D-Money Is Back In Business

As usual, Dino has been keeping me entertained with his various injuries and diseases.

But, KNOCK ON WOOD, he has recovered from his latest abscess, is still sweating appropriately, hasn't tied up since September, and his locking stifle is behaving itself.

I've been listening very carefully to how Dino would prefer to warm up when we ride (20 minutes of walking and very slow trotting before we do anything else, please!) and have been increasing his canter work steadily over the past few weeks. He's taken everything I've asked of him in stride, and has stayed sound. When I hop on to start a ride Dino feels strong and confident, and I can feel his hind end propelling his body forward instead of trailing out behind him. We've jumped over a few small crossrails here and there, and Dino has shown no sign of slowing down after doing a little jumping.

So I've decided to re-institute his favorite activity: the weekly jump school.

It always amazes me how differently a pony can behave when they do something they enjoy! Dino, who is grudgingly obedient at best during flatwork sessions, comes alive when I point him at a fence. He can go from Grouchy-Pants-McGee to ZOMG JUMPING!!!!11!!1! in .5 seconds. We've had a couple "official" jump schools so far, and Dino couldn't be happier about it. He's blasting around with his ears up and jumping 2'6" fences like they're 4'. His inner jumper pony is coming out and he makes inside turns like nobody's business.

And surprisingly enough, the jumping seems to HELP his muscle and stifle issues. He feels more connected and balanced after a jump school than during a dressage workout (probably because he goes FORWARD happily!) and the action of pushing off his hind legs to jump is strengthening his all-important "motor muscles" - the hindquarters and stifles. The weekly jump school is so far a win-win situation.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed for continued soundness and a friend with a trailer, and maybe you'll see us at a local jumper show this spring!


  1. Whee! SO exciting! I'd love to go see you show!!! :) But... maybe I'll stick to actively looking for videos afterwards ;)


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