Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Some thoughts on jumping

Not a big deal to a lot of people. Me, I never really liked it. Probably because the horse I learned to ride on was a fat old cob called Fothergill. Now my regular readers will know that I have no problems with fat old cobs, as Gandalf is one of those and he's the horse of a lifetime. But Fothers, as he was (un)affectionately known, was totally different. He seemed  to me, as I was at the age of 10 or 11, to spend his entire life thinking up ways to make my life unpleasant.

He was stiff and wooden and when the other horses did a nice circle he would spend most of the time pulling on the bit to go in a straight line. He would stop dead when asked to trot. He really made me work for any kind of response in fact. At the time I called him a stupid horse. I didn't know any better. And he was really, really good at getting his rider to go over a jump without him......

He was hogged and trimmed in fine old British cob showing style, so I didn't even have a mane to grab on to. He would lumber up to the jump, exhibiting enough energy to fool me into thinking that he'd actually go over it this time, then stop dead and stand there as I somersaulted over his head and landed in the sand.

I never did develop enough of a good seat at the time to stay with him. I realise now, having seen another cob doing the same thing just today, that he'd simply drop his shoulder and as I was totally unbalanced, off I'd go.

Sadly I have no photographs of this equine paragon as my parents used to drop me off at the stables' gate and beat a hasty retreat. Not something my daughters can ever accuse me of!

Although Fothergill is long gone, his legacy lives on. Which means that I have spent a lot of time not jumping stuff because of those unpleasant memories. And to be fair, Gandalf doesn't exactly seem keen either. But as we need to pop the odd log for TREC competitions, we do have to occasionally make the effort.

Recently, a tree came down on the campsite. It's not huge, really, but it's very solid, in the way that only tree trunks can be. Needless to say, Alienor was merrily flinging  ponies over it without a second thought straight away.

I looked at it the other day and thought......nah, bit too big.

Today the girls were again flinging ponies over it and I decided to go for it. Hadn't even had a drink at lunchtime.........and we did it!

Terrible position, as my daughter was quick to point out. I tend to adopt the hunting type "stay on at all costs" seat, rather than the elegant showjumping style the kids are taught. But WE DID IT!!!

There's even a video

Who says Percherons and fat birds can't jump? ;-)


Martine said...

Well done!
Me, I feel that at the ripe old age of 50, I'm entitled to say "don't wanna, ain't gonna!"

English Rider said...

Otherwise known as "the defensive seat". I'm right there with you.

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