Lately Miles and I have had some rough seas; he was mysteriously NQR for most of July after our 2’6″ debut and as soon as he was pronounced sound enough to jump again, I went off to Aruba for my honeymoon. The very next lesson I fell off and I’ve spent the last week and half nursing some sort of hip/groin injury. At first, I wasn’t too concerned about Miles having some time off because we didn’t have anything planned at honestly we’d accomplished most of the goals I’d set for us. But as the days ticked by and life kept me out of the saddle longer and longer, I did begin to worry a bit. Summer is almost over with Labor Day weekend coming up quick [as in it’s this weekend] and I really, really want to show Labor Day weekend. Mostly because I get a freebie recovery day on Monday, but also because one of our local circuits hosts a special night class at this show every year: Ride for the Ribbon. It’s a hunter derby style class, with entry fees benefiting the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.
Normally, I’m not super gung-ho about supporting funds like this because there are so many I could go broke trying to be involved with them all. But this year, the Ride for the Ribbon has some special meaning. One of my trainers clients is smack dab in the middle of fighting a battle with breast cancer, and it’s been pretty hard on all of us. She has three wonderful horses, two of which she generously allows many of us to ride and show. She’s a wonderful person, one of the most generous I know, and even though she’s not part of the horse show crew, she is part of our barn family. Anyways, the point of the story is our little barn is making a big deal about this derby, and I want to be there.
So last night I saddled up for my first lesson since my fall, and even though I was nervous, I put my game face on. Miles has been wonderful ever since, and I know that his stop was a total fluke. We started slow with just some 2′ verticals and I reverted to my old nervous habits: hunching my shoulders and looking down. Trainer patiently corrected me, and we increased the height throughout our 30 minute ride. By the end, we were jumping a 2’3″ – 2’6″ course and it felt great! Miles listened and let me make some mistakes [in the form of chipping in hard a few times] and never once set a foot wrong. He rewarded me with excellent lead changes when I was balanced, and jumped great when I set him up well. Here’s one of our final rounds from the evening:
Best of all, we got the go ahead from Trainer to attend the show this weekend! Cheers to my first rated 2’6″ division!!