Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lesson #37: Push

It's the start of the long weekend! Who isn't totally excited? I know I am. The day was a bit dreary because of the rain and there were thunderstorm warnings for the Erin area. I wasn't keen on riding out in the rain. Last time I rode in the rain, Nikki was being a big pain about the rain and it made for a difficult ride.

I got assigned Atlas this lesson who was spending his time out in one of the paddocks by himself. When I went to get him, he trotted over and seemed happy to come out of his paddock. It might be a good lesson. During tack up, he's a little bit more lively than usual and we get ready quickly.

The lesson starts out the usual trot warm-ups to get our rhythm together and Atlas is a good boy today. Probably in part due to the fact that I've also decided to remember to bring a crop and got him forward thinking right away. He's moving along nicely and we do a lot of seated trot. I hate seated trot. I work on keeping my weight down in my heels and my hips loose. For some reason, Aspen is the only horse which I have little problem doing this.

We continue to work on the seated and posting trot and work up to the canter. I am reminded of my incorrect hand position and I keep telling myself to remember that I have to have my hands in the right place as they tend to drop lower. Keeping a deep seat on Atlas is difficult for some reason. I find myself bouncing around and I have to be careful to maintain my forward perspective and my balance because I feel like I'm being tossed side to side. His canter is also one of those canters that is higher and he tends to launch himself up and forward. At one point, he takes the incorrect canter lead and I didn't really notice enough of a difference between the right lead and wrong lead. How to know you're on the right canter lead? Like diagonals, you look down at the horse's shoulder; their inside front leg should be leading when they canter and not the other fore leg. If you get the wrong lead, you should feel very off balance.

Sheri tells us that we can work on the double X jump, cavaletti or box jumps. Atlas is a big pain to deal with for this. I try to get him over the cavaletti to get warmed up and he continues to slow to a trot just before the jump. Sheri tells me my 2-point is all wrong and that I'm leaning on his upper body--I get ready too early and then I'm leaning over him. This is more difficult than I thought! She says that I should just relax a bit more and let him "take me into the 2-point". I try and try and try again without much success. He even refuses one of the jumps and veers off to the right. *sigh* I work harder at trying to understand what it is that I'm doing right. I try using the crop enthusiastically a few steps before the actual jump in addition to my leg aids to remind him I want him to move forward. The first time it just didn't work and he gets into another trot. He even mega trips over the cavaletti at one point and almost took the whole thing with him. I know. Geesh.

The lesson is almost over by now and I have one more chance to see if I can get over the double X jumps--I figure why the heck not. So I push and push him just before the jumps and relax into the 2-point when it seems natural for me to be pushed into it. And what do you know! He sails over the jumps and I go with him! HURRAH!! Success :)

I am bursting with joy that I've been able to keep him going in a canter over the jumps! Looks like I'm improving on this and I"ll be able to keep progressing forward so that I can ride any horse! My next horsey adventure is this Sunday at the Teen Ranch horse show with ADW and his young cousins!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stawberry Fields

It's strawberry season! And I'm the least likely person to talk about strawberries or any other fruit, for that matter. My family knows that I loathe eating fruit; but that's not completely true... I don't like eating subpar fruit. Unfortunately, that's most fruit that we get from the grocery produce section. It was several years ago, with ADW when I discovered this little nuance about me. I always refused to eat fruit when it arrived at the table and rarely bought it voluntarily. We were making a salad, and bought a cantaloupe melon (and a lot of cheese) from the Cheese Boutique off the Kingsway. The melon looked like it was rotting and didn't seem like something most people would have considered  delectable. But, when it was opened up, the fruit was fragrant and utterly delicious; I nearly ate it all before it made it to our salads!

Prior to this instance, I went strawberry picking with a coworker when I worked out in Oakville. I was working at a food research lab for a coop term and have to say, it was probably my favourite posting. Anyways, this lady took me out to a strawberry field after work once and I picked a large basket (4 litres) full of berries. These berries looked beautiful and delicious. They're also not the freak-show mutant blobs that you get in grocery stores where they grow these mutant fruit in Mexico or the like. These strawberries had a sheen and tasted like a little bit of heaven. I finished half the large basket in a day. I was originally planning on canning them but that clearly never happened...

