A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rough rides and Redemption

After Thursday's lesson, Holly was in the dog house. She had been spooky, and bratty, and I'm way too outa shape to fight all that. By the end, we had circled everything that might kill her a million times, jumped until we didn't totally suck at our distance and lead changes finally smoothed out (that one I take most of blame for), and if I hadn't watched one of the toughest little girls I know come off not once but twice, I would have been really bummed at my lesson.

But I had stayed on, and stayed with it. Back spasms galore, but as much as I wanted to hang up my spurs as soon as she revealed her Sassy side, I put on the big girl panties and rode it out. Small victory. Friday WS rode her and she was again a beast, refusing jumps (albeit a skinny ramp looks scary to me too) and general springtime shenanigans.

Feeling the burn
Yes Holly, this height is insulting
 Apparently she was thoroughly worked through her issues and today she was pretty mellow. WS hopped on first and warmed her up and jumped her over the respectably tall stuff. Then I got on and after some more trot and canter laps did some baby jumps. I find old habits are quick to resurface. She goes long, I sit up too fast and hit her mouth, then she's cranky and gives me nasty changes.
Need to work on my release
Thank you for flying Backseat Airlines...
Luckily since the height of the jump isn't scary I can recover myself and did ok most of the time. I even asked for a few more so I could get a little video. Immediately jumped horribly, because that's how it goes, but hey, I did ask for more.

(shout out to my hubby who got pics/video while holding 
a small infant and watching a 3 year old).

Hopefully, my broken car isn't too broken and I can put her back into full training for a month for a tune up. I don't have the time/energy/stamina right now to put in more than 3 days/wk.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jumping on the crazy train

Wind+ 2 data off + stall life = Hairy-eyed giraffe horse.

Miss Holly was kinda a pill to ride. Despite plenty of other horses being present and not dying  by trotting by the open and of the arena, Holly was pretty sure there were horse eating monsters lurking in the corners. Sigh. This was not helped by the gusting wind, and shoer who was banging things around and playing heavy metal music right in the corner by the arena.

I need to find my inner zen and not react. Going into fetal crouch and getting in your mares face only leads to fun things like feeling her get light up front (no m'am, not OK) and lots of getting yelled at by trainer. When I did succeed on getting my horse's butt and shoulders and head properly aligned, our ride wasn't bad (at least for 3/4 of the ring every lap).

Then Karley and I warmed up over a little cross rail on a figure 8 back and forth. Then I had to do a bunch more laps alone til I fixed... Well if you can hear the plethora of things I get yelled at for in the video.

Enjoy the awesome audio cause I'm too lazy to edit ;)

Big thanks to a friend for getting me video. Amazing how much faster it all feels in the saddle. When I didn't hold her until we were near chipping in and let her figure it out, she was getting great distances. 

Its not pretty but its progress. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Crossrails FTW


So trainer deemed me ready to get back to jumping last Tuesday. I was a little late getting down to the barn so everyone else had pretty much finished by the time I was warming up.

Did some ok WTC. Miss Crooked Butt and I had to work at not cantering down the side like a car with a bent frame.

Then we went back and forth over a tiny x-rail. Karley stayed to watch while cooling Henry out and cheer me on. Holly was awesome,  gave me great distances, (I will take no credit in helping her decide anything) I was just trying to hoist myself into a half seat without falling on her neck ;)

Thursday I came early with the "kids" (really one Beginner+ adult and one awesome but tiny 8 year old).  It was stupid windy out so we stayed in the dreaded indoor. Ran Holly around in the round pen before getting on. She was surprisingly chill which usually I take to mean she wants to lose her shiznit later while I'm on her back for more fun.

Since I was last on, I kinda got lucky and missed the dreaded drop your stirrup laps at the trot and got some lovely frame from my girl when I could keep us together.

From funny wiki article on jumping
Then trainer set up two jumps, maybe 18"-2' cross rail and vertical. Oh they're small, this wont be too bad. Ahem, never doubt my trainer's ability to push you as a rider one way or another.

Basically it was canter the x-rail towards the closed end, then a quick tight left turn/ rollback to the vertical, into the open side/corner where your horse can watch another horse going ape-crazy in the round pen and Dorothy's house flying by in the wind, then do a dirty lead change as she drops her shoulder into the turn. At least that's how it felt. Turns came fast, and it took lots of times for me to just sit back and let her change her lead etc.

The three of us riding were all huffing and puffing by the end, so at least I didn't feel completely out of shape comparatively. After I was done, remembered 8 year olds mom was there and totally would have video-d for me if I'd asked, D'oh!

I'm sure jump heights will quickly rise over next week or two. But when Holly was actually putting forth a good effort over the jumps, and I had a few jumps I felt myself settle into the perfect balance over your stirrup where you just feel right (even got a few "nice" from the trainer) and I remembered why I like all this torture so much.