What if I told you I wanted to jump my barrel prospect?
Well alrighty then. :lol:
Here's the start of my novel and some background on both of us.
Ruger is almost 4 yrs old. He's a barrel racing/roping/cowhorse prospect, pretty much all around. He's been under saddle for about a year, had thirty days professional training last spring then spent that summer trail riding, and went back for another 60 days in the fall/winter, and has been on trails again and being trained by me. Me and my trainer have always double-whammied him, by each riding him and building on each others previous ride until just about a month ago when I concluded he was sore. He went to the chiropractor yesterday and WOW, the chiro said he was ALL kinds of messed up. He said he didn't think it came from the riding, that it came from being beat up or falling in the pasture or something. I don't know how he could tell but he's right, Ruger is totally bottom of the food chain and gets beat up a LOT. So, after hearing that, I seperated him from the others. I'm not allowed to ride him for a few days but I can do groundwork the chiro said. The chiro and the vet both agree that within two adjustments he will be back to 100% soundness again. :)
Well, before that mess, I had started Ruger trotting over some poles and for kicks set up some crossrails for him to pop over. He just loved it! It was really good to teach him where his feet are too, he is one of thse young horses that is ALWAYSSS tripping over everything, especially his own feet. After I did that he really didn't trip anymore, which makes me super happy.
Now I'm not talking seriously jumping. I did have a crash course in jumping for my equestrian team my freshman year in high school (Hunt Seat Eq Over Fences was the class I wanted to enter so my trainer slapped me on a schoolmaster, gave me all she could in the short amount of time and pushed me in the ring :lol:) I've kept up a little bit with my english stuff, showed Dressage and Hunt Seat Eq, but I haven't jumped a whole bunch except for teensy logs on the XC course (Which happens to be at a popular horse campground, so they are on the trails we ride on) and a few brief times to benefit other aspects of training.
Long story short, I don't want to compete english anymore because my heart is in barrel racing and reining/working cowhorse. BUT, I do think Ruger could benefit from it as a side-job.
I know a lot of you won't approve of this since he IS a young horse, but please don't comment on that. It's not like I'm riding him into the ground. I only work my horses as hard as I have to until I feel the appropriate "quitting spot" in the workout.
Anyway, I just want to know what you guys think of him. In the way future, do you think someone could use him as a jumper or english horse? I expect him to be an excellent all-around horse is why I ask, and if I do plan to keep doing this small pole-and-crossrail thing with him, I might enjoy working towards something. He's still pretty green of course.
Total rambleee. :lol: I'm not even sure there was a point to that story! LOL
Here's some pictures of him.
This picture was when I actually first realized he was sore. He never resisted softening to the bit when I asked but it took me ten minutes to get him to relax and break at the poll and even then he was stiff. But that's another story. lol
The first time I ever rode him english. He definitely needs muscle still but he's a baby, I'll let him slide for now. lol
He is cute under English tack! I think all horses benifit from a job change every once in a while to keep their mind with them. Tia used to run barrels and did pole bending before I got her and now she is free jumping 4 foot 6 and is going over 2 foot jumps under saddle (still green under saddle) she also goes on trails and totes my 5 year old nephew and my mother around (both are VERY inexperienced) Changing up what a horse does makes it to where they don't expect the same thing every ride and so they don't get bored with their job. I would say go for it (once he has had the proper time off from the chiro adjustment of course) he looks like he would do fine with jumping small stuff and you said he loves it, so why not?
Very cute horse btw!!
As long as your jumping position is strong enough that it won't interfere with him he should be okay with the occasional small jump when he's better.
Go for it... however I strongly suggest you work under a talented coach. I'm afraid there may be too much focus on "head down" and not enough on "hind engaged" - all the photos he has his nose tucked, but it looks forced, uncomfortable, and behind the vertical.
JDI - Trust me I know the differance, I just like to emphasize being able to soften the horse and break at the poll if asked. He is still young and learning to engage, I don't really get on him about having his head down very much as these pictures seem to lead, it's just for photo ops his big head looks smaller if I ask him to put it down....:rofl:
I barrel race my mare in the summer and do English and jumping in the winter it keeps her head sane. I will do this with my stallion as well.
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