Yesterday was my regularly scheduled Monday evening lesson on Vinnie, but since Diamond is starting to feel better and come back into work, Trainer said I could flat her before our lesson. So I hustled out of work, slammed down half a sandwich from Subway and bolted for the barn. It was an absolutely gorgeous day: 70 and sunny with just a slight breeze… perfect weather for the barn!
I groomed both horses while they finished eating dinner, tacked up Diamond Girl and headed for the outdoor arena. Diamond hasn’t been ridden outside yet this year, and since she’s been on stall rest for a while, I was prepared for fireworks. She is, after all, a chestnut Thoroughbred mare. But she surprised me by being an absolute angel
. We flatted for about 20 minutes, mostly just trotting around, and she felt pretty good. We focused on bending and giving, which was mostly successful. She can be difficult to figure out sometimes, and I’m not always sure how much I can push her. Since I was by myself, I played it safe and accepted the bend and give she gave me. I also focused on keeping my weight down, and sinking into my heels, especially through my right leg. We did a little bit of canter, but she felt wiggly and wasn’t as willing to go forward, so I just did one circle each direction. As we cooled out at the walk, I swear I could feel her grinning from ear to ear; She was just so happy
to be outside, being ridden. It felt great to be back on her and I’m so glad she’s doing better. I never thought I’d say this, but I missed that mare!
After Diamond was cool, I rushed back to the barn tountack, grab Vinnie who was thankfully already clean from before, and finish getting ready for my lesson. It was a group of four of us, and everyone’s first time jumping outside this year so the horses were a little pumped up to say the least. We started with just putting a few jumps together and Vinnie wasamped. It was kind of nice to have some get up and go, instead of the feeble kicking and pushing I’ve been attempting in the indoor. Despite how excited he was, he listened and packaged, just like I asked.
Once we were warmed up and knew what our horses were like, we moved on to some coursework to prepare for the show (woohoo!). We had some really fun jumps with pretty flowers and lots of options for turns. I was riding with all jumpers, so they got to do some really tough rollbacks and bending lines. Vinnie and I stuck to our hunter stuff, which is fine by me! I felt like I did pretty well, considering. I either had great jumps, where I found the distance and my legs stayed solid or I had bad jumps where I didn’t see a distance and got jumped out of the tack. I’m choosing to view this as progress because I didn’t have any jumps in which we had a good spot, but my leg swung. Plus we were jumping 2′, which I haven’t done in about three weeks. I’m trying to remember that progress will be slow, especially when I only ride 2-3 times a week and only jump once.
I’m starting to feel pretty excited about the show this weekend!