Over the weekend, when I was enjoying my trip out into the country, I saw a sign that said "strawberries" at 'The Farm'. I took the opportunity to go, when I was on my way back from lesson. This place was magical... you drove in from 15th Sideroad and entered this wooded land with trees everywhere and the narrow road just kept going... I drove by the train bridge and up into a field... it was almost magical... and arrived at a field with a small trailer and tarp.

I thought about picking my own but with the humidity, I just couldn't bear the thought of going to do it so I bought the 4 litre basket and headed out. I love fresh strawberries from the farm. They're beautiful and they're sweet. And you know they're fresh when you see the sheen on the fruit; if your fruit looks dull, then it's not fresh anymore.

Farm fresh Ontario strawberries

I spent the drive home reaching back to grab berries... and I'm sure you can see why!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lesson #36: Confidence Reality Check

Sunday's weather is sweltering... even early in the morning. I intended to head into the city to go to the Toronto Islands for the 2013 Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival and visit friends who are racing this weekend after my lesson but I'll get to that later. The drive in is always great early Sunday mornings. As usual, the weather is clear and the traffic is equally obliging.

I've got a private lesson today because nobody else is scheduled to be in so it's just me, Nikki and Lenka. After the lesson on Friday, and knowing that I'm going to be riding Nikki, I ask Lenka if I can work on my seat for this lesson. Since it's a private, it's going to be only about 30 minutes so I need to focus and keep at it. Lenka has me working on the transitions of canter to walk or trot. Lots of seated trot and transitions. The frustrating thing is that I haven't had to grab onto the saddle to keep balance in several lessons now. But, this little Connemara X always manages to put me back in my place and tell me that I know squat. This isn't a bad thing... it's just... frustrating.

Lenka asks me if I have some issues with my lower back and I tell her that I've been told it's tight and that I have some soreness sometimes. She tells me that my back is interfering with the riding because when I do manage to get into a canter, my back is just not absorbing the movement so I'm bouncing around and that's why I feel so discombobulated. In addition (or perhaps as a result of?), my weight is not in my heels and I tend to draw my leg up until I lose the stirrup. So, I work on trying to keep my weight down in my heels and back a bit and also the loosening up of the hips. She tells me that the aim is: contact with my lower leg and inner thigh (not the back of the thigh), weight into my heels, loose hips and firm upper body. I know. I had the same reaction.

But, I do know that when those things come together, everything is where it is supposed to be. I just need to work more at it so that it comes together broadly and not only on the horses that I haven't had any issues with. Which only means... lots more unpleasant and frustrating lessons where I'm bouncing about and taken a few steps back.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lesson #35: Switch Up

I took Friday of as a personal day to run a bunch of errands; and let me tell you: I am amazing. I literally packed more to do in a single day than I could potentially be productive at work with. ADW and I started the day even earlier than usual and dropped Bucky off for his snip snip procedure. The rest of the day was spent running from place to place to check out venues for the pending nuptials. Trust me, venue hunting is not fun.

Anyways, this meant we had flexibility throughout the day, leading up to our lesson in the evening. Bucky was picked up in the mid afternoon and we stayed with him until he settled in at home and seemed okay. Then, we headed out at the time I would, if I was going from my place and the traffic was really really good.

We arrived and I started the lesson riding Indy but ended up with Nifty by the end of the evening. Good ol' Aspen was having some fits of his summer asthma so had the weekend off--the horse with hay fever! hahaha. We were working on the usual transitions and some jumping of the Cavaletti. While Indy was his usual mischievous self, Nifty was being really unruly. He refused to move forward and even almost backed into Indy at one point! We weren't sure what was going on at first and Sheri was saying that it might be some of his tack because even though Nifty is known to have a bit of an attitude, he's never unruly without reason.

ADW and I switched it up and I took Nifty and things got a teeny bit better and he wasn't refusing to move forward anymore. But, he wasn't really listening to my aids and was shaking his head and chomping on the bit a lot. Sheri decided to remove the martingale and the half pad to see if that got a bit better--a little bit. But, he was still getting into canter and speeding around without me asking him to.

