In terms of riding, I’ve kept myself pretty much flat-bound this year with all my surgeries, total lack of fitness and what have you. Last Tuesday, however, was my follow-up with the urologist and thankfully everything with my kidney appears to be in working order! So I’m free for a year until I have another renal scan & follow-up!
Tuesday also marked the end of my jumping hiatus, and I had a beautiful, sunny (and not ridiculously humid) day for it!
Previously, the outdoor arena was a tight squeeze, but after some major clearing we now have a good 120′ by 200′ to work with! Instructor already has some cross country jumps just beyond the arena that you might notice in the videos. I’m not up for tackling those yet, but still exciting to see progress!
The main exciting thing is that instructor got video of most of my go-arounds! There were some jumps that felt great, others that obviously didn’t, but hey, this is where I’m at, I had fun and I’m really glad to be able to be able to see all of it here!
After warming up, we started with just the far cross rails, then just the first two elements of the line that’s closer to the camera, and then that plus the third going away. Next we put it together and basically repeated that course about a half a dozen times, because each round would end up slightly different from the previous one. What stands out to instructor (and now me) about Rain here versus when she was at the other barn, is that she can handle an adjustment (or some sloppiness on her rider’s part!) or making a mistake without it being a big deal
that she needs to squeal or start bucking about.
Other notes from video numero uno are that we tended to barrel around our turns, and our striding between the double was a rather awkward three – BUT we were also enjoying ourselves! I’m pretty sure it was after the first video that a deer fly landed right at the top of poor Rain’s tail (or under it…), sooo what I first thought might be a return to previous form was actually a few understandable hops and scoots. Luckily mare seems to understand when you’re trying to help out with the annoying bugs, and had no problems when either instructor or I were smacking her throughout the lesson if a monster deer fly got too persistent.
Other than me once again forgetting my diagonals at the beginning, this loop started off much smoother than in the first video! The second jump felt good, and then it gets a little rough.. I didn’t get her right lead going into the line, so I brought her back down into a trot. *I* thought we were all good for two strides once we set off for the second cross rail, but dear Rain decided three was better and I’m pretty sure instructor saw the train juust about careen off the tracks 😂
The jump after actually wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t have her set up at all for the one following that – so after destroying that, I brought us back down to earth so I could readjust my helmet (finally looking at getting a new one!) issues from our original shambly jump! We finished off with a decent attempt at the little vertical in-between elements one and two of the line.
To end with, we just worked on the red cross rail, the pink vertical and the blue box jump 4 strides from that. It seemed like Rain (and me too) were still trying to figure out how to best go from a to b, so instructor had us canter into the first jump to see if that would set up better energy wise. After watching the slow-mo a few times, I’m pretty sure I forgot my outside rein (and leg), hence the initial drift and squirrel-y approach. Apparently she just needed that extra umph, because then we got our two-stride no problem.
Then we hit the four-stride also without issue, and instructor called for one last go to see if we could replicate.
The turn into the sand part of the arena wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it was considerably less barrel-y and pretty much zero fuss (which hopefully means my hands were a bit steadier too!). We proceeded to nail the two stride once again (screen shot at the beginning is from that jump), which led to making the little vertical four strides out feel easy and smooth too! We quit after that, and then cooled out inside where the bugs were considerably fewer in number. She got hosed off, lots of scratches (and fly spray), and some more walking inside (which she probably wasn’t super crazy about, but she was still a tad warm) before I tossed her back out.
Now that my schedule is coming back to some regularity, I’m hoping it means I’ll be able to get back into a routine of lessoning every week – no plans for more than that at the moment other than to continue enjoying my rides and learning something with each one 😎