I have this little joke with Miles about how he has to “earn his keep” every month. When he’s bad, I threaten to let him live outside, but when he’s good I tell him he’s earned board for another month. On Sunday and Monday, Miles earned his May board.
On Sunday as soon as we got home from Pittsburgh, I headed to the barn. As luck would have it, the barn manager was headed out on a trail ride and invited us along. So I tacked up Miles and only worried slightly about the fact that 1) he hadn’t been ridden in 3-4 days, all of which had been limited, indoor turnout days due to rain. But I climbed aboard and set off. Miles has gotten so confident on the trails, that he led most of the way and only hesitated at the first water crossing. We have a little routine with water: I let him stop and smell it, and splash a little if he wants, and then I tell him to go on and he does. It was such a beautiful day, it was nice to just be outside riding my horse.
Monday evening I had a make-up lesson from last week, when the weather turned gross and we all opted to go to dinner instead of ride — perks of being an adult amateur! Originally I had planned to ride Moiya, but it 78° and sunny… and we got to ride outside… so I switched and decided to ride Miles. Miles hasn’t jumped outside yet this year, and with show season coming up in 6 weeks I wanted to get him out and jumping around a bit. The lesson was all about jumping and getting in the groove again. We started off small, trotting a crossrail, but quickly moved up to stringing three jumps together, set at around 2’3″-2’6″.
I’m a bit rusty with Miles, and that showed up a lot. I didn’t see my distances very well, and was just nervous enough to not want to ask for a bigger, gappy spot. So a few times, I got left behind. Honestly though… I’m not that disappointed. Sure, I need to ride better. But I never got ahead, I recovered quickly and the most important part was that Miles stepped up and did his job without complaint. When I didn’t pick a spot, he did and got us safely over the jump and never once thought about being sassy on the landing side. So while the lesson left a lot to be desired in terms of my riding, it was really confidence building for me. My horse was good, and reminded me that I can trust him… which is exactly what I need right now.