One of the parents mentioned that he was chomping at the bit more than usual and so Sheri checked his mouth to see if there was something bothering him in there. It appears that there might have been some sharpness in his mouth and because of the way horses' teeth wear, they can leave hooks or sharp edges that rub into their mouths. Unfortunately for me, Nifty's super sensitive to a lot and doesn't even like being brushed so, it isn't surprising that if it is his teeth that's bothering him, he's going to be cranky about it.

I tried a few times to get into a good trot around the outside ring but it seems like he just would break out into a canter and deek about. With my lack of experience with Nifty and riding in general, I found it very difficult to stay seated properly and the constant pulling didn't help. In addition, Nifty has a super rocky canter which I have yet to master to ride without feeling like I'm launching out of the saddle. Since he wasn't being an unruly douche for the fun of it, I figured it'd be best to take it easy. We just walked a few times around the ring and called it a night.

Overall, the lesson was very frustrating for me (and I'm sure Nifty was not happier) and one of the more disappointing ones. I was frustrated with not being able to canter around and do the jumps because on Aspen, everything just comes together. However, in order to master the ability to ride any mount, I"ll need to do just that; and get on any horse and ride through whatever it is that isn't working.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Something to Cluck About!

I love to eat... but not just any food, but delicious food. I'm not talking about the kind of food that you slather salt and sauces on, but tastes delicious when simply prepared with minimal ingredients and even more delicious when dressed up just a wee bit with something more complex and fancy.

I've never considered myself a picky eater but since I started eating local grass-fed beef when I was studying at Waterloo, it's been a reluctant return to the industrial kind. My journey with animal protein has been a back and forth battle with me starting out eating whatever was put on my plate... because it was there. I didn't ask for it but I rarely declined it either. It was my parents providing for their children and nothing more, really. I am not unappreciative of their actions but I've also learned a lot. I remember growing-up and enjoying beef (in particular) and other meats less and less. I actually preferred the "cheapie cuts" like liver (of all creatures), gizzards, hearts, hocks, tendons, (pork) skin, feet (pork again) and wings... over the "prime cuts". There was a moment in high school where I flirted with the idea of going ovo-lacto vegetarian because I was becoming put-off with the idea of killing an animal to consume its body. But try being a teen and living at home with carnivorous omnivores; it didn't last and was nearly impossible to accomplish.

When I left for university, things changed a bit... I had more autonomy over my meal choices and like all first year frosh, I got careless then skipped meats in favour of less stellar vegetable dishes. I didn't know why I was put-off with what little I knew about why our food tasted the way it did but I was. During my first co-op term I got the opportunity to look the beast that is the commodity meat system, in the eye, well a glimpse anyways. I worked in an abbattoir with the QA department testing the microbiology requirements. It was months before I decided to eat pork again.

Sometime last year, I stumbled upon the website of the Culinarium. This little shoppe in the Mount Pleasant area is a hidden gem that promotes and makes available, local Ontario grown food that is sustainably raised and grown. The story goes that the founder, Kathleen McIntosh, was visiting a west coast friend who was raving about deliciously BC grown this or that. Kathleen realized that Ontarians don't really feel similarly about their local food and decided to do something about it and the Culinarium is born.

One of the main programs that the Culinarium runs and I have been enjoying for two seasons now is their "Chicken Shares Program" through a local farm, Nyman Farms in Picton, Ontario. Their chicken is raised in small flocks in the traditional way by letting the chickens outside to eat the grass, bugs, worms and whatnot that is available through nature--the way it was meant to be. I bought a large share last year and was getting six birds every month for six months. I tried the first chicken and I was hooked. The texture, taste and satiation gained from eating this chicken was bar none the best chicken I've ever experienced.

The few people who were lucky enough to buy a bird from me always came back to tell me that the chicken they cooked (regardless of the method) was amazing... tasted like the chicken of their childhood or was simply delicious (one told me that their spouse thought it was a small turkey!). You might think, this must be some sort of special breed; I assure you, it's not. These are the same birds that farmers raise for meat and the only difference is the method in which they're raised. It's as if you can taste the time, effort, sweat and tears that went into raising these birds to market. The clincher is learning that these chickens I'm purchasing are actually... illegal.

