Hour 30

Hello again! Hour 30 was so much fun, I think it deserves its own post. Hour 29 was a simple practice ride with Tia.

for Hour 30, I had an exciting lesson with Thasia in the outdoor arena, jumps included! Because of the cold, dark evenings, and rain, I haven’t had a lesson in the outdoor arena since…October??

IMG_2813                                                                                      and I haven’t gotten to jump a whole course since then either.

Today the temperature was perfect, the sky was blue, the outdoor arena was sort-of-not-muddy and I was feeling great.

After a flatwork warmup, we practiced jumping a simple line of cross rails down the diagonal line and a red plank jump.

Including this orange jump that matches me perfectly! Haha!                                            don’t know what’s going on with our leads here..IMG_8361.PNG

anyway. The jumps involved Thasia rushing a little bit, so afterwards Bethany had an idea for an exercise that would make it hard for her to rush, and get me in check.

I am sure some riders are familiar with this: we did a figure-8 over a blue plank jump. IMG_8385.jpgExcept this figure 8 was very tight. Every time we came over the jump we had to make a very tight turn. The left turn was pretty much good,IMG_8387the hardest turn was the one to the right.IMG_8386.PNGthe first time wasn’t very good: There is a purple jump standard just in front of me in this picture, and I had to turn before it. I almost ran into it.

The second time was a little better, but not by much.IMG_8389.jpg

The third time, I actually discovered that in order to not run into the purple standard, I had to do the jump at an angle.IMG_8390.jpgIMG_8391.jpgthat worked out better for both of us, and the turn was a lot smoother. This is a cool exercise to try if you/your horse have rushing problems and need to tune to each other better. It’s amazing what a figure 8 can do..

After the figure 8 I took a break,IMG_8357.jpg

and then we moved on to jumping a full-on course!

I started with the diagonal line I did in the beginning of the lesson: the red crossrail to the orange one that matched my outfit.IMG_8392.jpg

then I came around and did a blue cross rail, and then a bending line to a pink one.IMG_8394.jpgthen I turned abruptly inward and rode to the blue plank again.

The first time around Thasia tricked me so darn well that I didn’t know until Bethany told me. I had forgotten to turn towards the pink jump on the bending line, and Thasia took care of the rest. I had also gotten some leads wrong and rushed the turn towards the plank.

The second time around, even though the turn towards the blue cross rail was awful, I did the whole bending line and got all my leads right.IMG_8393.PNG

Not only was this lesson exciting, but it marks improvement in my riding. Before, it was all about “hold on, and your horse will take care of the jump.” now I have to assume an active role in the jump as well as the pace. I need to be sharp and ready to guide Thasia, but at the same time I need to listen to her and not clamp down on her mouth. That is when things start to go awry. It also was a huge confidence boost.

it feels good to know that I actually jump actively and that I have made significant improvement in the past 6 months as a rider. My first show of the season is in April with Thasia, and I am feeling better and better about it. Good things coming!

visiting Indy. She had her first adjustment done by the vet a couple days ago. I am curious so feel her under saddle.IMG_8363.jpgsweet girl..


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