I haven’t been riding/writing as much because my body decided that now is an excellent time to come down with the plague. And to be fair, it sort of is, since my area of California is getting a lovely rainstorm for the next week-ish.
However, as most of you know, rain is never an excuse not to ride, and being the genius/masochist I am I scheduled a jump lesson for this morning’s rainstorm. Our footing is terrific, so it was outside, and we got soaked– but a few things finally clicked with both C and me, so definitely worth the next day or two of wheezing and red noses.
One thing we’ve been working on is getting C to understand placement poles to trot jumps. He likes to throw an extra half-step in there, just for poops and giggles, but today he was really understanding the point of the pole and putting some real effort behind the trot jumps.
I started out a bit poorly, which I will happily blame on my cold even with the knowledge it’s just, you know, me. But anyway, I kept letting my core collapse over the fences. So if I had a less game/honest/confident baby horse, I probably would’ve found myself face-down in that lovely arena footing, more than once. During the lesson N kept saying, strong through your core, and because I’m a chronic leaner/floater in the saddle, she chose the opposite direction. Basically, she told me to let myself get left a little behind.
And because human brains are funny little things, my body sort of met me in the middle, and although we never got a perfect distance… I didn’t lean or get left behind. Sorcery!
I’ve been trying to cope with some of my huntery feels at missing distances. I think once C figures his legs out more it’ll be easier, but the hunter in me gets so mad every time I chip in short. They aren’t even bad chip-ins, and still I grit my teeth or make “ugh” or “oh jesus” exclamations. And N is like “That wasn’t an oh jesus moment!” and then I just have to deal with a lot of my feels. Look, I even made a rhyme: Short spots are good, short spots are fine, short spots > long spots unless you’re left far behind. And sometimes even then.
Anyway, on one of the days I felt particularly crappy and C had many energies to give because currently, he’s not getting turned out much, I popped a couple of small crossrails on each long side of the indoor and let him get some sillies out. He was a cheater-cheater and chose to go around them most of the time, and other times forgot there was a jump there until it was literally under his feet:
But other times…
Aside from the shoddy videographer, look at his kneeeees!
I think under saddle we’ve just not jumped anything big enough to encourage him to pick his feet up that much, but hopefully that’s an idea of what he’ll look like over bigger fences, whenever it is that we get there! Right now for free longing I’m not planning to do anything bigger than crossrails on my own (and because obviously he doesn’t need much encouragement) but maybe one day I can snag N and do it The French Way. I’m curious, what can I say?
And because I promised a feed update, we’re reducing his grain in a few more ways because, well. N called him fat the other day. Possibly one of few scenarios where that’s cause for celebration! Yay, pudge!
He was starting to get less spooky in the warm weather after nixing the rolled barley, but with the current decline in temperature and near-constant mist or drizzle, well… we’re back to our old ways. That’s okay, though, I can sit whatever he throws at me while it warms up again!
If this were a very lengthy, picture-heavy Facebook status, I’d probably set it to “feeling optimistic” with that big-chinned smiley*.
And I do have a pending exciting announcement re:job hunting, but that’s for next time!