Saturday, 31 May 2014

Contrast

This weeks lessons couldn't have been more different, even though they had the same twisty, windy jump course set up.

I had my lesson Wednesday night and was reunited with the always wonderful Checkers. She was feeling fresh and sassy and we had a fun, forward ride. I feel like I am riding her jump much better, but still I must be intimidated by it a little since she is the only horse I seem to never have forward enough in the jumping portion of the lesson (the flatwork is always an exercise in slowing her down a bit!). There is obviously no problem with her forward button, but after getting jumped out of the tack so often on her, I think I must be backing off subconsciously over fences. Coach is yelling "forward", I'm telling myself we need more forward, this is going to suck.... but yeah.... Whatever the case, I did much better on her than before, but not nearly as well as I ride some of the other horses (which still isn't 'well' ha ha). There were still a few not so pretty moments and one fence I wish I could take back since I basically crept up to the fence and since she is so honest she just launched over it from a standstill anyways. I got left behind and basically balanced off her mouth. Poor Checkers, I have no idea how she can possibly be quite so kind and patient. I like to hope she knows just how awful I feel when I do dumb stuff like that! Of course, if I could only bring myself to really get her forward, that jump wouldn't be nearly as large/difficult for me to sit well! I really find the big horses in general difficult to ride properly. I'm not sure if it's partly a physical thing, or at this point entirely a mental thing.


Remember this guy? Don't let the cute face fool you - he's up to no good.
 Today brought hot and sunny weather, and a ride on Splash. He was back to being my own personal Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp, making me work super hard for everything in the hot sun. He's been doing walk/trot lessons with beginners for a couple of weeks now, and it shows. I felt like I was going die. Sadly for him, I am the Most Stubborn Girl In The World (yes, it's an official title and everything, just ask G ;). I wasn't going to give up. I'm pretty sure I was beet red and hyperventilating just trying to do some simple canter circles on the right lead. He's like a pony in that he can shift from a decent canter to a power trot without any warning. He's kind of a jerk, honestly :) My perseverance paid off though and we eventually got it done nicely, and had with a pretty fun ride in general towards the end of the lesson. Why is it always just when things are getting fun, the lesson ends? Anyways, highlights for me were some decent changes. That's exciting, because it's been years since I've ridden a horse that has a flying lead change - it's something I've often schooled and practiced in lessons, but always on my own green horses and with mixed results. I think it's been a little while for the Splash man too, since some were not so good and more...enthusiastic :) Best thing though? A pony that woke up a bit and started taking me to the fences all on his own. He's seriously my favorite when I get him going, and in a way the most rewarding, because he asks for a really aggressive and positive ride, so I have to get way outside my normal quiet ways and do a lot more than just try to have good equitation. He's got so many terrible habits, yet still I like him and think we are good for each other in a funny way.
Chilling out after our lesson. He's pretty sure he deserves some of that grass.

So there you go, two completely different rides. Checkers wants to be super forward, but I freeze before the fences. Splash wants to be super lazy, so I go all "crazy lady" chasing him forward over the fences, even though the fences are way bigger than the ones on Wednesdays. Maybe next time, I'll just ride whatever horse I'm given like a normal person. I can't believe that's my goal, but there you go - Next Lesson I Will Ride Like A Normal Person :)








1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good goal for all of us. Easier said than done sometimes. :-)

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