After staggering out to make sure Apollo was fed and happy on Sunday morning, I discovered that the xc schooling had been canceled based on the weather prediction - storms rolling in and more on the way. Bummer. What I really should have done right that second was go grab another hour and a half of sleep, another two liters of water, and food, then go see about a lesson.
What I did was surf Facebook groggily, then go volunteer for a jump lesson in the covered arena. Note the lack of water and food ... this proved to be a bad decision in the long run.
I rode terribly over the first set of jumps. Like, worse than NT has ever seen me ride. My muscles felt like spaghetti, and my body just felt dull and heavy and energyless. My legs were not answering my brain, and I'm not sure my brain knew what to ask of my muscles in the first place.
Fortunately, another student/helper/organizer came in with coffee for NT and information right then, so I took the opportunity to grab a bottle of Vitamin Water (with calories, important) from the truck. Half the bottle later, I felt better, and I was riding a bit better. The whole bottle later, I actually started to ride well, lock my lower leg in, and, yknow, steer. Sheesh. I need to remember how to hydrate in the Southern humidity!
I think the best run at the gymnastic (bounce to one-stride) came when I focused on Denny Emerson's advice on the approach: ALLOW the horse's movement to fold my hip and knee angles and push me into the question mark shape over the fences.
I came away from the lesson with a few thoughts/homeworks:
- Apollo needs to be stronger through the hind end, able to maintain a compressed, powerful trot on the approach to the fences.
- I need to develop more rider fitness and endurance.
- Apollo also needs more fitness and endurance.
- I need to think not only of Denny's question mark but also of not falling back into my pattern of riding with my upper body too upright. Even slender, I'm ... ah ... top-heavy, so I tend to overcompensate.
- Hydrate correctly next time!!
So alas for no xc, but hooray for gymnastics! As soon as I get the video from the student/helper/organizer, I will post it. :)