Since my one and only post so far way back in November, I’ve thought about this blog frequently. But update it? No, that’s just too hard, apparently. Plus, I haven’t even made the site public yet, so it’s not like I have adoring fans waiting on pins and needles.
Life has been busy lately. Shortly after beginning this blog I was offered a full-time job at a university downtown Charlotte. The commute has really put a damper on my riding time since it gets dark so early. The barn I board at has a light, but I haven’t attempted to ride Pilgrim at night since I’d be on my own. One of these nights when I can get my husband (and kids) to come with me, we’ll experiment. Until then, he’s in full training with the barn’s resident trainer so he gets ridden 3x/week and then I get him the weekends. I still make it out there during the week to check on him and groom him, but let’s just say I am counting down the weeks until the days are longer again.
But onto horse-related stuff…Pilgrim and I have had two lessons full of jumping! Little stuff, of course, but I think we’re getting better. He gets so wiggly in lines and I’m still learning how to correct without OVER correcting. My default setting used to be to clench my hands on the reins, but my lovely trainer has really helped me overcome that. Sometimes I still have a derp moment, but they’re getting fewer and farther between. A few pictures of our progress:
I don’t know WHAT in the world I’m doing with my arms while jumping, but at least Pilgrim looks great!
Paula is the name of my trainer and she is seriously a miracle worker. She knows just how far to push me without overfacing me (or Pilgrim) and each lesson I end just ecstatic with our progress. She can zero in on the root of a problem instantaneously and has really gotten me to change a lot of bad habits I’ve developed over the years. My clenching hands are definitely one of my worst habits, and also my leaning. I recently noted that I DRIVE in the fetal position as well, so I’ve been working on sitting up straight no matter where I am. It’s really starting to translate to over in the saddle.
So here is the video of us jumping. My husband is a saint- that’s our kid crying in the background.
And then just a little brag that my 4 year old OTTB does flying lead changes:
So that brings us to today. I haven’t ridden in 2 weeks, due to being in Chicago for Christmas visiting family and then being sick. I went out to the barn yesterday to watch Paula ride Pilgrim but today was my day (I feel like we have joint custody of him with our arrangement). I had a minor surgery on Tuesday for a biopsy so I planned on taking it really easy- like just walking and maybe some trotting. I just had to ride though. And when I got on he was Perfect. Capital P Perfect. Responded to the lightest cues, no spooks, and we had the calmest transitions. So I couldn’t help myself and we cantered a lap each direction. It was 25 minutes of pure harmony.
Tomorrow I’m going out to watch Paula ride him and then I plan on a small trail ride or hack on Saturday and then Sunday is my next lesson. The university I work for is closed this week so I’ve had off, but come Monday it’s back to the office and pretty much weekend only riding (boo)!