I’ve procrastinated writing this post, because I wasn’t sure what to say… or exactly how I feel. I still don’t, but I’m documenting my journey as a working, adult amateur and that includes the good times and the bad. Right now, Miles and I are going through a bad time. After our lameness issues, followed by pulling shoes, I finally scheduled a jumping lesson. It’s been 2 1/2 months since my last lesson on the big red horse, so I was pretty pumped.
We started out on the flat, and discussed what I needed to focus on (forward) and what things might need to fall by the wayside for now (frame). I got a feel for how Miles’s trot should be, and we practiced adjustability at the canter with ground poles. All of this went well — while it’s frustrating to go back to square one, I also know that going forward is my problem right now, so stepping back to just address that makes sense. Hopefully once that is resolved, we will be able to add back in other pieces of training on the flat.
Over fences was… a disaster. I’m probably being a bit -over-dramatic about the entire thing, but I’ve got a lot of feels going on about the situation. So after our flatwork, we started over a crossrail in the center of the ring. We jumped it twice going away from the in-gate, and things were okay. The first time I didn’t ride great, but I rode better the second time over. After that we turned around, and jumped it towards the in-gate. I got a little bit of a longer spot to the jump (not a launcher, but a bit longer that perfect), but that’s the distance I saw, and the distance I asked for. Miles took it, but on landing he pulled his head down, crowhopped and did some small bucks. I rolled right off his shoulder and into the dirt.
It took me a second to get up (it always does), as I make sure all my limbs still move, but then I was just mad. Mad at myself for allowing this to happen, mad at my horse being a jerk and mad that now I was nervous and scared to jump a crossrail. Of course I got right back on and trotted the offending crossrail a few more times, the first of which Miles tried to buck me off again, but I was prepared and stopped his antics. After that, Trainer and I talked. For a while. And we determined that it would be best if Miles got some rides from my BFF, Trainer’s working student. So we set a date, and Miles went back to his stall while I brushed off the dust and prepared for my second lesson later that evening on Moiya.
I took Friday off because I just don’t bounce like a teenager anymore, but I rode Saturday on the flat where Miles was a royal jerk. I’m pretty sure I scared the bejesus out of some unsuspecting boarders who were riding with me (sorry!). Miles got very grumpy about cantering to the left, and when he let out a huge cow-kick, I really got after him with a big “NO!” and a few smacks with my crop. After that, we cantered and galloped and did more upward transitions; good horses get ridden for 20 minutes, bad ponies do not. On Sunday I really needed a mental break — so I took it and stayed away from the barn for the most part. Instead, Sam and I went to the New Albany Classic and watched Connor Swail and Beezie Madden battle it out for the top spot! Congrats to Swail and his horse Simba, who both rode with a lot of guts to come in first.