Bounce Baby Bounce

Bounce Baby Bounce

I really wanted to title this post “Baby’s First Bounce” but since no one will believe me when I call my eight year old pretty damn broke horse a “baby”, let’s just simply say we did our first bounce in our Sunday lesson.

First, we did trot poles.  Simon started out very tense and a bit worked up about them.  He wanted to be very forward and rushing going into the gymnastic.  With his shorter stride we had a hard time balancing length of stride with proper speed.

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ZOMG POLES

And we had some some, dare I say – special moments.

Derp.
Derp.
Derp part 2.
Derp part 2.

Also included in the specialness was “don’t canter the trot poles” (aka me yelling ‘We’re going to die!’ as I go down the line).

Not made for cantering.
Not made for cantering.

After a while he started to relax, and overall things got better.

Much more betterly
Much more betterly

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Once we were through the trot poles, there was the bounce.  Two little cross rails.

Bounce...
Bounce…
... and out.
… and out.

I had never done a bounce before (neither had Simon) and didn’t know what to expect.  Honestly?  Easy peasy.  I mean at this height with my horse, I shouldn’t have expected any problems.

As with any gymnastic, we had to hit the entrance right or there’d be problems.  If we botched up the trot poles or left too early for the first cross rail, he’d have to go a bit long for the bounce.

Close to the 1st jump
Close to the 1st jump
Long to the 2nd
Long to the 2nd

Next to build on the poles + bounce, my trainer added a one stride.

He's learning to lengthen his stride out for these
He’s learning to lengthen his stride out for these

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We ended the lesson with the last two jumps set up for small verticals.  In true Simon fashion, he likes to “celebrate” a little after a gymnastic line with a head shake.  It looks like he’s pissed off… but he certainly doesn’t feel that way.  I call it his happy dance.

Vertical out of the bounce
Vertical out of the bounce
One stride vertical
One stride vertical
Happy dance
Happy dance

So basically these are a lot of pictures of my horse getting over poles 😀  However gymnastics used to be a cause of anxiety for us, and now they’re more fun than anything!  What about y’all, do you have a love or hate relationship with bounces?

32 thoughts on “Bounce Baby Bounce

  1. Bounces are awesome but they feel WEIRD.

    Love how your trainer built up the exercise and how confident Simon is at the end. Nicely done!

  2. You and Simon look great! I love how the pictures show him relaxing and figuring out the exercise as he goes along, and the happy dance is adorable. Bounces are fun, and great for the booty!

  3. I love bounces! They really help me stay up in the saddle, as opposed to sitting too much right after a jump. They help Moe not go a million miles an hour, too. 🙂

    Simon’s happy dance is adorable. What a dork!!

  4. Once I get going I typically enjoy gymnastics but when I haven’t done them in awhile I have some mild anxiety over it when the jumps go up. Luckily Huer knows his job and typically saves my but even if we get funny spots in. Definitely a useful exercise!

  5. love bounces! Don’t do them too often but they’re great for getting the horse to a) slow down and b) rock back and actually have to use their butts. I just love grids and gymnastics in general. My mare used to rock them- she was so easy to ride through them because she had a monster stride so you just had to keep leg on and let her go. I always said if a jumper course were just grids, we could be great! LOL

  6. I like gymnastic exercises in general – always a very helpful reminder to me to set things up and then stay out of the way. I love it when they have a little celebration after – it’smy little reminder of how much they enjoy their jobs 🙂

  7. Haha, I love his happy dance!! Red does the same thing when I let him go after the goats at the farm. 🙂 He herds them wherever I tell him and then gets excited. “Look maaammmm! I did it!!!”

  8. I love bounces! Helps me to learn to sit quiet and just support….rather than micromanaging every step like I’d prefer. And I agree-his happy dance is adorable! What a goob.

  9. Gym-nasties are my favorite! I get major anxiety about single fences, but when there are a bunch of jumps in a row and all you have to do is sit chilly, I’m golden.

  10. Miles and I are not good at bounces… or gymnastics of any kind. He’s going to go to Gymnastic Boot Camp with a more talented rider later this summer LOL

  11. Y’all are looking so good! Bounces are so great for me and my poneh! I really have to work hard to stay with the motion. They are good for my eq and his knees. But I hate trotting in! We suck at trot poles! It gets interesting when my trainer asks me to drop my reins, yeesh never mind it gets embarrassing!

  12. I don’t have an opinion, since I’ve never done bounces, and now my horse’s jumping capabilities are limited, but they look like so much fun!! Love Simon’s happy dance 😀

  13. I love doing gymnastics just because it is so good for the horses (made or green). The first time I did a bounce with Poppy she jumped the entire bounce. It took ten years off my life 😉

  14. I love your original title for this blog post. Bounces are fun. I am wondering how you get so many great photos of yourself riding. I know you shoot pics, but surely you can’t multi-task and take your own while bouncing. . . or can you?

    1. My husband took these for me. He has good timing, and I usually set the exposure for him and just hand him the camera. I also am really lucky to have another rider at the barn who is a good photographer, so sometimes we take turns taking pictures of each other.

  15. Bounces are intimidating! Luckily Hemie is fine with them.
    Hehe, and he’s certainly your baby even if he isn’t a baby, so either title is perfect =)

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