When Jive Magic arrived at the Ryans, he was ridden as a baby horse by Will Enzinger until it was easy to see he was a very well-mannered stallion. Rozzie keenly took over the reins and his training from then on. His first competition Rozzie remembers well at Rutherford on the grass polo fields. Jive was a big, gangly, loose individual whom Rozzie described as “sometimes like trying to ride a bowl of spaghetti!”
“He felt gigantic and gawky, and with only front shoes on and the grass arena he felt very wobbly and lacked balance, but the judges loved him,” recalls Rozzie. “I so remember making a diagonal in lengthened trot strides and secretly thinking to myself, ‘WOW!’ When I received my papers after the test, the judge simply wrote ‘WOW’ against that lengthening and I will always remember that.”
Rozzie is always very modest in describing her horses and plays their attributes down, but Jive, as he was known, was an imposing uphill stallion and filled the eye. He had elastic paces and a seriously impressive extended trot! His training was interesting and he was so good at some things and so slow to cotton on to others. The one-tempi changes were a total mystery to him and took him forever to get his head and gangly legs around. He competed for a long while at small tour, simply as the one-tempis were in the “way too hard basket!”
“One day I was working on changes and he just exasperated me,” says Rozzie. “I pulled up and said to Heath in a moment of dismay, exclaiming, ‘I think he is incapable!’ Heath gave an indignant look and explained to me in a very forthright manner that he was certainly NOT incapable, he simply hadn’t quite grasped the concept yet, but he would. I did wonder, but had faith in Heath’s words and he actually eventually did get the ones – but what a rocky training episode that was! Not to mention time-consuming and not to mention the mental anguish.
“Then, when after a year I was able to compete and got the 15 ones… Yay! The criticism was they needed to cover more ground… really that wasn’t rocket science to see, but I had to start short and brisk so he could manage them and then slowly increase the size of the canter steps in small increments. The one-tempis are simply one movement and he could do them now, and the rest of the test was all okay so I decided to get on and have a go. He did eventually become quite good at them and they covered the ground well. It just took him a while to demystify the changes and what Heath had said was so true!
“I have to say that another Jive mystery movement was the zig-zag in canter. It simply did his head in, and why the hell would you want to do tempi changes so sideways and swinging. Keep it simple and do them simply on a diagonal line… why combine them with half-pass and all those changes of bend and flexion. You just get organised and then you need to disorganise and go the other way, and then again and again… it was simply human madness! It did his head in! He also twigged in the end and he was a fabulous Grand Prix horse for me and I loved the time we spent together training and competing.”
Jive and Fabio (Regardez Moi) grew up together from when they were three-year-olds. Fabio was a hot and sensitive soul whilst Jive was laid back and quiet. The two made the progression to Grand Prix but it was so interesting to watch the differing approaches to the training and how they both ended up such solid and competitive Grand Prix horses. It was not as if there were 20 horses training and imported. These were two colts that were bought as very young horses and they both ended up being very competitive CDI Grand Prix horses knocking on the door of Olympic selection. It just shows the strength and diligent training, faith and belief that Rozzie and Heath have. Combined with their work ethic and consistency, Grand Prix was the end result even though others may have given up. Just as it was with Jarrah!