That, of course meant I had a REALLY forward horse - a sharp contrast to Mr Splash from last week. We had a blast on the course and by the second round, we really were in sync. I've mentioned before that Checkers has quite a big jump that I find hard to ride - the answer to that, of course is more forward. Add a a little more speed and those giant jumps just start to flow. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure that out. The answer to all my horsey problems in the past has always been 'forward' - Spooky? Forward. Barn sour? Forward. Behind the bit? Forward. Bucking? Forward....yet still I go for how many lessons before figuring it out. At any rate, we had plenty of forward, I didn't chicken out and just went with it and we had SO MUCH FUN. I can't take credit for it, and claim I rode wonderfully or anything, because Checkers is of course the wonder horse that does it all on autopilot. But I'd like to think I held up my end of the bargain and stayed out of her way and let her look like the star she still is :)
I was chatting to one of the barn girls after my lesson about Checkers' long and successful show career. I'm not surprised in the least - she's an absolute pro at her job and still just KNOWS that she's all that. Hard to describe, but I've never sat on a horse that has anywhere near the amount of confidence in themselves as she does. Thank goodness she has a heart of gold to go with it. I envy the rider that got to own Checkers in her younger years - I can only imagine how formidable she would have been! Now, with Checkers near retirement and scaled back to one lesson a week, I'm always aware of how incredibly privileged I am to spend that hour with her.
|She never fails to pose for her picture.|
Here's hoping spring shows up to stay one of these days - I'd really like to ride in the outdoor!