I FINALLY got to see Ranger again on Thursday and, while I’m not sure he remembered me, he certainly remembered that I keep treats in my helmet bag. It was a stressful week so my goal going in was just to enjoy myself and leave in one piece. Thankfully my trainer had the same idea in mind.
We had a slightly longer warm up than normal on the flat (it HAD been 3 weeks and only 2 lessons in the last 5 weeks…) and I sort of had to remember how to ride. Ranger was pretty quiet which was a good, but very interested in a counterbend, which was less than good as it required MORE LEG than I had. We incorporated some halts and bending and eventually sorted everything out. We even picked up an even canter which was really nice until I forgot how to steer and almost crashed him into standard when I misjudged a turn canter a circle on the left lead… I was bound to find rust somewhere!!! We redid the circle and thankfully I remembered to actually use BOTH hands and steer… And turn and me head and look… Amazing what planning can do.
Once I actually caught my breath (I’m out of shape…), we warmed up with our outside line and TROTTED in (I haven’t been allowed to trot into a (non-gymnastics) line since… September?) in 7. Ranger was perfect and we continued around to canter in to it in a 6. Again, we did it well. But, heading away from the in gate so why would it be bad?
Next we cantered up our outside single, down our inside single (hay bales towards our in gate), and then up our outside line. Goal was to maintain the consistent pace. We repeated this a few time. The first time the first jump was fine, but I can’t say I saw the best spot. The hay bales were nice considering we wanted to speed up, but I managed to half halt him into a nice quiet spot, unfortunately, we then slowed TOO much and then I got too relaxed headed to the outside line and saw nothing when I was told to move up. So I kind of got a bit left behind and had to move him up a bit to the 6. Second time through I was happier with the first 2 fences, but I think we chipped the first fence of the line? Or I could be making that up. All I remember was the last time through I finally nailed the spot of the first fence, held my pace to the hay bales, maintained to the outside line, and did NOT need to add leg for the 6. I think we ended there. Jumps were small which was nice for my first lesson back.
Ended the evening with a nice walk around the property, just me and Ranger. Thursday evening was the first time we say real sun but temperatures were actually nice so it was nice to be out just walking around.