During our prep time before Breyerfest, Hat also had his first opportunity to go over jumps with a rider. I had been working him over jumps on the lunge line, but being a novice rider – I wasn’t prepared to take him over the jumps. Kayla (Hat’s favorite toy!) who is an experienced rider was out one evening though and agreed to take Hat over a few jumps. They both looked thrilled with the experience. Kayla has promised to work with Hat over the winter to get him ready for jumping – it should be a great for both of them.
By Sunday, Michele and I were reflecting on what a wonderful demo it had been. My riding confidence had really been boosted this time. It was wonderful to ride my horse without being terrified of something going wrong. We did the closing ceremony and Hat did his extended version of the “meet and greet.” As the Friesians left, Hat decided it was time to follow them, but I held him back because they were going to let the 26 mini’s loose in the arena and I really wanted to see that. Hat threw a little temper tantrum at this – he wanted his Friesians!
As we watched the mini’s – which he was enthralled with, he was a little restless. Michele and I talked and thought it would be a great idea to let him loose in the arena after they were done so we could let him move a little. After all, he had been in a trailer or stall since Thursday and we had another long trailer ride the next day. So I took his saddle off and after the mini’s cleared out, we took him into the arena, closed both of the gates – each of us took a gate and Michele unbridled him and shoo’d him into the arena. He did a semi-circle out, back to me, around me and . . . for his grand finale – Hat sailed over the 4’ gate with a foot and a half to spare.
I watched stunned as my boy headed up the hill and into the horse park. Luckily there was a pasture at the top of the hill with a horse in it. Hat stopped to chat and run the fence with that horse. I walked up, said his name, he ran to the other end of the fence, then started back toward me and came to grinding halt a few feet from me. I walked right up, put the line from my Parelli bridle around him in a rough halter and turned to the crowd and said “Gee, that was anti-climatic.”
Hat got what he wanted though. We had people coming up for the next 40 minutes telling us how pretty he was, what a great jumper he was, you should really get him into the jumper show, he’d be great at Grand Prix, what beautiful confirmation over the fence, etc. The one lady did comment that she wished she had had a camera to capture the look on my face. I bet. Well, I have now called the Kayla and let her know of Hat’s proclivity for jumping. She is going to start working Hat over the fences this winter. Let’s see if he shows as much enthusiasm under saddle when he is pointed at them. Maybe next year for Breyerfest we will fly over the gate and into the arena? That would be an entrance Hat would certainly enjoy. Grab your cameras – I’m sure the look on my face will be one that defies description.