Rusty Stirrup

All Wound Up and Nowhere to Go

Here comes the dink mobile! That’s how my day with Luc started.

By: Rusty Stirrup |

That little log just came out of nowhere.

That little log just came out of nowhere.

Here comes the dink mobile! That’s how my day with Luc started. After bringing him in from the field it seemed that standing in the crossties was just too much for his poor little brain to handle. There was dancing. And prancing. And some spooking and sidestepping just for fun. That resulted in some disciplinary action as well it’s just not cool when you try to squish your rider before she can even get on.

After taking longer than normal to get Luc tacked up and ready to go thanks to his antics, it was time to get on. Or circle the mounting block repeatedly while I tried to get Luc to stand still. I did eventually manage to get into the saddle – or at least halfway in – before Luc decided to walk off. Heading down to the grass field I felt like I was sitting on a rocket. A really unstable one. More dancing and prancing ensued.

We made it into the ring and I immediately booted him up into the trot. Since he was feeling so energetic – or whatever it was – I decided to put him straight to work before his brain exploded all over the place. The one good thing about riding the dink mobile is that it was easy to go forward. What a novel thing not having to use every ounce of leg muscle just to take a single step forward.

After a few laps around the big grass ring in each direction at the trot it seemed liked Luc’s focus was starting to return and he actually started to perform well. We cantered a few laps in each direction and when that went well I decided we could pop over a few fences. I didn’t want to do too much jumping or do anything too big (like a whopping 3’) because the grass was a little wet and Luc’s barefoot.

Cantering down to the first little warmup log Luc felt forward and focused. Apparently I was wrong. The way he jumped over it when we arrived at the base was like it had just sprung up out of the grass from nowhere. His head was between his legs staring at it the entire time. A few more jumps and we got into the swing of things. Then the horse in the field next to the ring wanted to get in on the action and went bucking and galloping around his field.

Luc and I successfully jump a 2’9” vertical.

Luc and I successfully jump a 2’9” vertical.

And then Luc’s brain fell out again. There was spinning, a little snorting and a whole lot of lost focus. I put him immediately back to work trotting a few circles to regain our composure. Once that was accomplished it was back to our regularly scheduled programing. I jumped a few more fences and a line and called it a day. We finished on a high note, which is how I aim to end all of my rides.

After his breakfast, Luc went back into his field and I went out into the grass ring with my measuring tape. I was interested in seeing how high I had been jumping, as most of the fences looked small. I was a little surprised to find out they were 2’9”. Now I know that for most people that’s still a teeny, tiny fence, but for me it was an accomplishment. I’m aiming to get back to being comfortable at 3’ and the fences I jumped today weren’t that far off. More importantly, I didn’t feel trepidation at all cantering down to them.

I’m confident that 3’ is in my future, and I think once I’ve had the opportunity to jump that height a few times it won’t seem like such a huge obstacle to overcome. After all, it was just last year that the 2’3” log looked enormous to me, and it was just a couple months ago that the 2’6” A frame fence absolutely terrified me. Now I just jump it like it’s nothing.

Progress is definitely being made!