3….2….1…. 1.5…. LIFT-OFF is the situation I found myself in too many times this afternoon. But despite the fact that I couldn’t feel my face with cold, I couldn’t wipe the smile off it. It’s amazing what horses can do to turn your day around.
I was riding Caris again and today we were jumping. After warming up, we started with popping over a small cross pole in trot. Caris was a lot more forward than she was in the lesson three weeks ago, which definitely made my life easier! The first jump she didn’t really jump, just sort of fell over it. The next jump she chipped in a short stride, and leaped! Changing the rein, she was certainly feeling energized today… and difficult. Jumping from trot seemed harder for her, sometimes she would take a long stride, sometimes chip in an extra, obviously all rider error for not correcting her, but as it was only the second time I’d ridden her I’m still getting to know her. I often ended up ahead or behind the movement, with calls of ‘WELL SAT!’ from my instructor!
When we started cantering she seemed to find it easier, making a better shape but still giving them lots of scope. She ran out of a cross pole a few times until she realised I would only make her jump them from a stand still next time she refused, and it was easier for her to just go over the jump. By this time I was getting a much better feel for her jump, I could adjust her strides accordingly and we could meet the stride, move together over the fence and be able to carry straight on to the next jump without having to compose ourselves afterwards!
Caris had been out galloping that morning so she started to tire as we reached the end of the lesson. We walked down the drive way to cool off, chatting to my instructor about the next lesson in two weeks, when we’re going to try and jump a course in the jump field if the ground conditions allow us.
It’s so great to be jumping again – my old pony Ellie gave me so much confidence jumping but I somehow lost that with Oscar; him being a little green jumping and me not knowing what to do with it. But jumping Caris reminded me how much I love it on a horse that I can trust not to throw in a buck or run into a fence.
Looking forward to my lesson in a fortnight more than ever!