Archive for September, 2003
This was the last day of the clinic and we were nearing the end. We got to play with real obstacles. We got to have a little jump.
Well, reader…you’ve been with me a while and know my behavior pattern by now. I hate to put it in writing, but you might have noticed that I grandstand. Another word for grandstand might be show off. I can’t help it. It’s an affliction. sigh
Occasionally, I get punished for showing off, er…I mean grandstanding…ham..upstaging etc. yep. I never learn, though.
All the other riders approached the jump cautiously. Not me. JR and I flew over the jump at a canter. “Cool Beans!” After all, we are professional barrel jumpers.
The jump got a little higher. By this time the riders were circling in the arena and going over the jump. Things were looking good for all of us. I could see Grand Prix visions in some of the rider’s expression. JR and I continued to be the only jumper at a canter.
At the last, Gina decided to make the jump a little more devilish. She didn’t raise the jump, she made it wider. All she did was put a pole down in front of the jump. She told us to shorten our stirrups and to stand up slightly and lean forward as we jumped.
My stirrups were as short as they could get and they are too long for me to stand up. My body refuses to bend over like those fancy jumpers that you see in the Olympics. I are a “WESTERN WOMAN”! We sit up TALL in the saddle!
All the other fox trotting horses trotted over that pole and jumped the obstacle. Simple
Then the show-off came along. JR looked at the pole and judged the distance. That pole meant he had to make his take off a lot sooner than he had before. His rider knew none of this. She was sitting up there Straight in the Saddle! Gina even yelled, “lean forward!”, but Western Susan refused. We came within shouting distance of the pole. Western Susan was surprised at the early take off. She was also surprised at the altitude. JR catapulted Susan so high in the sky, that she could inspect the carpentry work on the ceiling of the new arena. Hey, Great work there! As JR decended, so did Susan. A miracle occured and JR was almost directly underneath Susan when she landed.
Gina yelled, “STOP!” When JR and Susan were standing still, Gina made the following announcement: “JR just paid for himself.” “Huh!?” was my reply. “JR shifted his body so that he would be underneath you when you came down.” “Huh? You mean I would have plumeted to the ground had JR not got his body underneath mine?”
“YES” was the answer. WOW! How cool is that. Imagine having such a horse that would do that. JR is my Partner!
Other than Pat and Linda Parelli, Dave Ellis is one of the two highest premier instructors in the Parelli organization.
We did lot’s of turning (hindquarter and forequarter) …with the human getting in time with the feet. We did lot’s of transition of trotting to a back. We did lot’s of transitions of casual rein to concentrated rein and back to a casual rein. We did partnership riding which is like drill team riding with two or three people.
The instructor always checks everyone out during the exercise. He got me once on something I was doing wrong.
It’s getting close now…
At the end of the day, I was in the barn aisle. The instructor came into the aisle where I was and asked How Old is JR. I replied that he is only 4. The Premier Instructor said,
“Well, he’s as smooth as silk! He’s a very nice horse, Susan.”
This was not in reference to his gait. It was in reference to all the transitions…how his body moved in the correct and timely manner.
Plus, he was as smooth as silk …gait-wise!
JR is the auditor favorite!