Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Joe Meyer Day 2

This post could also have the title "Loki Acts Like A Jerkface."

I was very excited for Day 2 with Joe Meyer. Day 1 had gone so well that I was hoping we'd do some more challenging stuff. Also, my husband made it out to play photographer so definitely a win.

Well, Loki had other plans for the evening. In hindsight I think he was just pissed because we rode at 5 in the evening which is right around feed time. I never ride that late. We did grain him an hour early but Loki is the kind of horse who easily gets very set in his ways. He doesn't do so great with change. This is the excuse I'm giving him anyways.

He came out and right away I could tell he was not going to be super cooperative. Where his walk had been nice and soft the day before it was now rushed and very heavy no matter how much leg and lift I tried to apply. To anyone who didn't know better he probably didn't look so bad while we were flatting but I could definitely feel it.

When it came to jumping he was just meh. He wasn't horrible at first, although he did stop at our first fence which is totally ridiculous, he's only jumped it about a thousand times but whatever. After that he was okay but just really flat and heavy.

Then at the very end when we were putting our course together the heavens let loose. I decided to go ahead and finish our course in the rain and Loki threw a HUGE tantrum. Refusing to jump three times and rushing and just all kinds of crazy. I did eventually get him through the course one time decently but it was basically the complete opposite of the day before.

I was somewhat glad it happened, though, so that Joe could see some of the issues we face at shows. This was by far the worse he's ever been but still it gave him some ideas to help me. Once again straightness is my friend, widening my hands to get him straight to the fence helps him and me to focus much better. And stay tall especially before the fence. This is just a HUGE challenge for me. Joe suggested I attend some pilates classes to strengthen my core.

I did get some pictures but these are some of the worst jumping pictures I have of us thus far and I weeded them heavily at that. A couple are okay, not great but okay like these:
But Loki consistently hung his knees the entire lesson. I don't have one picture where his knees are really up where they should be. Part of that is because he has 0 respect for these small fences. (The few times he refused had absolutely NOTHING to do with the jump it was simply his way of giving me the horsey finger.) The other reason is because every time we got within a stride or two from the base of the jump he would pull me down like a freight train, hence my need to sit "tall" when we jump. You can see it in the following sequence of photos:
My shoulders are mostly open and back here
Now my shoulders are closed and I'm starting to fall forward
Now I'm really collapsed forward and Loki looks like he is doing a rail inspection
All of that leads to this very awkward photo
A split second later and we look... somewhat okay again.
It's easy to get a bit discouraged after rides like this. I can't help but fear that we might not be able to get past this. But, the next day I had the saddle fitter out and I rode him around in four different saddles and jumped and he was right back to being, mostly a gentleman. So, we'll just chalk this one up to a bad mood and a bad day and move on. Our first event is only a few days away and I need to focus on getting the job done.

My plan for jumping and cross country is to start our warm up by walking him around in hand and making sure he is paying attention to me and not everything going on around us. That was a strategy I used for a combined test last year and it really seemed to help. Once in the saddle my plan is to once again make sure he is really listening to me before we do anything else especially before we start jumping. When we are on the same page we jump great we just sometimes have a hard time getting there.


  1. Don't be discouraged! Clinics are for learning so it's okay if you're not perfect :)

  2. Like you said, at least you were able to get some help with his specialness :)

    He def looks super heavy in that last series. boo Loki!

    Overall it sounds like it was a good clinic for you both though!

  3. Ahhh, the troubles of choosing a sport/hobby that requires another creature with it's own brain, mood and emotions haha. At least when we're both on the same wave length it makes days like this worth it!

    Glad he was back to being Loki the following day!

  4. Oh, horses! But I absolutely think it's good for the clinician to see things go awry so they can hopefully help you solve it. Onward and up! :)