I finally got a lesson in on Sunday. I cancelled Thursday a week ago after Batty colicked. While he was feeling better, I wasn’t exactly in the mood to ride after stressing about him all day. I wonder why? And then this past Thursday we sort of were dealing with an arctic vortex of sorts and with highs at 21* and wind chills making it feel like 1-5*, needless to say, we cancelled. So, luckily we rescheduled for Sunday. And, after Saturday’s ice storm, Sunday was rainy and in the low 50s at 11am… It was really kind of odd. No wonder I’ve been having all these migraines. The weather really needs to stop ping-ponging.
Ranger had a couple of other lessons that day which is completely not normal for him. So he was already warmed up when I got there (he also had an easy lesson after me). We did a quick warm up on the flat and the lack of riding really showed in my leg. Ouch. But, once we both agreed that we were going to actually move, we sort of did that. See, sometimes we have trouble when I relax maintaining a nice, 15mph trot. But, when my legs are dead, it’s hard to KEEP. MOVING. FORWARD. But, we didn’t dwell at the trot once determined we could trot and moved on the canter where again FORWARD was the mission. We had a respectable, but not great canter to the right, but a fabulous, forward canter to the left, until it was commented upon where upon we broke into a trot. Yeah. So, once again, we cantered, then were forced to be MORE FORWARD than ever before before we could finally halt and then walk. We are big on downward transitions to a halt. Canter to halt. Trot to halt. Jump, land, halt. We like to halt.
So, after catching our breathes and regaining feeling in my leg, we warmed up by cantering into a single on the diagonal with the intention of landing to the left of the ground pole on the landing and halting. Of course, I didn’t take a great picture of the whole ring to get an idea of the line coming in, but this will have to do. Basically, the intention was to use my entire ring and corner, turn after a jump that isn’t pictured, and take the long ride to the white box and land on the left of the ground pole. I happen to be the strange person out there and always turn to late rather than too early like a normal person so the fact that I nailed my turn was quite a success! Then, land and halt in the corner.
After we did that a few times, adding leg because Ranger was sort of lazy, we cantered down our other inside diagonal single (grey plank/wall thing) towards the double doors on the left side of the ring that aren’t part of the picture. Slightly harder angle and I did cut this one a little late the first time, because, I can’t turn too early like a normal person, but we had enough time to correct and still jump straight. Actually, all in all, my turns were pretty decent considering drifting, especially in the indoor, is something Ranger does incredibly well…
Feeling super happy with that, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to hear the next words, “2 stride” from my trainer. I don’t like 2 strides all that much and for some reason, the second jump in this 2 stride has been scaring the crap out of my for the last few weeks. I’ve been giving it the side eye every time we’re in the indoor, hoping I don’t have to jump it. So far I’ve been lucky. This lesson, my luck ran out. It just looked big and intimidating or something.
Anyway, coming into the 2 stride, it was a similar approach to the first jump, but instead of turning after the jump, we had to turn AT the jump. One of those, if I turn too late, I’m going to miss my 2nd jump, the one that scares me. Great.
Thankfully, other than not exactly adding enough leg, we survived the first time through. Which of course meant we had to repeat again. And again. But, the jump didn’t eat me. But, thanks to Ranger’s drifting habit, coming into the first jump, it was a lot of right leg and both reins to the left. But, the second I was over the first jump, left leg and both reins to right to keep him straight. Still, straightness won out today.
But, we couldn’t end there because that wound’t be fair to me. After all, I was comfortable and happy (and shocked that the first jump of the 2 stride that in the past might have seemed intimidating was fine as easy), we had to put it all together. So, after a nice long walk break while some boarders cantered their horses around after multiple days without turnout while Ranger watched thinking it seemed like way too much work, did out mini course. Basically, cantered our single white box, around to the grey single, (big kick) around to the 2 stride. I overshot the 2 stride slightly the last time, but he was actually moving nicely and adjustable that it didn’t matter. I had enough time to straighten him up before the first jump (thankfully) so we were able to call it a day after that! Or at least I was. Poor Ranger had 1 more lesson… I hung around after to groom and make sure he got his carrot. He was fine, but had no idea why he worked so hard! He rarely does multiple lessons but after having much of the week off…
In other news, my 3 bums are doing fine. Batty’s up to 3 gallons of water in his breakfast. I don’t know how much he drinks and how much Jiminy ends up wearing… Jiminy meanwhile protested Saturday’s weather by taking up residence in the run-in shed and refusing to leave. Poor guy just hates winter. I don’t have as much sympathy as I should. Subi’s happy as long as he gets to wear multiple blankets and Batty’s happy as long as he gets to eat. Subi’s starting to enjoy chopped hay so… maybe Mr. Picky will have another source of calories?