I’ve really struggled to blog lately. Honestly? I’m not sure why. I’m just struggling with life right now. Nothing bad, just not feeling it. Major work burnout.
Anyway, following a nice lesson a few weeks ago, Nay had a couple of nice rides and then a 2-week vacation due to some pretty gross weekend weather and a minor injury. 2 weekends in a row where we had cold, heavy rain. It just wasn’t worth it to try and ride. So I stayed home and watched old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy all weekend because why not? Honestly? That’s about all I could do.
Then on Friday, 5/13 I managed to get kicked/stepped on while trying to feed Nay breakfast? He spooked at something? Nay is a lot of things, but spooky isn’t really one of them. I ended up with a nasty bruise/cut on my calf and some nice swelling. Between the cut and weather, Nay got the weekend off and finally, on Tuesday, I ended up riding. I took last week off work to finally get a break. And the break was nice. Our first ride of the week was nice. Nay was good, the weather was good. And everything was good.
My trainer had been working on my position. I’m FINALLY in the habit of riding without my heels down. Which probably just means I’m not jamming my heels down and riding defensively. I’m also effectively using my hands and pulling properly to steer. You know, basic things I should have been doing for years but wasn’t? But Nay has been responding SO WELL. Our right lead is lovely. And our left was going well and then we lost it at the end of the ride (we were cantering a circle over a cross rail and then the very last time lost the lead and that was that…)
I ended up taking a lesson on Thursday. It was LOVELY. First. it poured all night Wednesday so the ring was puddle-y and gross so I had to kick Nay like was a big oversized pony, but he now trots and canters through puddles. Then we worked on the canter. My trainer has determined that he didn’t lose the lead, but is just confused now that I’m properly using my hands… We did pick it up properly the first 2x I asked even when he almost didn’t once (I had to kick into it). So, we figured out when he’s tired, the lead is harder. Aids are more important as is leg. Right lead is just there. This ALWAYS happens when I struggle with the left.
We warmed up jumping cantering the out of our outside line, right lead. Super easy. Mostly just making sure I had a straight approach after I turned. And that I leaned out into my corner to balance (I had to go between jumps to take the approach my trainer wanted so leaning out was ultra important). Then we did the same the other way, this time with a single on the diagonal on the left lead. Much harder as I had to go as close as possible to the in of the outside line, use 2 hands to turn, use 2 hands to get straight, etc. We did that too. Last time we got discombobulated, but we still got the jump without issues.
We ended with a mini course. Another inside single (brick) around to the outside line. All on the left lead. Nay was fantastic. Not only did we pick up our left lead (!) but he landed the lead and held if for his line. Considering we’ve done a jump here and there, this was the most jumping we’ve done since December? He was fantastic.
We headed out again on Friday to practice and basically just repeated Thursday’s lesson. Same trot work, same canter work. Same jumps. The leads felt a little better, but the left obviously needs practice (confusion and being tired is definitely a possibility). And over fences? Pretty good. We didn’t do too many reps over the singles (we did each 1 or 2 times), and the course we did once and then I screwed up the outside line (I added hand when it wasn’t necessary), but to my credit, I actually corrected the lead and cantered back around and did it again without interfering…
It was in the 90s this weekend so we took time off and who knows if I’ll manage a ride this week (work), but I’m trying and my horse is lovely. It’s something, right?