Jumping on the List

During Lesson #112 research efforts got underway for my 2015 List of Equestrian Things To Do. Progress was made in the areas of neck reining, the free-style vaulting routine and attending a horse show. And there were positive signs regarding Dressage. I also wanted to go over a cavaletti to get that done and checked off the list, but I didn’t see any on the ground.

I had the pleasure of taking Lesson #112 with Grace and Pete, two knowledgeable and helpful instructors. Grace rode her horse Diamond. The pair have been together forever – but not in this picture, because I forgot my camera and this is the only picture I have of Grace.


Pete took Caspian and I was on Krystal.

The only thing I knew about neck reining is that you do it with one hand. I wanted to take better photos whilst mounted and I figured if I could master a one-handed riding technique, it might help.

After discussing the matter with Pete and Grace, I now know that neck reining is more about what the horse knows than what the rider knows. They actually get trained in it, especially for things like barrel racing.

Still, there are different approaches a rider can take, especially in regard to where you place your fingers vis-à-vis the reins. I still have to nail down my finger placement and then stick to it. And then use a horse that’s good at it, my job being basically not to confuse them. Grace said that Maree or Windy might be good candidates.

Pete promised to help me develop a free-style vaulting routine. He said I could pretty much make up what I want to do. This is good news for me, because I intend on creating some Never Seen Before Vaulting Moves. He also said my routine should last about a minute, which is about all anyone will be able to stand to watch anyway. Karin is hosting a Fun Fest in April, so I’m hoping to be ready by then.

Meanwhile, my son-in-law Andy was gracious enough to create this exquisitely detailed model to help me conceptualize and develop some of my Never Seen Before Vaulting Moves. That’s a Lions’ hat on his head.


Regarding the open horse show, Legacy is starting an independent 4H-like horse club this year and Grace is one of the coaches. She told me they plan on attending an open horse show or two and I could tag along.

When I included “attend an open horse show” on the list, my intention was to just sit and watch. Like the olds days. But Grace seems to think I should participate in a more active way. I can still sit, but it has to be on a horse.

And finally, I saw these the day after my lesson.


Looks like we’ll be working on our letters soon.

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6 thoughts on “Jumping on the List

  1. This is a lot of progress quickly, good work!

    And I think I mentioned my fall show season in a blog post a long time ago (IEA). I’d like to say that my whole team made great improvement this year. I went from getting 6th place (classes generally have 7 or 8 people in them) to third and second at my most recent show. The whole thing was very fun :). Now I am looking forward to the summer shows!

  2. Neck reining: horses have to know how to do this. I’ve been told it is easy to teach them, but I don’t know how. The horse really needs to know how to do it well to become ‘safe.’ My dear husband broke three ribs neck reining. He really does hate me to tell him ‘how to ride,’ but I can’t help it. I am a know-it-all solid beginner rider, and the things I know I know well from past experience: When you are flat out running down a dirt ‘road’ in a corn-stubble field, USE BOTH HANDS. When your horse spooks at an object at that speed, makes a sharp 90-degree turn you end up eating dirt, or in his case breaking three ribs.

    • Oh yes, two hands when things get dicey. Even if I have to drop the camera. It’s one of those pocket size Sony’s. The thing is like a rock. It’s been through the mill, but it just keeps going. Sometimes I have to flick the lens cover to get it to open all the way, but after 3 1/2 years of abuse, that ain’t bad. I ride one handed a lot anyway, so I figured I should learn how to do it better. Or at least know something about it.

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