The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Jumping Clinic

Another busy day. Dad was with me by 9.00, or so, this morning. I was put in my gp saddle with my usual pelham. I wore my white wraps on my legs (which needed a wash- the wraps not my legs, that is - but never mind) and Dad carried the smaller crop.

When we went in the school, it was set up with a lot of fences. I was in a group of four; the other horses were Tod, Jinsky and Mary. The teacher was a lady called Fran - who is a well-known teacher and also has taught Caroline and Mark, although they go to Fran's yard.

We were the beginners/nervous adult group. Fran spoke to each rider to find out the horse's history and capabilities. She said our saddle was too short - given the long length of Dad's thigh. He needed an 18" - whereas our jumping saddle is 17 1/2". Also the girth straps were too short: an expensive problem. We adjusted our stirrup length and tightened the girth as far as it would go and went on to do walk, trot and canter.

We began with some pole work and practised jumping position. This part was OK, since I could do one batch of poles and then turn to another. We needed to work on not falling-in on the turn. Fran then put a cross pole at the end of the run of poles and I managed that a couple of times.

I did have some problems when we had to do a larger course of cross poles in trot. As previously when practising with Dad in trot I chose to go through most of the fences. Fran said Dad hadn't done it wrong, but that it might be a good idea to get a more experienced rider to school me in trot over some grids/ bounces to remind me to pick up my feet.

I think Dad sort of expected me to knock the poles down from trot. It might have been interesting to try some canter poles, but it may have seemed too risky to jump from canter before Dad's position - and our saddle - was more secure. In the light of this, Dad doesn't think there's any point in joining in another clinic until we have progressed a little; we can practice in private for the time being.

Even though we didn't do the jumping well, Dad didn't fall off and I behaved well and had a nice time joining in with the other horses, so Dad patted me a lot. After the session finished I was groomed, given some new herby treats and rugged up to go in the field with Cricket and Leo

Dibby did the third session of the clinic with Bonny, Leo and Harry and did some good work and had fun, but seemed to tweak a muscle about half way through and dropped out before the larger fences. Other Dad and Dad trotted him up to check this out and he didn't look unsound, so he was rugged up and put out in the field with me. Dibbs will have a few days off to make sure he is better

All in all, a mixed day for both Dibby and me, but like jumping, a cob's life is has its ups and downs.


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