Thursday, September 22, 2011

One mans trash is another woman's treasure. Salvaging an old flowerbox jump and putting spare lumber to good use.

Months ago our 4-H leader asked if I had any use for some old beat up jumps.   I of course couldn't pass up the offer even if there was a small chance they were at all usable.  One was an old flower box jump and the other and old jump standard.  The standard appears to not be savable but the flowerbox had a little potential.  So with some extra wood pieces laying around that I had saved, I grabbed some power tools and had at it.

Here is what I started with, it's not pretty but a poor resourceful eventer can see the potential.

Pull out old rusty nails.

Sand down old boards and the new boards that will be used as legs.

Grab eight star bit screws.

Star bit screws are a gals best friend.  It eliminates stripping the threads on screws like I have never done of course.

A girl with power tools!  Oh and black pants that may not have been the best choice of apprearal when sanding down old boards.

The almost finished product!  Just needs a new coat of paint and viola and lovely 2ft jump!

Now with my new standards and flower box jump I must decide what colors to paint them.  I think I will go with white with the flower box but the standards and poles I am thinking orange and yellow.  Simply because that color is the ONLY jump Steady has ever refused.  Thoughts?

On another note, our rides just get better and better.  I am madly in love with my horse and though it has taken us a while to feel like we have made any progress I can start to see how far we have come.  He has completely changed as a horse, in a good way.  After a great ride in gorgeous weather this evening I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude especially toward my husband for providing me with this dream.  This is actually far beyond what I have ever dreamed.  I wanted to run inside and give him a big kiss and tell him thank for how hard he works to make all this happen for me and my family but when I came inside I found him sleeping on the couch after a long day at work.  So I instead said thank you by keeping the kids quiet and finishing up all the evening duties so he can get some much needed sleep.  As for my ride tonight I set up a two stride line with the flower box 2' and a cross rail just to get the strides and timing right.  Then I raised the second jump to 2'6" and he rocked it.  BTW finally at 2'6" he finally has to jump a little.  His fitness is really improving and he can comfortably do 20 meter canter circles again.  I am working to still improve balance/moving off my leg/lateral and trot/canter transitions and balance.  With fitness they are getting better and better.  Most impressive is his 'try'.  He gives his all for me every ride.  After what felt like a train wreck at event camp with our balance and steering some things have finally clicked for me.  Peter explained a few times about how when you ask a horse to canter then ask him to bend to the inside you are taking away the horses natrual 'counter balance' by taking his head to the inside.  Though I did not pick it up at camp and never got it then I happy to say I finally got what he was trying to get me to do.  He kept telling me to shift my weight from one foot to the other.  Which I would do but at the time I was only doing it because he was telling me to.  Not because I really got what he was telling me to do.  I cannot say exactly when but at some point over the past two months I finally felt 'it'.  I can now feel mine and Steady's balance and when it is off, my body almost involuntarily corrects our balance by shifting weight.  It is amazing the difference it has made and I can tell Steady is very appreciative because things seem to just come easier for him.  It is amazing to me that one simple thing, balance, can make such massive improvements in every area of our rides.  I now find myself chanting "balance, balance, balance" with each canter stride.  I want it to become second nature to feel that balance so that in the moment on course I can think of other things and that vital balance just becomes natural.  The chanting helps keep my rythym and keeps my mind and body in the moment.  Now that I think of it I am really starting to talk to myself alot while riding...hmmm...


  1. Well done on the jump rehab! Horse girls kickass, we can do anything!

  2. Great work re your jump rebuild! Very impressive.
    Glad to read that you and Steady are making such great progress. Sorting out the balance thing is great.

  3. Come along to a new Equine Blogging Network where you can post this blog there and follow others too!

  4. Great find and rebuild! I pointed Rosie at a 2 foot cross rail the other day she trotted through it! No jump in the Draft I guess! I was laughing so hard at her.

  5. E79 I have to agree we do kick ass!

    Carol Thank you.

    Jeni-LOL was it the first time to present her with a jump? Maybe the jump is there you just have to find it.

  6. That flower box is cute! I can't wait to see how it looks when it's painted and has flowers. :) Can you put flowers on top to make it taller than 2ft? That would extend it's usefulness as you both progress.

    I like the idea of painting the jumps the color of the one he refused, but you could do a lot of different colors to mix it up so he doesn't come across another one away from home that bothers him. Just a thought.

    I'm glad you and Steady are finding your balance. I'm also so happy the camp helped you out so much. I'm so glad you were able to go. :D

    I jumped Chrome for the first time yesterday! We had so much fun with it. I posted a video on his blog if you'd like to check it out. He's only two and not really meant to jump being that he's half Friesian and has straight rear legs, but it was only sixteen inches tall so I don't think it will hurt him if I don't do it too much.


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