Last week, the Culinarium hosted a get together session to educate clients about the way chicken is raised on the Nyman farm, the politics surrounding raising commodity animals and what us normal people can do about making this more readily available to us. The first thing that we learn is that in Canada, certain food commodities are regulated by "supply management" in order to ensure that there is enough food raised for consumers and to ensure that independent farmers are paid a fair market price for what they raise. The foods that fall into this category include: meat chickens, eggs, milk; to name a few. Farmers are required to buy "quota", which dictates how many animals they're able to raise. The quota can be traded like stock and are often passed on from generation to generation of farmers (or so I've read...).

We focus on the chicken marketing boards. There is a national marketing board and each province has their own marketing board; Ontario's marketing board is the leader for a province that is the largest producer and consumer of meat chickens in the country. You'd think that with this characteristic, the marketing board would be far more complex in terms of their supply management but it isn't terribly complex: currently, for meat chickens, you can either buy a minimum quota of 90,000 birds for $1.75 million or raise 300, without buying any quota.

Economically speaking, if you're going to buy the quota, you're going to maximize your quota and turn these creatures into commodity products. And that's how most store bought chicken is raised: as commodities to maximize economies of scale. Now, there's nothing wrong with a business maximizing their operations and make healthy profits but at what cost? We all know that when you do things en masse, quality often suffers; in addition to the inability to humanely monitor each animal; especially since animals don't all act predictably nor uniformly.

On the other hand, if you choose to raise a smaller flock, you're only allowed to raise 300 and only sell these chickens at your farm gate. This is not economically viable by any means. I can't imagine a farmer to be able to make a proper living off of raising 300 chickens and being unable to bring them to markets. However, note that this current situation is only in effect in Ontario. Other provinces seem to have higher quota limitations which a farmer can buy... generally something that is reasonable enough to allow for a living. In addition, anyone who wants to get into farming is completely limited in terms of being able to reasonably get started since the start-up costs are astronomical!

What can you do, to support local farmers/economy and advocate for tastier options? Check out the petition that is advocating for change in the way the supply management system is set-up for meat chickens in Ontario: !!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lesson #34: Magical Ride

ADW spent the week with his new team in NYC so it was just me heading out to Greyden this Friday. And what a Friday he missed out on! The weather was amazing, the traffic was more than reasonable and the lesson was awesome. The only downside was that I didn't get to take a nap during the trip out. hehehehe.

Everything was going so well that I even made it out a few minutes early and got to stroll leisurely into the stable. I walk in and Nicole says there are keetens!!! Oh man... do you remember what happened the last time I was at the stable and the resident female feline had a litter? I'm a big mushy ball of goo. The kittens are semi-feral and need socializing so we're encouraged to pick them up and cuddle them and love them to bits. I pick up a little black one who's hissing and trying to run away from me. He's adorable. I just want to take him home and keep him forever! But, I don't have the place set up for foster a kitten since I've gotten Bucky right now and he's not exactly "living here" yet.

Anyways! Back to the purpose at hand: I am riding my unicorn tonight. And what perfect timing, I'm wearing my unicorn shirt:
Strive to be the best you can be!

Aspen's seemingly in good spirits today but as usual, isn't keen on leaving his stall (i.e. hay) to go out. Who would be, right? An endless buffet of your favourite food and peace and quiet with some privacy! To get us off on the right foot, I reach into my pack to bribe him with a snack--a preview of what's to come! Since ADW isn't in, I bring 2 carrots all for Aspen!

We start with our usual warm-up of trot (posting and/or seated). I love riding Aspen because his gaits are seemingly smooth compared to some of the other horses I've ridden. That is, if one can get Aspen forward thinking. I nudge and nudge to get him to move and while I feel he's speeding up his pace a bit, he's not really taking to moving quickly... as if taking advantage of the situation and pretending that his effort-filled walk is in fact, a trot. The funny thing is that at one point, he spooks at a fly that zips by him... for serious. This bomb-proof boy makes a funny skittish skid to the side when a fly zips by him. LOL.

The warm-up is always necessary... Since we each ride once a week for 1 hour, it's physically a big difference from the moment we start, to the time that the warm-up is (considered by Sheri to be) done. And it makes sense because riding uses a different set of muscles that a desk jockey wouldn't; so it takes a few to regain the muscle memory. The warm-up consists of a longer seated trot duration and today, the bumpy ride isn't as bumpy as I dislike. I find myself seated well and not bouncing about. I focus my weight down my heels and I feel like things are coming together better.

