Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prix Caprilli

November's issue of Dressage Today had an article about the Prix Caprilli.  I'd never heard of it before, but it's a dressage test with jumps in it. I was immediately intrigued. I've been playing around with jumping lately because I do think cross-training is important, but I don't know anything about real jumping.

My jumping style is to just sort of point Spider at a very low "fence" (log in the woods, 2x4 propped up on rubber feed tubs, etc.) and then not fall off.  I'm really good at my jumping style (haven't fallen off yet!), but I don't think it's going to take me to the A circuit.

But, this Prix Caprilli stuff seems to concentrate more on just getting over a jump, and less on form.  The jumps aren't high, it isn't timed.  As it's described in the article, it's just a way to help the horse collect and to reinforce basic training and obedience.  Sounds good to me!

So, I put my Google-fu to work and found some tests and diagrams to work with.

I then decided to make my own course, utilizing available materials.

Fence posts, flower pots and feed tubs.  Klassy.

I fully intended to follow the tests set out in the link.  But, then we were just having so much fun that I forgot all about the pattern and we just started going over jumps all willy nilly.  We basically just cantered around the arena, jumping whichever thing was closest.  But, we had a great time doing it!

I must say, for a "soured jumper", Spider is quite the packer.  He carried me over the jumps with aplomb, completely ignoring my highly unprofessional giggles and squeals, poor form and complete lack of guidance.  We will be adding it to our regular repertoire.  Next time I'll try to do it in a more structured way, though.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Year in Review

The USEF/USDF "year" is coming to a close.  I know this because they are sending me many emails reminding me to send them their money renew my membership, not because I've actually been showing (except that one unfortunate incident last week).

But, even though I'm not showing, I've still been working...

So, with the "year" coming to a close, I figured this was as good a time as any to post some pictures of Spider this year, compared to Spider last year.

Spider's back, 2011.

Spider's back, 2012

Spider's Conformation shot, 2011

Spider's Confirmation shot, 2012 (He wasn't as cooperative this year)

Me riding Spider, 2011

OK, that's obviously not really me riding Spider in 2011 (Spider is way better looking than that horse!).  But, I don't have a 2011 shot of Spider under saddle.  So, here's one of him under saddle this year.

Needs more "oomph".  Next year's canter will be oomph-ier.

I think this year I will shake things up a bit and join one of the local Group Membership Organizations instead of joining the USDF directly.  I want to to do some more volunteering at shows, particularly the big ones at the Horse Park, and that seems like a more direct way to get involved.  I've never belonged to a GMO before, should be interesting.  


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