Do you ever have a ride where nothing particularly amazing happens — no light bulb moment or great accomplishment — yet you hop off and are overwhelmed with love for your horse? That’s the kind of ride I had last night. Nothing out of the ordinary, no “ah ha!” moment, we didn’t jump very high or tackle a difficult course; yet when I got off and gave Miles a kiss like I always do, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing animal.
Let me start from the beginning: last night I had my first lesson in… over a month, at least. I haven’t jumped in just as long and after a series of ‘meh’ rides, I was really looking forward to getting back to what we both love: cantering over sticks. I didn’t come into the lesson with any expectations, there wasn’t a specific goal I had in mind or even a particular skill I wanted to work on. I just wanted to jump. So we did.
Things started off rusty: my position wasn’t great, I didn’t see my distances and overall our jumping efforts were lackluster. Apparently after romping in the mud, a 2′ fence doesn’t elicit much excitement from Mr. Miles, even though he hasn’t seen a fence in 30 days. But as usual, the more we jumped, the better things got. Our momentum kept building and I remembered how to ride again. I kept my weight down in my heels, stretched up through my core and looked beyond the fence.
Our last course was over 2’3″ verticals, but it felt effortless and easy. I got some short spots and some long spots, but Miles and I hit everything where we planned to [no surprises!] and we really flowed well together. We finished with a great jump off our tough left lead that was just spectacular! After some walking to cool down, I dismounted and realized just how far this horse and I have come together. It took 30 minutes for us to go from ground poles to confidently and competently jumping a 2’3″ course. We chipped in, we left long and all of it was just fine; not sketchy or scary whatsoever.
A year ago, this would not have been possible. This horse and I, we just click. I love the best parts of him and even the worst parts have become… him. Miles wouldn’t me Miles without his patented grumpy upward canter transitions every once in a while. And I love him for it.