Mom Is My Co-Pilot

Monarch's Reign aka "Mr. Derby" as in demolition derby!Monarch's Reign is learning to jump!Monarch writes . . .

Remember how I thought I wuz ready fer da ‘lympics? Seemz like only yesterday . . . well, it was almost yesterday, it wuz jus’ las’ week. Today, though, me and my Mom had anodder jumpin’ lesson wid Elizabeth, and I guess I still haz some work ta do.

I wuz doin’ great at first, but it turned out mah Mom wuz helpin’ me more than she should. She wuz lookin’ down when we wuz jumpin’, and dat made me jump, but left her in a bad pozition. So E tol’ her ta STOP LOOKIN’ DOWN, fer cryin’ out loud, and when she did . . . well . . . I kinduv fergot ta jump. I seen da jump, I knowed it wuz dere, but it jus’ seemed so small and delicate, like a bunch of flowers in a meadow (dere wuz flowers in front of da jump, so maybe dat confoozed me). Anyway, I decided I didn’t really need ta jump it, so I jus’ kinduv went THRU it.

Derby Man!

So now I haz a new nickname: “Derby Man.” As you know, mah Daddy Monarchos won da Kentucky Derby. But mah nickname iz not fer winning dat Derby — it’s cuz I went through da jump like I wuz in a Demolition Derby! Crash! It wuz kinda fun, I gotta admit, even though mah Mom did not ‘preciate it much. But if she’d been lookin’ down like she used ta do, she’d prolly have kicked me and I’d have gone OVER da jump instead of THRU it.

Dem little jumps ain’t big enuff fer me! I’m a big OTTB — I needz ta jump big stuff! I think I made mah point by goin’ thru dat jump. Hah! Give me somethin’ worth jumpin’, and I’ll go over it, ‘stead of thru it.

The Celebrated Jumping Horse of Cherokee County

Suellen writes . . .

The look on my face in that first photo says it all — I could not believe Monarch would just go through a jump without even making an attempt to jump it. But I’m still learning to jump, and I now know that even though I’m not looking down, I still need to be guiding my horse and telling him with my legs what to do.

Monarch totally redeemed himself a few minutes later, by making the beautiful jump you see in the second photo. Elizabeth suggested two things to me that I needed to do: (1) keep guiding him, even though I was not looking down, and (2) canter him into the jump. Trotting him into a short crossrail, and giving him no guidance whatsoever, was just asking him to go through the jump, instead of going over it. And that’s what he did! So, as is almost always the case, it wasn’t the Demolition Man who was at fault, it was his driver (me).

A lot of folks have told me that Monarch will make the perfect child’s hunter, because he has such a sweet temperment and he’s so willing to do whatever you ask of him. We are working our way through our training slowly, partly because so much of it is new to me as well as to him! So this was just another learning experience for us. We are very lucky that we have good friends at the barn, and our most excellent trainer, to help us along the way. Look for Monarch at a local schooling show or hunter pace soon!