What the heck, as I type this it is POURING outdoors. Again. FOURTH day in the row (NOT counting rain the past weekend). It is 50 degrees and raining again. It is MAY (Last time i checked the calendar) and almost JUNE! WTF. Seriously I feel like I live in England these days. I THINK they are getting better weather. I just want to smash things! Anyway once i get my “Hulkness” over with on with the recap of my lesson with Sally.
So besides jumping at my barn the other night for our ‘fun’ night I haven’t jumped since Blue Goose CT. Tanya and I share a lesson with Sally at Straight Up when we can and I love doing that because A) Remus and I can catch our breath and B) I can watch and learn as Moo and Tayna get better and better. Sally had her ‘let’s see what these two chicks can do’ hat on at this lesson. After Remus and I slowly walked up the hill to the ring I could tell that impulsion was not there (and that was leading up the hill) LOL!
So after warming up, Tanya and I began jumping. The take home message being beamed to me loud and clear after trotting Remus around the ring on the FREAKING BUCKLE was oh shit no gas in the engine. After cantering I realized he was very very lazy and I had left my spurs at home. (I DID have my trusty purple crop though).
I have realized that I jump kind of haphazardly. Some times I feel like I know what I am doing, sometimes I don’t. And Remus will either jump early or late because of my indecision. And that is not good. But first we worked on moving forward toward the jumps. Both Moo (an Appaloosa) and Remus (foundation Quarter Horse) are not the most forward horses (natch). Neither one of them get excited about much (Unless an Amish cart goes by then watch Remus go!). So what we both were doing was letting them kind of lope up to the jump and either get too close or jump too early cause they didn’t have enough motor to get over the jump (They both luckily can jump by the seat of their pants or there would be a lot more poles and jumps to pick up!). Both of them CAN jump from a standstill (Not an ideal situation no matter the day).
So Sally’s first order of business was nailing us down to MOVE the canter forward and get the 5 strides she wanted between this one line. Shall we just say right now I didn’t like the one jump (never have) it is just a plank with a pole above it.
Literally like this but black and white and a pole over it. And EVERY time I go to Straight Up I have trouble with this jump. Mental? Maybe. Anyway what we were doing was coming to the right around the corner and this was the first jump in that line, the second line was just poles with a panel but that one was easier for some reason. Sally had us literally pushing our horses forward to the fences as in balls to the wall. Which if you happen to have or know an Appy or a QH..umm. Not so much moving forward. (There is not much lengthening in those short legs!) But we did get them moving on. Moo and Tanya had a few run outs but mostly they were hitting them right. Once we got Remus moving a bit he started figuring it out but I still have to say I felt like vomiting every single time we started heading toward that line. Sally is so used to me saying I want to throw up. She just laughs and sends me on. (Trainers are mean!) Anyway I get the concept but it was tough cantering that fast (slow lope really for most of you) to the jumps. I just don’t trust Remus at times enough since he is such a klutz and such a heavy on the forehand horse. But Sally told me numerous times she trusts him completely with me. SO I have to think she means it (I don’t think she would lie to me, hopefully)!
Not only did I have to get him moving on and forward but I had to sit up and lift my hands and do a bunch of other stuff. Jeez. We did get some really good jumps (And some really crappy ones) but no poles and no refusals for us which is a good thing. It was a great lesson seriously and one that will keep me thinking. As Sally said, this is stuff to work on at home (Or at the place you go for lessons) not at the show. But the more we move forward to the jumps the more we have the ability to make our horses jump not only better, but cleaner and safer. The good news was that I didn’t feel insecure jumping (i.e. left behind or lose a stirrup etc.) That has to be a first.
Remus jumps very low for an eventer even in Intro. If he is not up as in full of himself and stupid (about five days a year maybe) he is even lower. Sally says my job is to get off his forehand as he is already on it too much and me leaning forward only puts more weight on him.
It is a totally mind-numbing experience trying to redo years of stupid habit. And as all the instructors I take lessons with can tell you, it doesn’t go away for long!! I realize it but it doesn’t help the fact that the minute my brain goes into OMG mode, I lean forward. And I need to deal with it!
So a very successful ride (All rides with Sally are that way honestly) and lesson. And lots to work on moving forward. I hope to school with Sally at Fair Hill soon so I can decide about signing up for the FH Derby (June 24th if you are interested!) or the FH Starter (July 1st).
And for even bigger news. I have to go to Austin for work in June. And why am I so happy to fly 3.5 hours to work? CAUSE I am going to try like the dickens to meet Presto and Henry (oh yeah and see Amanda too!). I am looking at flights now!
YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY So excited. Except Amanda emailed me the other day to ask my boot and helmet size. At first I thought she was buying me a new pair of boots like hers….but alas. No….she has other devious plans. Can’t wait!!