Remember when I said I had no business jumping 3’6″? Well either Trainer B didn’t agree or he saw it as a challenge (Trainer B? Are you here?) because:
P was excellent every ride last week. Thursday I went out and schooled over a simple, yet a bit tricksy, exercise BO set up.
Some of the ride went like this:
But it mostly went like this:
The exercise was on a curve to make sure you kept the same bend throughout. Ground pole to raised pole to ground pole. The first time to the right I pretty much took my leg off and P was like, “Wut did you want me to do, I trip now, you’re fault.” But we both got the hang of it, and while just a couple weeks ago, doing this repeatedly would’ve totally wigged P out, but he was willing and quiet repeating it while I got my shit together. So win!
Friday it was time to head to Trainer B’s.
Last week we got out of the arena and schooled out in his field over tiny stadium and XC jumps. Today he obviously had something…different up his sleeve.
After I warmed P up (not hard to do in ZILLION DEGREE weather), we started over this X to X with the brush.
It was no big deal for P, but I was having a hard time not leaning at the first X. Changing your muscle memory sucks.
I finally got it down, then Trainer B took away the brush and started fiddling with the jump cups.
From a previous lesson, I was recalling him explaining that he had to make a jump on the course a cross-rail because the lowest hole on the standards was either 3′ or 3’3″ (when you’re a 4* rider apparently those heights are interchangeable). So when I saw jump cups being put into said 3′ or 3’3″ holes, my life may or may not have flashed before my eyes.
Then all he did was put a rail down like a cross-rail oxer. Oh, ok. Cool.
But the next time we came around, he had betrayed me and put the rail up as shown in the above pictures. And I wasn’t about to refuse or complain or say out loud that I couldn’t. He’s seen P do some pretty naughty stuff, so if he thinks we can, who am I to say we can’t?
So we did.
And did some more.
And some more.
Then it was “time to go bigger,” according to Bobby in the last video (he sounded very pleased about that- maybe we weren’t so booooring to him then), but sadly there are no more videos. My husband’s official story is that my phone wouldn’t take any more videos, despite having 90 GB of storage available, my hunch is that he wanted to go sit down under the umbrella in the corner of the arena.
Nonetheless, it was the same exercise, just 3″ bigger, making it either 3’3″ or 3’6″. And this time I didn’t blink at the additional height, because P was giving me zero feeling he wanted to stop. He was totally locking on and going for it, one of my favorite feelings. The working students were doing conditioning work along the hacking trail behind the arena, so going AROUND the arena, P would get all distracted and bent out of shape, then we’d come around towards the jumps and he was totally in it 100%. And the height was NBD for him, also encouraging to me.
So according to Trainer B, lots of stuff like this is in our future. Which is great, because I came away from the lesson with a better understanding of when and why I go back to the ol’ “stand and lean” (patent pending), and how to correct it. It was fantastic, and huge confidence booster for me…and hopefully for P.
Well, that’s all, folks. Today is the big day- P gets scoped at 2 PM. I’m leaving work at lunch time to go get him and bring him to the clinic. He’s been inside since 10 PM last night with no hay, and his water was taken away at 7 AM this morning. So wish me luck, trailing my very hangry pony.