Bruce Lamb's Eventing Blog - December 2011

December 31, 2011: Worked my way up to a 3'6" x 4' wide oxer. Gamble did very well -- quite forward going into the fence. I needed to work on finding the right rhythm and energy level for his jumping, but once we had that, doing the spread was no sweat.

December 26, 2011: I'm starting to work on going over bigger fences, so I setup a half-decent sized oxer. Eventually moved it up to a 3'0" x 4' wide oxer with Gamble and a 2'6" x 3' wide oxer with Jasper.

December 11, 2011: The Hyde Moffat Clinic was excellent. He is an excellent horseman and instructor, and explained things in a very common sense manner. The four elements of which we continually need be aware are Straightness, Energy, Balance and Rhythm, so most of the exercises were designed around ensuring that all of those elements were in place. The other "take-home" for me is that I have to stop looking down after I complete a line of fences. I think I'm just checking my leads, but it is throwing the horse off balance when I do that. I need to keep my head high and my body balanced on the horse to keep his front end light.

December 1, 2011: After the October 9 event that Gamble won at Woodwind near Barrie, we gave him a much deserved rest. The intent was to let him rest for a month, but Jenny and I were going away for a week in mid November, so we decided to let him rest until we got back. But, while we were away, I managed to do a severe rupture of my hamstring muscles, and so I wasn't allowed to even sit on a horse until late November. So, all told, Gamble got about 7 weeks off!

We started working him back up slowly -- as much for my sake as his -- but we gradually increased the amount of canter work and jumping -- particularly with a view to attending the Hyde Moffat clinic at Linda Plank's farm, Sprucehaven, near Ingersoll. By the time we attended that clinic, we'd done jumps of 3'3" with confidence and (almost) no pain from my hamstring. We didn't do much dressage at all during this time period -- just during warm-up, really. No lessons with Tracy and she didn't work him at all.

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