For the past few weeks, I’ve been riding the little bay Thoroughbred mare, Moiya, you met two weeks ago. Due to a tough situation completely out of my control, she’s become somewhat of a regular on my schedule in addition to her once-a-week IEA lesson. I’m definitely not complaining — I’ve loved being able to ride this awesome mare — but I do wish that the reason was different. Anyways, While Miles is out of commission (he threw a shoe on Sunday and is now brewing an abscess), I’ve also been taking my weekly lessons on Moiya. So far, it’s been really educational and a lot of fun.
I’ve had a week of #firstworldproblems where nothing seems to go according to plan, so when Trainer asked what we wanted to do in the lesson, I told her I just wanted to have fun. I’d been eyeing the jumps set up outside the ring all week and wanted to try them. So that’s what we did! We warmed up on the flat, and Trainer didn’t say much. Which is perfectly perfect for me, Moiya tells me everything I need to know. We quickly moved on to jumps, starting in the ring with a simple vertical single to a line of crossrails.
Moiya was a super star, fitting in a really tight 6 strides the first time we did the line, and then just maintaining her pace when I asked for 5 strides. The name of the game with Moiya is to keep her calm and relaxed, without getting in her face. She doesn’t tolerate rough hands at all, so you’ve got to really communicate in a give and take atmosphere. Once we were solid in the ring, we went out! There are several jumps set up in a grassy area between the outdoor ring and the barn, so we trotted all of those, eventually stringing together all three. They were small — a crossrail, 2′ vertical, 18″ brick box and a 2’3″(ish) gate.
We trotted all the jumps individually, and then strung #1, #2 and #3 together. Being out of the ring (even though we were still ring next to it) jazzed up the horses a bit, and Moiya jumped bigger and landed more strongly, but she was really great about coming back down to a trot when I asked. She even handled the 2’3″ gate (#1 in the picture) really, really well despite the fact that I was nervous about it. To finish, we jumped #4, a small brick box from outside the ring, into the ring. I’d never done that before, and even though the fence itself was small, you’re really jumping uphill. I was nervous again and didn’t pick a great distance, but Moiya was a champ, jumped it a little big and even though I didn’t follow her motion perfectly, she was awesome.
We finished with a few more rounds in the ring, and the fences got a bit higher. A solid 2′-2’3″ all the way around and our trips were great! Moiya celebrated a tiny bit, but I stayed with her and didn’t get too nervous, plus she came back really quickly. Overall, it was a really fun ride and just what I needed to help me power through the Friday work day.