Weekend Recap: A Birthday, A Derby School, and A Lot of Rain

In case you haven’t realized, it’s pouring in Texas. Again.

Knowing it was going to rain all week, our trainer moved lessons to Saturday instead of Sunday, and despite the light rain, we all lessoned anyway over the derby jumps since there is supposed to be a Derby held at a local show this weekend–though I doubt it will actually happen with all the rain. Saturday was also Val’s 13th birthday and in the interest of being a grown up horse we hacked around the new jumps in the ring, but he didn’t get to jump them individually or warm up over them. Instead, we warmed up over a couple of boring little things and then dived right into the derby course. The first time was pretty ugly. There were a couple of circles to get my pony’s brain back in his head, especially after I goosed him through the in-and-out to make sure he didn’t try to add. After doing a couple of jumps that were new and scary and not being allowed to stop and look, he decided that all of the jumps were probably going to eat him. But despite all of that, he jumped everything. So we’re calling it a win.


Rather than doing the long derby course again, I did a shorter course to work on getting him to relax again and hopefully not fry his brain more. This wasn’t as good as I might have liked, but it was still better. The first time we hit the bigger hay bales, I pushed Val past the distance thinking he’d be peeky, and he just didn’t rock back well, hanging a leg and pushing the top row of hay. We started over and it was a bit better, but I think we’re going to have to work on rocking back for this type of wall jump, although they aren’t usually a question until you get to the bigger 1.20m classes and up. He generally jumps in great form, but with nothing to back him off of it he just wasn’t approaching the question well. Any suggestions for teaching them how to jump this type of obstacle?

First course:

We sat around and went to sleep for a moment, and then did the same short course once more, trying to clean it up a bit and get a better, more relaxed canter so that the whole thing would flow a little better. There was a lot of improvement here, and we could have done it once more, but since he’d tried his best to handle the pressure well and the weather was super gross, we called it there.  I’ve definitely got some more things to work on if it ever stops raining.

I’m a terrible horse mom and forgot to get Val birthday donuts, but whenever it stops raining and I can go see my horse, I’ll definitely be bringing some. Since I failed on Saturday, after our ride and a nice groom he got to graze for a while before I turned him loose to play with his buddies and stuffed his face with three kinds of cookies.

The rest of the day was fairly low key since it was raining and Joseph was in Dallas with friends.


On Sunday, I decided that I would at least take my horse his birthday donuts and some cuddles since it was gray but not raining, but right as I got off the couch to change out of my pjs, it started to pour. There are a couple of low water crossings between the barn and my apartment, so Val got the day off from my smothering. I puttered around the apartment reading and catching up on Arrow, and I dragged myself to the gym at the apartment. When Joseph finally got home, we went to see Batman V. Superman for date night, and I had an excuse to wear my newest cartilage jewelry.


It was a p.i.t.a to put in, but I love it anyway.

Despite the rain, it was a pretty OK weekend, especially since I also ordered tall boots on Friday that should be here soon, thanks to your help! We kept the jumps mostly on the smaller side, and we didn’t have any big revelations, but I had a lesson for the first time in over a month which was great, and when I asked Val to step up, he did, even if it worried him. After enough baby steps, I know we’ll get to look back and see that we’ve actually come a long way.


The birthday boy being cute as always, staring at a friend who did nothing but raise her hands to make him prick his ears.

How was your weekend? Are you drowning like we are?

8 thoughts on “Weekend Recap: A Birthday, A Derby School, and A Lot of Rain

    1. You can have some of ours! Our lakes are already full again, and we’re definitely not in drought anymore. I didn’t even think about how appropriate our ocean jump is for this week. Haha.

  1. It’s been lovely weather here (for once haha) so no complaining. That hay bale jump is awesome tho!! He will figure out the rocking back thing soon enough – I always kinda suspect horses understand solid jumps better anyway, he just needs to respect the vertical-ness I guess ?

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