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We Are Flying Solo

May 2, 2011

On The Way To The Farm This Evening...

I stopped by the local post office.  Which means our three lucky contest winners, Braffie, molly, and sumaclab, will be receiving an exciting giant envelope soon.  Some sooner than others since for some reason Mr. Shiny favoured the Canadians with his nose!  My apologies for the delay but Solo takes forEVER to address a package. Just because he has no thumbs...

Yesterday morning, Solo and I met with P for a dressage lesson to chat about the new challenges the Training Level test has to offer.  Basically, it adds 15 meter canter circles, extended trot, extended canter on a circle, and a stretchy circle.  Both extended gaits only ask that you develop them, which allows for more gradual transitions, easier on horse and rider.  Solo loves nothing more than stretching so I think we're good there as well. 

Tonight we did a very small jump school. BO had set up a four-bounce gymnastic line that I wanted to work, as well as a couple of oxers.

The gymnastic went great -- I only set the jumps at about 2', except for the last one which was maybe 2'9" or so. I wanted to focus on the rhythm and letting Solo work it out. He worked through great as we added one vertical at a time until he bounced through all four, curling beautifully over the last.

Then we rode each oxer, the first I set with barrels beneath it, the second I spread a big blue tarp under to mimic a certain liverpool that will be coming up soon. Wow, it's amazing how nicely jumps flow when I just keep my leg on.

After Solo jumped each one, I felt a little catch in my throat. My horse was finally strong enough that he was jumping casually up and around each jump, using muscle and balance instead of simply hurling himself to the other side. This is a really big deal for a giant-shouldered-downhill-motivated beast. So, yeah, I was pretty much speechless -- this means that Sunday WASN'T a fluke. This out, Training Level, here we come.


  1. Dang, I missed seeing Solo do the gymnastic.

    Team Solo is ready.

  2. Oh goody, looking forward to my giant envelope!!! (aka sumaclab)

  3. Awesome! Sounds like a wonderful jump school - look out, world, here comes Solo! ;)

  4. That sounds awesome! Go Solo!

  5. Thanks, I'm very excited!

    lh, Pete is next....

  6. Major conditioning props. I feel the same way about the elusive canter to trot transition.

  7. Waiting (not patiently) for my giant envelope to arrive...!!!!

  8. Oh Val, that is a tough transition. We've yet to really NAIL it. Every once in a while we get a nice one, but usually, it's mediocre.