Last week Trainer set a full course of jumps and left them up all week for lessons to help our barn manager prep for a horse show. Of course, we all eagerly look advantage of having nice jumps set to school some coursework. I scheduled two lessons — one on Moiya and one on Miles — to shake the winter rust off.
Both days my head wasn’t 100% in the game; I had work on my mind on Monday during Moiya’s lesson and life on my mind on Thursday during Miles’s lesson. It worked out though, because my ‘not quite with it’ riding is so, so much better than it used to be. I’m less decisive, and make bigger mistakes, but I recover more quickly and don’t make the same mistake twice. I don’t have any media of Moiya’s lesson unfortunately, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but she was stellar. Took care of me when I needed it and politely reminded me that she’d really prefer if I actually ya know, rode. And helped once in a while.
I do, however, have media of my lesson with Miles! I was much more nervous that I expected, so things definitely started off rusty. I even picked and pulled to a stop at our first canter fence 😳 But again, my horse helped me out by politely declining and reminding me that on Miles I need to make a choice and communicate that to him or at the very least, stay out of the way. Luckily Miles doesn’t hold a grudge (at all. ever.) so we came right back around and got over the jump just fine. My bogey fence of the course was a rolltop, which just plain freaks me out, so when we came to that the first time I didn’t see a distance at all. But I did have enough impulsion and pace going in that Miles picked a distance and I stayed with him okay, and that was that.
Once I got over a few jumps, I started riding better. My confidence increased 1,000-fold when Miles picked up the slack and helped me out… and never once thought about playing on the landing side. We finished the lesson with a small course, including my first ever two-stride! I saw my distances much more consistently and rode the related distances well. The round wasn’t super smooth, but I communicated and Miles listened. He really enjoyed going around a course again and I think the different looking jumps perked him up a bit. Plus, he LOVED the two stride!