I discover I have some sneaky, lurking readers out there, including my Teacher's Eldest Daughter, who's claimed her own pseudonym. Hi TED! *wave* TED's a riot and one of my favorite people to have around the barn, and I'm happy to report she'll be around much more this summer and early fall! TED brings the party with her whereever she goes, so it'll be an awesome summer. :)
ANYway. A random thought: a long time ago, at my very first hunter/jumper barn when I was something like eight, the teacher there objected to being called a "trainer" by her students. She pointed out that horses have trainers; people, she said, have teachers. I've always liked that distinction, even though its accuracy is fuzzy at best. You can absolutely teach a horse something, and people can absolutely be trained. Plus, my teacher is also a horse trainer. At any rate, I kind of like that pattern, so I stick with it.
ANYway anyway ... yes. Last week was kind of a pain as far as life and work went. I mentioned that I wasn't going to make it on Monday or Tuesday and would have to just cross my fingers for the TOC night. However, on Wednesday, TOC night got weathered out. Bummer. I'd planned to go ride inside anyway, but then I sat down for just a minute, I swear!, with the corgis ... and that was all she wrote. Lovely nap, though. :/ Thursday and Friday went much the same, with work substituted for nap, etc.
So Saturday I saddled up for jumping lessons without having ridden at all that week. Sub-optimal, but sometimes that's reality.
Reveille was quite good! I, on the other hand, ought to have done better. We're getting good at figuring out our pace and striding in the sand arena, but I think the lack of jumping lessons lately is showing. (It's times like this that I really appreciate the rule about no jumping outside of lessons at our barn. Some people argue that it's ridiculous and you should be able to practice whenever, but I really believe that I would do way more harm than good to my confidence, skills, and correct performance if I jumped without MT there. I'm not good enough or experienced enough to solve problems in my jumping technique on my own.)
Out in the cross-country field, though, I really feel like I should have done way better. In my defense, Saturday was the first xc jump i'd jumped since last fall. For the prosecution, though, are all the other facts. I was tense, way more nervous than I needed to be -- I mean, come on. Rev's a good girl these days. I was anticipating much more spookiness and squirreliness than she even thought of offering. And of course, that gets in Rev's way and does no one any good at all.
If I could just relax better and let Rev go forward, just steer and chill up there, we'd have a way better chance of getting around without any drama. MT demonstrated this for me on Sunday, after I freaked and overworked Rev (even though she was indeed cranky on Sunday, way more than on Saturday, and a slightly more opinionated ride) -- he got on and galloped her around and jumped the little barrels and the rolltop several times. I was glad to get back on and do some jumping myself. MT told me to take a bridge in the reins and get comfortable with it and put my hands to her neck. And ride in two-point, which automatically releases some tension for me.
And it turned out to be the most fun I'd ever had on xc. Took the bridge, got up in my stirrups, and just let her come on to the fence. And she kept on coming on ... and I was with her all the way instead of behind. It finally felt like flying. Like Rev just moved up to the jump and sailed over and then went on.
So THAT's what it's supposed to be like! Right. I'll try to keep doing that. We'll be doing lots more xc in lessons over the spring and summer ... when I told MT that I was excited about that and that it'll get me the experience I so very much need, his comment was that it'll at least help me relax out there.
Heh. True dat.