"You Have Such a Good Horse"

When we have a lesson, we can't hit the snooze button endlessly so we actually made it to the barn. I still despise getting up early, but it happened. I have 268 pictures from this lesson (I just hold down the shutter to get action shots) so I'm going to break this lesson up into two posts. This one is about my husband and Shasta.

My husband is still working on rating Shasta. Shasta is very talented and as a mare has a lot of opinions on how things should go, so she likes to try to call the shots when jumping. And she would like to fly around and not bother really using any scope. Since she can fly over anything up to 3' (and probably higher) without really trying, asking her to slow down and actually use form over a jump is not something she's terribly interested in.


However, in order to be able to do higher jumps or move on to cross country, my husband needs to learn how to get Shasta to collect and slow down going towards jumps.

This is how Shasta feels about slowing down

Before you think my husband is riding around just yanking on her mouth, this shot is basically mid half-halt. Below is literally the next camera shot one stride later.

Relaxed reins, hands forward for the jump

There was mixed success at rating and collection. Some jumps were decent some were flat and flying. At one point, he did a short course of 3 jumps and Shasta sort of flew through the last one and the trainer's comment was "you have such a good horse." Both my husband and I laughed because I often comment on this and he knows he's spoiled. Any other horse would take advantage of him. But Shasta just takes every jump she's pointed at and tolerates him if he gets off balance or sets her up wrong for the strides.

This jumps is too low for her to care

Such a good mare
He's very lucky to have such a great horse. She's not actually an easy ride. She's very challenging, but she is well trained so she does reward her rider when they do get ask correctly. She's also so willing and tries so hard that her rider can trust her to get her job done. She just wants to do it her way and convincing her of any other way is the challenge.

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