So it was a really good vacation -- I got to ride my little horse during the day, in the sunlight, almost every day for a week. :) We had a couple of really productive lessons, too.
One involved work without stirrups, which I am going to be incorporating into my everyday rides. 5-10 minutes every ride at first, until I get stronger, and then eventually no stirrups at all one or two days a week. But that's a ways out. MT gave me a slightly concerned look as I talked about how I was SO GONNA DO THIS, spotting the imminent overdo-it-then-fall-over cycle, and suggested that I might want to take it a little easy at first so I don't injure myself. *laugh* It's like he knows me by now or something. :)
The other productive bits from the lessons involved thoughts about jumping. I have got to keep enough pace going through a course -- it helps Rev straighten out and helps her get a good bounce off the ground, and jumping is easier and more fun for us. I need to keep practicing plugging both my seatbones into the saddle on the approach and in corners. Keep my leg tight on through the approach and the back side of the jump. What's critical for us that doesn't necessarily apply to my lesson partners as much, though, is the left rein. I have to learn to keep her in both reins evenly, keep that left rein connected, so we can jump square on and not float or dive right. We managed to get that going a lot better on Sunday after a few runs, so I have hope.
The most fun thing about the lesson on Sunday was that MT raised the jumps some. I decided not to worry about it before we got going, and then once we did get going, I was way, WAY too busy riding to be concerned about the jumps. They could have been bigger, smaller, wider, whatever - I was focused on riding Rev correctly: moving forward, keeping my seat and legs on, balance, and left rein. Jump? What jump?! I'm busy here! That was a great feeling, and I want to keep it going. MT says that it's all about position, no matter what you're jumping, and I can see that through Sunday's ride.
So I have some tentative plans for 2012. Assuming everything goes as well as it has been going, I plan to take Reveille to Golden Spike and compete in Beginner Novice. In August, we're hosting an unrecognized horse trials at our barn, and if Golden Spike went well, I'll plan on running BN there. If that goes well, I plan to go to either Aspen or Twin Rivers in the fall and run BN again.
In the time between now and Golden Spike, I'm planning to tag along with the barn to an early event and volunteer, just to see how things go and what I should expect. And to shop; I need a Rodney Powell vest. :) I'd like to go XC schooling around here a few times, too, in addition to the various XC clinics that we'll be having at home. Rafter K and Golden Spike are places I'd like to go and school, before the pressure of a show. And of course, I plan on entering the event derby at home and, if possible, at Rafter K. I'd also like to ride a few tests in our Test of Choice nights, and to compete in the little jumper shows we're planning on having.
Of course, this all assumes that all continues to go well with me and Rev. I'm going to plan on that but be ready to adjust as necessary. :)
And, because that's not enough to be thinking about, I need to get my fitness in gear. I have a specific deadline: Golden Spike. I need to be fit enough to handle three days of competition and the time beforehand. So there will probably be talk here about fitness.
Should be a pretty busy, successful year! :)