Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ta Ta for Now!

Morris was so happy today! This photo captures his excitement about walking out to our jumping field. And because he had the stud girth on, he knew he was in for a real jump school. Sadly, it was our last time jumping down in Aiken for the 2011 season. We tried to end it on such a positive note, however! Smarty and Morris went to Gibbs yesterday to conquer any and all last minute combinations that we haven't done in the 2 months we've been south. They were both brilliant. Poor Smarty got double a workout, according to his clock it is the beginning of winter and apparently he thought it was going to be a doozie...my fancy Selle Francais looks more like a Shetland Pony at the moment! He was huffing and puffing galloping all around Gibbs. Honestly, I didn't feel too bad for him...good to wear that one out from time to time lol. He was great about the coffin set up on the bunker, it actually slowed him down for a second. And he has gotten so much better about the skinnies. I think he has done every skinny and downhill combination on the entire property! He had his first encounter with the duck as well. I think 3 out of his 4 legs cleared it on the first attempt, and by the end he was doing the duck to the corner in 6 or 7 strides, and vice versa. Thought we would have him all prepped for the geese at The Fork, and then I hear that the big water has turtles. Looked high and low and found no turtles at Gibbs. Drats!
Morris had a great time as well. After our little incident at Southern Pines II, I made sure that Morris saw every ditch on the property, ditch and walls, ditch and bank, ditch between the bank, ditch and skinnies, coffins, trakehners, ditch liverpool thing in front of hanging log. Hmm. I don't think I missed any. Sunken road, I guess that is like a giant ditch?! We will see if all this work pays off. you-know-what is going to be waiting for me after the first water at The Fork. I have a plan that involves a tap and a spur and a couple of bad words!
Today we finished an action packed week (and it's only Tuesday!) with a jump school at the farm. We had canter poles strewn across the entire derby field, that and skinnies. Skinny to canter poles, canter poles to skinny. Every now and then I buried him under a big oxer, and then he got to do more canter poles. I think, however, that he had a good time. Got to buck during a couple of flying changes and that always makes his day. I do love that cheeky little monkey! Morris was, of course, Mr. Professional as soon as he entered the jump field. We had a couple of specific exercises set up that made Mr. M do some serious thinking and it was good for him! I had stiff bounce set up out of planks, and he did come home with red paint on I think all 4 toes. Hope he remembers that! Also tried to recreate some of our show jumping from Southern Pines II, well it was a slightly different interpretation as I don't recall take off rails and V-rails at Southern Pines. But today, highly effective! I hope he remembers that as well come the weekend!
We are set to leave lovely Shag Hill Farm at 0900. Sounds so doable on paper. I did at least do laundry and pack this evening. Gunsmoke took note of the bags piled up by the door, and as I type he is at my feet making sure that he isn't forgotten. As much as we love Aiken, it's time to get this show on the road. Next stop, The Fork!

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