Monday, March 12, 2012

There will be video.

What a great weekend! :) I rode Friday and Saturday and had a lesson on Sunday, and it was lovely weather for all of it, Reveille was awesome, and basically the planets aligned exactly the way I needed them to.

I'd planned to take Rev out and see if I could find top gear on Friday. Seeing as one of our issues with jumping is pace, I want to get comfortable with going Faster!.

Okay, I will tell the truth. The weather was beautiful and I was feeling really upbeat and all I felt like doing was galloping around like a maniac like I used to when I was a kid. ;)

But -- I am not a kid any more, so I didn't. I decided that trying to find that gallop was enough. :) The footing outside was kind of crunchy, though, so I didn't do a lot of galloping. We did get up to the gallop, though. Kind of nice, but it seemed like a lot of work. Hm.

Saturday was another gorgeous day. I went and caught a few classes of the local jumper show, including watching The Sprinkler Bandit's last round, which I'll let her tell you about. I was so delighted to watch my friend Kate and her newish horse absolutely kick butt around 2'6, 2'9, 3', and 3'3, too!! That's a heckuva horse she's got there. :)

I'm always surprised at some of the rounds, though. Some of them I just watch through my fingers, terrified that the horrible things I see building up in horse and rider are going to happen right there in front of us. Sometimes it happens; sometimes the game little horse gets the passenger around the course. Either way, it makes one of my goals "don't be that scary pair."

Anyway, when I got out to ride, I did baby, beginner trot sets, as much for my fitness as Reveille's. I don't have a watch at the moment (on the To Fix list), so we went for laps rather than time. Four laps at the round working trot, one lap at the energetic walk. Repeat until rider exhaustion, which will come way before horse exhaustion. ;) I actually found it fun, if, well, exhausting. It's on the list of things to continue doing and refining.

Sunday we FINALLY got to have a jumping lesson!! I wasn't sick or any broker than usual, and Daylight Savings Time could kiss my butt -- I had a lesson! :) We had SUCH a good time. We didn't have that suck-back type pause at jumps this time, whether that was because Rev is learning during Free Jump Fridays or because I'm learning about pace and kicking on or just luck ... Whatever the case, we had a great time. We're now needing to work hard on straightness. Very hard. Rev drifts right and gets her haunches out of line with her shoulders, which doesn't help her jump.

We had a Swedish oxer in the mix this lesson, and in the middle it was probably 2'9ish or so. On the ends, it was 3'. Note that I didn't know this when we started. Anyway, when we took our first round at it, I didn't keep Rev straight enough at the fence, and we jumped way right, over the high side. It wasn't a pretty jump, and I got bounced out of the tack a little but caught myself fairly easily (yay me). When we came around to talk to MT, he said, "I have to confess that I built this one just for you. It's about straightness, here, and if you don't keep your horse straight, she has to jump three foot."

*blinkblink* So ... we made a mistake. But ... we jumped 3' and lived to tell the tale? Boo, and YAY! *laugh*

The next time through, I held her STRAIGHTSTRAIGHTSTRAIGHT and kicked on to keep her feet moving. I was really, really firm about it, and we had a much better jump! I got left behind some, but that's totally okay, and I was expecting it. (Better that than get forward, fordamnsure.) Still, she jumped way better and we were right there in the middle.

Learning experience FTW! :)

After the lesson, MT said that he was really proud of all of us and that we'd all ridden really well. This was a great thing to hear. :) He doesn't just say stuff like that, and it made me feel a lot more confident, especially after several weeks of not jumping.

Happy dance! And there will, as I said, be video! Margie's husband videoed the lesson, so you'll see the good, the bad, and the ugly soon. :)

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