For the first time in a while, I actually had my regular Thursday evening lesson.
But, being me, I have absolutely no media to add to this post so I needed to resort to a drawing. Sadly the drawing was not to scale, but… tough.
All I can say is I’m having so much fun on Ranger. Everything is just so easy. So easy. Almost too easy at this point? I don’t thing riding has every felt easy like this? I’ll get to this at the end of the post or if I don’t, maybe another post, because it is still as work day and I am at work which means, I should be, well, working. But I lack motivation and I don’t want to deal with people. After telling this to my mom last night her advice was to tell everyone “Begone Satan!” Um, not exactly what I expected to hear from my mother…
So, back to my lesson. I mostly warmed up on my own while the previous lesson finished up. I tried to work on a forward trot and lots of circle (mostly to stay out of the previous lesson’s way). Our canter was actually really nice and forward as well which was nice too. Everything just felt good. And I wasn’t a mess which was even better.
We moved on to jumping soon after and decided to focus less on height this week and more on length of course. So, trainer knocked down jumps first time in a while that she lowered jumps even though I’m pretty sure we did everything at the height they were last lesson. I’m trying not to read into these things though. Height shouldn’t matter. I jumped these jumps well Sunday so why should I care that I didn’t jump them in this lesson? Anyway, we warmed up trotting into a broken line crossrail to the outside single just focusing on a steady pace landing, halting, and staying straight. Strangely enough, we pretty nailed it the first time which raised expectations for the rest of the lesson. At this point, the other horse left the ring which usually causes Ranger change his behavior slightly, after all, his friend is leaving. It doesn’t actually matter which friend is leaving or if he’s ever met said friend before. So, with this in mind, we repeated the exercise, anticipating an increase in speed, but honestly, he stayed pretty steady so we continued on and canted up our inside single and continued on to our outside line. The single was perfect, the outside line wasn’t mostly because turned a little bit late… Surprising, right? That said, after the first attempted when I actually remembered to look ahead, the outside line was fine and right there. I think part of my issue with turning late at times is I don’t always look ahead? Or, I look too far ahead and I’m afraid I’ll turn too early and cut my corners so I turn too late. I have no idea.
Since 5 jumps wasn’t enough, after a few times we continued after the outside line and came up the other inside single. This was the single we started with last week so no big deal. I think we did this once. Then, it was continue back down the other inside single the other direction (jump 7) and up our 2 stride for our 9 jump course. I can’t remember the last time I did a 9 jump course. 8 years ago? Most of my hunter courses were 8 jumps or at times 7, but rarely ever 9. So, this was good for my brain. Even better, I didn’t get lost! Unfortunately, we only did the course once as it was pretty perfect. We might have drifted slightly in one line, but not enough to warrant redoing anything or I’d have tried to get a video. Seriously though, this was some of the best riding I feel like I’ve done in a while.
Which brings me back to my first point. Everything feels easy. Too easy. Not boring, but easy. Trainer asked me while I was untacking if had thought about buying a jumper since we all know Batty isn’t that and showed me a video of a cool big quiet looking gelding. I’m just completely not in the position to buy a horse. I mean, I have 3. And it’s fine, but man, do I want a horse. It was sort of that moment that showed me how much I want something like that. Big, quiet, easy to the jumps. But, I don’t have the funds. Forget month to month lack of funds (because that’s so not there right now either), I don’t have purchase price either, not that I know what that would be.
Which brings me to Subi. At some point, I probably do need to have a serious conversation with her about him and see if restarting him is an actual option. I’m probably way stronger of a rider to do it myself now than I was a year (or even 2 or 3) ago, but, at the same time, I do need the assistance of a trainer or facility where he can be ridden every day in the beginning. I can’t do that at home. So, if my current trainer can do that at a price I can make work, good. If not, I can send him out to someone else (I really liked the guy who taught Batty to load and I’ve seen him ride–really good all around horseman who I’d trust though I’d have to send Subi a good 6 – 8 miles from my house rather than 1.1 miles). So, I don’t know. If trainer will take him on, I might still take him to other trainer for some trailer loading lessons. Mostly to teach him to self load. Because, if I do start taking him places, I need him to self load. That’s one thing he doesn’t do.
So the next question, am I crazy to think about bringing Subi by soon to be 20 year old gelding back into work? He’s had a year off and about 2 year of minimal work before that, but he’s generally had little to no soundness issues. Most of the time off has been because of me. I lost my confidence and with him, not having a really place to ride has really been a struggle. If I can make it work regularly hauling out for lessons and hacks, and only occasionally needing to ride at home, he could probably stay in a routine… 20 isn’t that old, right? He can still run around and buck like a 5 year old (this is where I see him aging. I no longer say 2 year old). He’s lost a lot of top line/muscle, but even in work he’s never had a great topline…