I've been doing weekly jump lessons on a lesson horse at a local barn for a few months now. While sometimes the lessons get canceled for various reasons, I generally do them at least twice a month if not all four.
I think I explained in an earlier post why I was taking these lessons with lesson horses rather than my own but I'll reiterate. Basically, I love jumping, haven't done it in years, suck at it, and want my green horses to not have such a green rider over fences.
This guy, Bing, dumped me the first two lessons I had on him. And in the words of the assistant trainer "don't be a crappy rider and you won't fall off", I guess I am no longer that crappy because I haven't fallen off since (knock on wood).
Anyway, back to this lesson. It had been three weeks since I rode last (I did ride Mae once but we just walked for 20 min) and I was a little nervous about riding like a sack of potatoes. Much to my horror, I did in fact ride like a sack of potatoes. This is how it went:
The girl I ride with is almost always late due to work troubles (but trainer doesn't care and I don't really either) so I had about 15 min to warm up on my own. Bing is an ex-eventer so he knows how to do flatwork. But with all the jumping kids on him he likes to pretend he doesn't know. I try and convince him to stretch down over his back and start to get an inkling by the time the other girl shows up.
SG (jumper trainer) had us start by doing a four loop serpentine but we were in the smaller ring and I just couldn't so I did a three loop and no one noticed. She wanted me to work on getting him to bend and stay in my outside rein. It worked pretty nicely and SG then had us resume on the rail while holding a two point for ta few laps. Surprisingly, my two point game was solid and I held it like a boss. We immediately went up into canter at the two point and while Bing broke to trot a few times because he is a lazy mofo, we did manage to keep up a decent pace.
During the last lesson, I magically found a perfect rein hold that allowed me to keep him up in his poll and my upper body up as well. I tried to get this again but probably because I was so out of shape it ended up with me just balancing on his mouth with my hands (poop).
|Lol my paint skills suck|
We moved on to jumping a cavaletti (green) in the middle of the arena and I couldn't get a good pace, but it was small enough he went over anyway. For whatever reason though, I was totally a statue and could not move with him for the life of me. I'd get popped out of the tack and then fall down on his neck and just couldn't. I apologized to trainer and told her idk wtf my body was doing. She said it was ok and to keep breathing and follow with my elbows.
The course then turned twisty turny and the cavelleti went up to an oxer. We then made a right hand turn over the red vertical (about 2'9" yay!). I lost all my power in the right hand turn to the vertical and had a blow out. Womp womp. SG brought it down to a cross rail anticipating I was having some mental issues (I was) and that made it much easier and smoother for me. At this time my right ankle was starting to collapse in on me. I couldn't figure out why but when we continued the course and I made the left hand turn I only got half way to the purple vertical before I had to pull him to a stop.
I apologized profusely to SG and told her I didn't know what was up but my ankle was breaking on me and it felt like knives. I took a little bit of a walk break and knew I couldn't keep riding. I decided instead to just drop my right stirrup (lol) and finish my course. When I told SG she kind of gave me a blank stare and I have a feeling this is what she wanted to say "Micaylah you are already riding like shit and now you want to ride with only one stirrup?!?!" but she just said ok wearily and let me try it.
The purple was a super hard fence to come up to because in the middle on that short side of the arena was the opening to the indoor in which there was a lesson happening. Bing did not like this and kept bulging to the inside, not helping me set him up to get a good approach to the fence. SG told me I onlny needed one stride of straightness and just apply leg. This fence was only about 2'6 (which is still big for me) and sure enough I had my one stride of straightness and he went over.
Because I'm really dumb I totally forgot about continuing the line and just went past the other vertical. Even with one stirrup I actually rode pretty decent! SG was thrilled. My lesson buddy did the course again and SG wanted me to do it again as well. I thought maybe lowering my stirrups a hole would help my ankle from collapsing and after I dropped the right one hole SG gloriously enlightened me. "You just put it up a hole. " "No I went down." "Oh..well it is still shorter than the left" "hirosehioresiohri I KNEW IT!" "....why didn't you ask me to look at them?" "..pride." And that is probably why my ankle was collapsing was because I was riding with my stirrup two holes shorter on the right. I is smart.
My ankle still wanted to collapse but the angle of the collapse wasn't nearly as acute and therefore less painful. I went around the course with all the fences up and totally nailed the last vertical! I was thrilled and gave Bing a big pat. I nailed my flatwork, started jumping like a bump on a log, but ended up redeeming myself! I was super exhausted after this lesson and haven't been able to walk since. Omg so sore (but yay building muscle!).