This week’s ride started with a bang and ended with a thud. While that may sound a little ominous, let me assure you it wasn’t. It all started when we arrived at the barn. The annual spring cleanup was underway, which meant dump trucks, tractors and other machinery working around the farm, in Luc’s field, and right next to the riding ring, making everything look pretty again. I was a little concerned my ride wouldn’t be as wonderful as I had hoped what with the clanging and banging and commotion going on right next to where I was riding, but oddly enough that wasn’t what caused the issue we had during our ride.
Luc happily ignored the commotion, instead choosing to fixate on the very small, very angry sandpiper that was down at the far end of the ring. It chirped and charged at us every time we came near it. I suspect it had a nest nearby. After a few passes by it, Luc settled, and the bird scurried off. I’m sure we’ll meet again in the very near future.
Once we had overcome the bird issues, Luc was happy to move forward and work nicely at the walk, trot and canter. Thanks to my positive enabler, we also decided to jump. It feels like ages since I’ve popped over some fences. There was a tiny gate setup on the quarter line, so I cantered Luc down. I took the long approach, thinking I’d give myself plenty of time to get Luc and I organized. It turns out, I’m much better coming in from a shorter distance. It would seem my eye doesn’t like the hunter approach.
The first time to the fence I ended up with a horrible chip distance. Luc, being the good boy that he is, very nicely bailed me out of the situation I’d got us into and we made it safely to the other side. The second and third attempts were only marginally more successful, and it didn’t seem to matter which direction I jumped the fence.
Naturally the best solution was, of course, to make the fence bigger. Just to be clear, we’re not talking anything huge here, maybe 2’6” – and that’s probably a bit of a stretch. This time the long approach went much better. I saw a distance, asked Luc to move up for it and we nailed it! Then again in the other direction.
So it would seem that I need some more work on the long approach to a single fence, at least if it’s on the smaller side. I’m not brave enough yet to see if my eye continues to get better the bigger the fence gets. That’s a project for another time.
I cooled Luc out, untacked him, waited around for him to eat his food (that’s a 45 minute ordeal in itself) and then as his owner, my sister Jen, was walking him back to his field past those noisy dump trucks, a clod of dirt came flying over the top and landed a few feet away from Luc with a thud! Luc spooked, well as much as Luc does, took three steps of trot until he decided the grass looked very tempting and decided to stop for a snack. More clods of dirt came flying in our direction, and this time Luc didn’t even look up. Silly horse!