Plan B


by Lisa Mancuso

We all know, nothing ever quite goes to plan when it comes to horses!

Plan A was scuppered by the weather this time... dressage was cancelled due to high winds, and then draghunting was cancelled due to the wet ground, so I still hadn't managed to get Spider out and about in preparation for Arena Eventing at Keysoe at the beginning of December.

So, Plan B… a quick text to my riding instructor, Claire Dodson at Moats Way Equestrian, and I got ourselves booked in to use her 40x60 arena and show jumps for some training. It must be over 6 months since Spider has seen a full set of jumps, so it was all good experience. He is now happily popping 2'9" but I continue to up the anti, and this time I introduced him to a couple of arrowheads and a spread, both of which we approached with confidence, until I got complacent... and hit the deck!

The arrowhead was the culprit, a skinny brown jump that blended into the black rubber! First time round at around 70cm Spider looked, but jumped it very well. After a couple of attempts we popped it up to 80cm; first time he ducked out to the left, cheeky boy, so I really rode him into it at the second attempt, this time he ducked out to the right, and no matter how hard I tried to hang on to him, and the jump wing as we passed it by, I slid off (fairly gracefully) to Spider's surprise; my first fall off the little monkey, not bad after 2 and a half years on board I thought!

I'm not one to quit, so I jumped straight back on, and came at it again determined we could do it, this time we flew it, and again, and again! That's what I love about Spider, he's such a trier, and once he gets something, he REALLY gets it and then loves doing whatever it is you've asked him to try.

Our next outing is for a SJ lesson with John Adams (hopefully I won't be eating sand this time), that'll be our last training session before heading over to Keysoe for our first Arena Event at the beginning of December; not long now!

Here’s a little video - not of the fall you’ll be disappointed to hear, but of us flying his first spread!