Then we do these transition up exercises of walk to canter. From stop, we are told to use the inside leg and apply pressure while they're walking and then... swing the outside leg back and goooo! Talk about immediate transition from first gear to third! W00TW00T! But, we don't only go up, we also go back down and the objective is to "stop on a dime" or do as few trot steps as possible. The aids that she tells us to use are pull back on the reins, tighten your seat and rigid-tize your body (yes, I just made up a word). I'm finding that with the gait transition like this, I'm not getting as solid a seat and my leg tends to ride up with the inside leg. I work harder at trying to keep my weight appropriately through my heels while centering my balance. It took a few tries to get it together and it's still not quite right but I'm going to take the victory that I didn't fall off and was able to maintain the canter.

Then we move onwards to the Cavaletti and the X-jump in a line. Sheri says our objective is to 2-point over the jumps but to sit in between them. We start in a trot over the line. Then we move onwards to a canter over the line. And finally, we add in the box jump--all at a canter speed. Aspen decides it's time to add his mile-long fart to spice things up and keep it interesting. Oh Aspen. However, this was possibly the most exhilarating 20-30 seconds all week! Aspen leaps over the jumps and continues to move forward in a canter until I tell him to stop. The thing is, these jumps probably aren't higher than maybe 1 ft from the ground but trust me, ontop the horse, it feels at least 3xs higher.

What a great lesson. To round things off, we use the trail to get back to the stable, for the first time. It was a nice way to cool down instead of walking the ring. We walk the lush perimeter and end up back at the stable. The un-tacking goes well and man! Aspen's a total treat HOG. Kent takes out carrots for his mount and Aspen actually walks up to Kent prompting for Kent to feed him! hahaha What a joker. Anyways, that just means that he's gotten a lot more treats than usual.

I am so excited from this lesson that I am pretty sure I have smile plastered ear to ear as I pull out of Greyden to head home... :D

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lesson #33: Perfect Birthday

It's not my birthday today. It's ADW's: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

This Sunday morning was a bit rough for me to get up... in fact, Sunday mornings are always tough for me to get up. I love sleeping in and since getting Buckingham, that's become a rarity. I'm lucky if I can sleep in till 9am. But upon getting outside, I see that the day is literally... perfect. The weather is comfortable with the sun out and just a few clouds scattered across the blue sky.

Despite having to get up early, Sunday mornings are always a treat to get up to Greyden; especially when the weather is clear. ADW is with me today and we get up being a bit late but since there's little traffic to fight, it's not a problem and we're not really limited. We get up in good time.

I'm riding Nikki and ADW is on our twisty friend Indy. Wanna know the best part about this mare? She's out in a paddock (I didn't post about my last Sunday riding her) but she was difficult to catch to come in. She gave Michelle a run for her money. And the paddock was small. Anyways... today I go out with some pellet food and she neighs when she sees me and actually walks over... as if she can already smell it. It's impressive, really. I'm not fooling myself to believe this little Connemara cross actually likes me, because she usually is rather mareish and I don't think she really likes anyone unless you're a carrot or another kind of treat.

This morning, Lenka is teaching us. A slightly different style than Sheri but another style of the same thing, none-the-less. We work on our gaits and 20-50 m circles. These circles require a great deal of precision... well, that's not entirely true. It only feels that way because we don't do them often. The smaller the circle, the tougher it is, to do. I would say that balance and precision are both factors which still escape me.

We work on getting our heels down by practicing the 2-point position during trot and interestingly enough, it comes quickly once you stretch yourself for it. We continue to work on trotting through seated trot or regular trot. Then Lenka has us do an exercise of figure 8s in the large lumpy circles style; versus the hourglass shape. She reminds us that these circles need to be relatively the same size as one another and that we are not to cut the corners, despite what the horse wants to do. The first try Nikki is not immediately responsive so I give her a smack too and she bolts forward into a pony trot. *siiiigh* and there I am holding on for life and probably looking like a darned sack of potatoes. Try again and remember to slow her down to tell her what YOU want her to do, says Lenka. This time, it works much better. I manage to slow her down and the seated and posting trot are much better.

