Well, the sun finally decided to show his face today, and my Mommy decided that she was feeling well enough to jump! Since I did such a great job jumping that oxer the other day – you know, when we broke our high jump record? – my Mommy decided that it was time for me to learn how to jump an oxer with “a spread.” Now, for those of you who aren’t hip to all this terminology, an oxer is basically two jumps put together that you jump over as one jump. The “spread” of an oxer is the distance between those two jumps. No matter how wide the oxer’s spread, you still have to jump it as one jump. Here’s a cool picture of us warming up over today’s oxer, which we put at a FIVE FOOT SPREAD!
My Mommy said she wasn’t planning on going terribly high today, but I was doing such a good job and having so much fun that she let my Daddy raise the jump up a little higher each time we made it over successfully. I only knocked it down once, and it wasn’t until my Daddy had raised the back poles to 4 feet and 2 inches. I had a really good take-off spot, but I just didn’t have enough forward momentum. So, I knocked the back poles down with my back legs. I have to say, I was very happy to have those thick fleece polos on my back legs, because they really softened the impact of the blow. Not that I couldn’t take it, even without polos. I mean, I could. I definitely could. I’m manly enough for that.
But still, I love those polos.
My Mommy said that I’m starting to learn how to kick out my back legs when I land, and that once I have that down better, I’ll stop hitting the jump with my back feet – even if I don’t get a good take-off spot, or if I don’t have quite enough momentum. So, the next time we jumped the oxer, I made sure to lift my back feet as high as I could. There was no way I was going to knock that pole down again! Here’s a photo of us jumping the oxer at 4 feet and 2 inches, with a 5 foot spread!
After the last time I jumped the jump, my Mommy hopped off as soon as I stopped and gave me the biggest hug around my neck. She hugged me and praised me and told me that she was SO proud of me. I always feel great when she makes such a big fuss over me! Then, as another special treat, my Daddy got on to cool me down. He said that he was so proud of me, too, that he just wanted to spend a little extra quality time with me! Mommy told him to trot me around the arena a couple times on a “loose rein” to let me stretch out my back and legs, but I got a little carried away and cantered, instead. They both laughed and told me I was really cute. I mean, I think I’m more handsome and stunning than I am cute… but that’s just my opinion.
Daddy and I walked for a long time to cool down my muscles, and then I actually got to have a liniment bath in the sun! It felt so good with the warm water and the warm sun shining down on me. While I dried, my Mommy wrapped my legs in ice. She said it would help them to not feel sore, especially because I knocked down that pole. And the jump poles are very hard! Anyway, taking a liniment bath always makes me feel tingly all over, so I was kind of antsy. My Mommy understood, though, and she let me walk around and eat grass while I dried in the warm sunshine. Of course, she was holding onto my lead rope, but she just let me go wherever I wanted and walked with me while I ate.
Well, I had plenty of time to go back into the paddock to eat more grass with Leo, and we ran and played a little. He told me that he was watching while I jumped, too! In fact, I think my other friends – Moekie, Isis, Jelly Bean and Jube Jube – were all watching, as well. I really love it when I have an audience!
After dinner, my Mommy wrapped all of my legs in those fluffy pillow wraps and gave me a marshmallow as a special treat. I feel warm and cozy in my warm blankets and standing wraps… so I think I’ll go sleep for a little while. I worked really hard today! Jumping such big jumps takes a lot out of me, you know. So far, this new year has been pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.