Lesson Update - March 2018

Okay, but how cute is his jump-hunting face?

Okay, but how cute is his jump-hunting face?


I know that progress is not always a steady incline, but rather a series of progressions and regressions. And this was my notable regression lesson. I would like to blame it on my very slight hangover or using new, very slippery reins. Whatever the reason, it wasn't my best performance. Luckily for me, Leo is a true ass-saver and bailed me out a few times.

My lesson the day before was rockin' so it didn't truly upset me that I didn't do super well, but it was also the lesson the day before that prompted me to ask someone to record our course... but even the bad days are worth recording, whether to know what to work on or a reference to work off of. I know I need to not move my hips forward so much at the beginning of a jump, aka jumping ahead, and not let Leo gallop down the line and end up deep on the second jump. I ended up with a severe lack of "folding" over the jump after our super-late-add mishap (which happened during our first course) and began riding defensively.

Other than that, I have been happily jumping higher on a regular basis, rather than it being a rare occasion. Our warm-ups used to be cross-rails, and now they are normally two foot jumps. I think we might be ready for the 2'6" division at the schooling show at the end of April, crossing my fingers for now. And switching back to the rubber jumper reins...

In other news, I'm taking a month away from social media and it's been pretty great so far! I spend less time trying to document moments and focus more on experiencing them. It is weird though because I have a weird memory [husband calls me a chicken little, but I think I've had one too many concussions] and worry about forgetting everything. Like, I literally don't remember a majority of my childhood.

 Still, it's better to find a balance between experiencing and documenting rather than creating to document, you know? 

Lesson Update 6.0

So I had another lesson this week and it was so, so much better than last week's! Last week kind of had me questioning whether I actually did as well in my first few lessons at this barn as I remembered. BUT fortunately I've been regaining some of my muscle, and Wednesday's ride felt amazing. 

I actually thought the lesson was going to be cancelled because my normal instructor was away at a show, but luckily the head trainer stepped in and was willing to give me a lesson. I was a bit intimidated but I have to say all of the trainers at this barn are incredibly kind and you can tell they care a lot about the horses. I was back on the original mare I rode in my first few lessons and she was being seriously stubborn about being spooky/looky (but not actually spooking) and the trainer giving my lesson was super patient and kind about it which was much appreciated. There's nothing worse than a trainer getting pissy which only makes you and the horse more nervous.

We did some trot sets and then cantered around a bit before starting the jumping. Her jump is seriously so lovely, though. Like, eq horses are life. We started out trotting an x both ways, then cantering it and then cantering the same jump as a vertical to a 6 stride line (I always do a 7, but hey at least I counted). 

I really appreciate riding her though because she gets 'excited' for a jump and locks onto it and starts to get just a little strong, but all you have to do is barely try to collect her and she's perfect and settles right back down. She finds the distances for you and you never have to worry about seriously legging her to the jump. I'm going to try to find the videos of me showing when I was fifteen, but I know that 99% of the time I was jumping ahead/standing in the stirrups. With her, it's so easy to just think 'okay, butt out' and just release over the jump. I honestly have no idea how it looks, but I've gotten good feedback from both trainers now, so that's something!

I'm having hubby come out with me next week to video so hopefully I can find my old showing videos and do a little comparison. And also have pictures of me riding!!

The droopy lip is everything!

The droopy lip is everything!