I haven’t jumped since July 5 — that’s almost an entire month! I told my trainer that if I didn’t go over a fence soon, I’d totally forgot “how to hunter” and maybe even shrivel up and die. Yeah, yeah, #firstworldproblems for sure. But luckily she enjoys indulging me, so she let me take a lesson on Vinnie. And man, did I have a blast! We just jumped around a small 2′ course, but it felt great to do more than trot a large circle. Vinnie and I are old pals, but we didn’t end our relationship on the best note. I was a bit apprehensive to jump him again, but all my worry was for naught: we got along absolutely famously. Trainer even commented that this was the best I’ve ever ridden Vinnie, and she doesn’t say things she doesn’t mean!
Riding Vinnie is just like riding a bike: it takes you a few seconds to adjust, but once you do it’s like you’ve been doing it once a week every week of your life. He’s so easy and forgiving to ride, but fairly sensitive with some really cool buttons for riders that are more advanced. Most of my time spent on Vinnie was when I was not advanced whatsoever; now, I know a little bit more and I got to experience some of the buttons on purpose. Vinnie, despite being a rather rotund 15.1hh APHA, can be very large and very fast when he wants to be. It used to scare me, because he’d do it when he decided he’d had enough of the large sack of potatoes flailing around on his back. In fact it got so bad sometimes that we joked Vinnie had an alter ego: Vincenzo the $150,000 German Riding Pony.
But during my lesson, I asked for a little bit of Vincenzo: we opened up and did the horse strides, and took a few longer spots [Vinnie is famous for adding in a 2′ stride right before the fence sometimes, if you’re not paying attention]. He felt amazing — and even his German Riding Pony back-cracking jump didn’t fling me out the tack one single time. A year ago, that was a regular occurrence, even at 2′. By the end of the lesson, I was beaming. I’ve come so far and progressed so much… it’s a wonderful feeling indeed.