We move onwards to the canter. Internally, I dread the canter on Nikki because she actually tends to do the fast pony trot before getting into the canter. It's either I have no idea what I"m doing, or she's just taking advantage of the situation--either one: I am not fond of the outcome! Her canter is fine to ride but getting her going into it is a real pain in the butt. I go back to the sack of potatoes ontop while pitching forward and losing proper alignment. It's incredible how little it takes to frazzle me up there. She even tries these deeks to the right rein while we're moving and because I'm still trying to collect myself, I often can't keep up with her and my body has to catch up with her! What a total mess.

Eventually, something clicks momentarily and she gets going enough to actually canter for me in a full circle. Hurray! My next goal is going to be to skip that pony trot and get into the canter....

Our lessons end after a few more tries of this and ADW and I head out for the day. I tell him I want to check out the Caledon Equestrian Park again (we went last weekend and it was a Dressage Show but it was rainy). When we get there, we see that they have another show this weekend but there look like there are jumpers too. One of the rings have these HUGE jumps and we see a horse sail over. It's incredible to watch in person--really. These huge sport horses that are probably a minimum of 16 HH seem to stroll into the jumps and then tuck their limbs underneath and become this meatloaf that sails through the air and effortlessly land. It's equally impressive that their riders are capable of staying balanced enough through the entire motion and continue to go forward. We watch a few of these jumpers (I'm not sure if it's a hunter-jumper or just a jumper class) and call it a day.

When we get into the car, a large truck pulls in and I a familiar logo on the side of the door and think, wouldn't it be funny if that's J and Sheri. And what do you know! It is J and Sheri! What an unexpected coincidence!!! We say hi and tell them that we were there watching the show and having lunch and were on our way home. They had come in, to see the Grand Prix class coming up so we wish them a good day and head on home.

Hopefully we can make another trip to the Equestrian Park to watch another show. I had a lot of fun actually physically being able to witness some of these finely honed athletes just do their thing and look so poised.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lesson #32: Twisted Sister

The last lessons I had were somewhat unpleasnt... weather wise. The unpredictable rain had made life difficult and unpleasant. I hate being wet.

This last lesson was totally different! The weather was a wee bit chilly but nothing that being outside and moving around wouldn't get the blood going. Getting tacked up was pretty quick this time. I think I've gotten a system down... me and Aspen have a "thing". ADW is riding Buddy today... a wonderful Belgium and QH cross. One of the most endearing things about Bud is that his head is HUGE. haha He literally has one of the biggest heads on a horse I've ever seen!

When we are ready, Sheri moves quickly and gets us to get warmed up with the trot. She must have a plan today. For some strange reason, I am having a lot of trouble with Aspen. It's as if he's not listening to my signals. A few times, he's pulled me into the middle of the ring completely insistent on going that way. I've had to use a lot more force than usual... strange. Regardless, she has us make a change of direction and immediately says it's time for the canter on the left rein. I thought I was going to fall right off! I haven't felt more unbalanced than that moment. When we slowed down enough for me to walk over to Sheri, she tells me to approach her and then starts laughing! Tells me to hand her the reins and shows me that I crossed the reins under his chin!! The whole time I was basically telling him to go the opposite way I was thinking I was directing him!

I haven't felt more sheepish than that moment. It was so silly but i couldn't help but laugh because it was so ridiculous. Poor Aspen!!! He must have been so frustrated with me at the beginning and was likely thinking "what is this idiot doing!?" Good thing he's a good boy and didn't take me straight into the rails! :S

Finally! He's back to being his good boy self and responding appropriately to my aids. We move into cantering on the left then the right rein and transitioning down and up. We work on trotting over the Cavaletti jump a few times and then Sheri says, "ok, I want everyone to come this way and then each of you are going to canter the jump". ADW is uneasy as it's quite the launch when you're ontop! Believe me, that 12 inch jump looks like nothing while you're on the ground but when you get ontop of a horse, it suddenly becomes this ginormous obstacle that you feel you'll never get over without toppling off.

I figure that the best thing to do is to not think about what's happening and just doing... otherwise who knows: jump refusal, stalling or worse. So I get Aspen into a canter and have him moving nicely around the corners and as we approach the jump, I remind myself to look up and forward and just go for it. What an exhilarating feeling to sail over a jump like that! Instead of Aspen lazily stepping over the Cavaletting, he actually jumps it.

What an amazing feeling! I totally know why riders get into jumping.