came back to mind was the image of me nearly nailing the jump post as I rolled off her side.

This, I know, is an instance of selective memory. Knowing this, I decided to venture where few Icelandic horse owners have been before – and bravely forge ahead and do the second lesson. I was cheered by the fact that Raudi was, earlier, when doing agility, quite mellow, in fact so mellow that she walked instead of trotted through the streamer curtains.

I squelched my pre-anxiety by thinking that perhaps the lesson might be cancelled because there was an impending storm. The storm passed, and in no time at all Pete, Raudi, and I rolled into Beth’s place, and prepared for the second year’s go-around.

Raudi is a hot and cold kind of gal. Upon unloading her from the trailer, I saw that she was hot. She was extremely restless – would take a bite of hay, then

bounce back and forth on her line. She then would not stand still while being saddles. Claudia had arrived a few minutes earlier with Katla, the “other” chestnut Icelandic mare. The two neighed back and forth, repeatedly. Pete and I finally got Raudi lesson ready. I then walked her into and around the arena. She was, I noticed, hyper-vigilant. The chickens, the other horses, the arena goings on – they all were of interest to her.

I decided that it would be a good idea to let her get her ya yas out by letting her run around loose. This was why I opted to put her in the round pen. I’d have rather let her run loose around the arena, but the beginners were getting a lesson. Raudi, once her bride was off, repeatedly raced around and kicked up her heels. She obviously had energy to expend. In a short while, she quieted down.

We next headed over to the arena. I hoped that she’d now be tractable – I wasn’t sure because I really didn’t know if she’d yet expended enough energy. She did stand still when I got on her. And she walked off nicely. And she fell in behind Katla, which was another good sigh.

We fell in behind the beginner beginners, and walked over to the pole and cavalletti grid. Raudi went over it nicely. We then turned to the left and walked over two poles that were parallel to a cavalletti. We then made a right hand turn, and after bypassing the grid, did a serpentine around the cones.

The course layout was like this:


0 X X-----------X

0 X ----------

0 X -----------



We continued, going left and then right after going through the grid. We then did this in reverse. I was then told to do this in two-point, in the jumping position.

After a bit we took a break so that Jack and Gracie could get some arena exercise. Upon our return, Meagan on Jack joined us, and the beginners were dismissed.

We then did the same pattern, this time at a trot. Raudi did just fine until the near end, when she suddenly decided that she did not want to go over the poles. I did as Beth said previously, and used my legs to keep her going. I also put the crop in one hand, so that I would not be pulling on her mouth when I used it.

After being resistant, Raudi suddenly surged forward and went over the grid without wavering. I then had her pick up her rocking horse canter, and we easily went over the poles and cavalletti, not once, but a few times.

Beth then said to call it quits. I was most pleased about the fact that Raudi was so agreeable, particularly after being on edge. She’s now 12. We’ve been together now for 11 years. This has been 11 years in which I’ve been obsessive about her care and training. Finally, I think, she’s a reliable riding horse.

Next: 112. 4/29/15: Introspection

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