I feel like I should have something to write here -- things have been happening -- but I just haven't gotten around to it.
Let's see. I judged a local schooling jumper show on Saturday. Classes went from ground poles to 3'3, and participants ranged from teeny kids on ponies to a local trainer and a very good event rider. It's not a recognized show in any way, shape, or form, which is why I could actually judge it. ;) Requirements: Know the rules, be willing to sit in the cold all day, be patient with people. Check, check, and check. I actually had a pretty good time. I got to see some good rides, some good lines and choices on turns, and some incredibly cute kids on ponies. I had at least three mini heart attacks, too, which I maintain ought to incur penalty points. First refusal, 4 faults. Lower the height of the jump, 4 faults. Scare the judge, 1 fault.
Anyway, I'm hoping I can actually get to and compete in one of these shows this year. All depends on confidence and how Apollo's doing.
The first part, confidence, is going to be fine as long as we keep doing what we're doing. We had a jump lesson on Sunday, and Apollo was -- as expected -- a total gentleman. I had issues with sorting out my position, remembering the course, and getting all caught up in OMGJUMPING! By the third time through the course -- bending line to bending line with bounce to 3/4 cloverleaf to bending line with bounce -- I had calmed down some and was able to ride some of it. All the pieces are in here; I just need to get them rearranged and get them moving at the right times.
It seems that I've gone from being behind the motion and sitting too straight, not enough angle in my hips, to being a little ahead of the motion and coming too far forward. I have no idea how this happened. Other main issue is I've not re-locked-in the part of my leg that needs to be on for a jump. If I can remember to get my heel out of Apollo's side and close my leg at my knee and thigh, things go beautifully. It takes some reminding (like every stride) for me to get there at first, though. Sigh. I think that's a combination of Apollo being a different shape from Reveille (who I did ride for five years, so it makes some sense) and just being out of practice. Since the last jumping lesson I had with Reveille in June? July?, I've now had a total of four jumping lessons. Maybe five if my counting is wrong. So I'll keep improving, get stronger, and get more confident.
Especially because Apollo is just the most wonderful horse on the planet. Patient, willing, honest, and athletic. I get all frazzled and he just keeps coming on to the jump quietly. He doesn't charge jumps, and he keeps a lovely steady rhythm (unless I foul him up). He jumps well. MT said in the lesson on Sunday that he doesn't think I could have bought a better horse. :D I agree. Apollo's just the most amazing fellow ever. (er, except for the troll-brony thing.)
So I'm thankful for Apollo. I'm thankful for what seems like a second chance.