Working Vacation: Part 1

Oh my god this is going to be a long one so I’m actually going to break this up into a couple of days? I mean, there’s tons of pictures too for a variety of things so I’m just going to try to split up posts in three parts and make it over a couple of days as to not write a complete novel in this post.

So to start, Bella and I were supposed to go to the beach December 1st through the 3rd with a small group from the barn I worked at. Unfortunately my former boss had a family emergency. The other three went ahead and she and I rescheduled to go on our own. However we moved forward with the majority of our plans as far as bringing Bella back to that farm for the weekend so I could ride her in the ring a couple of times. We might not have trailered to the beach but we did at least get to go out and school. The farm has a really nice covered arena with lights so I got to ride three days in a row (gasp)!

Bella loaded up on Thursday and when we got to the farm I unloaded her and immediately tacked her up and headed down into the ring. This was sort of my test run on how she might react at shows this summer if I find the time and money to do that. She was actually fantastic. The trainer there was giving a lesson so we were in the ring with around 5 other girls on their horses and Bella was definitely alert and a little tense but we took our sweet time warming up and I really focused on riding for a relaxed canter. By the time the lesson was done she was good to go so we popped over a few of the low jumps set up. Bella chipped in and peeked at every single one (lol). It wasn’t my best display of riding but when we finally got our distance issues fixed I called it a night.

Bella really surprised me though (thank you Smartpack SMART Tranquility, seriously waiting for my sponsorship deal here). She was chill, she called out once, and even when tacking up she was pretty easy going. When I turned her out after riding she hung out in the round pen quietly and just waited while I got her hay and water together. I honestly expected screaming and galloping around, everyone who knows her did. She was great.

Friday she was still calm, and D said that she’d stayed calm through out the day and just hung out. She was great in the ring. At one point we were sharing with a couple beginners and then 6 other riders came in and began warming up for their lesson. It was a little bit too much so I decided to leave the arena and make use of the jumping field. We popped over four low fences and then called it a day on that as well. For the record I am completely against jumping the legs off your horse. I firmly believe that you should jump once a week as an average and actually less if you’re not preparing for anything. But I know a lot of riders don’t abide by that. We are probably going to jump once more this year because I’ll have another chance to use the ring at my old barn when we do actually head to the beach, but she’s pretty much done for the year.

I don’t like jumping so often because of the stress it puts on the legs and joints. I feel like if you can avoid it, you should. Flat work isn’t interesting to those who like to jump but it is an incredibly necessary part of riding and your rides should be focused around it. Jumper preaching flatwork aka Dressage? I got no shame!

I don’t have any pictures of this day (whoops) but coming up? Definitely got some awesome pictures! Saturday was one fun day!

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About Renz Unruhe

26 year old equestrian keeping busy and moving forwards.
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2 thoughts on “Working Vacation: Part 1

  1. I agree with you. You jump once a week at the most if you’re preparing anything and other than that you don’t jump at all. When my horses end their competition season around the end of October, the Beginning of December, the more established horses dont jump again until February to prepare for the beginning of the competition season in March and the babies generally start jumping again in January (they finish jumping end of August generally). I try and do as much flat work and hacking as I can for a month or two and then I add in of pole work and work over cavalettis. If I can’t get what I want out of them over 20/30cm then I shouldn’t be doing it over the bigger courses!

    1. I hardly jumped this summer although I’m hoping to be able to compete again this year. We’ll probably stick around 2’6″ for a few shows just because she’s such an anxious personality. I honestly don’t see the need to jump her more than every couple of months and a lot of what we’ll start off with in the New Year will be gymnastics and other exercises to work on specific things we need to polish up (roll backs). But I hope to ride her into her mid to late twenties (even if we’re just hacking around bareback in a halter by then) so I really try to think about the future when I ask her to do something. Every now and then it’s fun to go out and gallop around or jump big stuff but it’s definitely not anywhere near necessary to achieve your goals of jumping bigger or better!

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