Despite the lack of evidence on this blog, I’ve been keeping up my frequent riding schedule of 5-6 days per week. While I know I’m making progress and working on important things, the improvement has been so minuscule from ride to ride that I haven’t talked about it much. But this week was full of fun adventures to share!
This year, I didn’t formally write-up a goals post… mostly because I never did a 2015 goals recap. The wheels fell off the wagon and I was feeling pretty dismal around the New Year. But I did update my 2016 Goals page, and one of the items on my list was more trail rides.
This week I ventured out with my BFF Nichole for her first excursion of the year. Her horse hates to lead, so that left Miles in charge. Luckily, while he doesn’t LOVE to lead, he will without issue. So we did a long loop through the woods and ended up at the Jump Field, where we walked, trotted and cantered without issue.
Miles was really happy to get out of the ring, and was really relaxed the entire time. Trotting and cantering was a little exciting for him, but he was a good boy and we even did a “ground pole” with a branch than had fallen on the ground. I’m hoping to hack around the jump field a lot more often this spring and summer – it’s nice to get out of the ring and do something different!
I hate gymnastics. They make me nervous and I’m not very good at riding them… and my horse isn’t very good at doing them. Lately Trainer has set up lots of gymnastics, and it’s hard. And terrifying. In our lesson on Monday she set up two (2!!) gymnastics: the first was a set of 3 bounces and the other was a one stride to a three stride.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done bounces, so even though they were tiny crossrails, I thought I was going to puke. I went through them 5 or 6 times, and by the end I was getting the hang of them and not just sitting in fetal position. We also got pretty good at the other gymnastic too – and while the heights weren’t big, Miles and I rode through them well. All in all, I’m pretty proud to say that we’re doing things that we’ve never done before, and we’re doing them successfully.
Holy moly, show season is not far off. And despite the fact that I’ve been riding more than ever, the first ride in the outdoor showed me that I still have a long way to go before I’m fit enough for the show ring. So I’m incorporating a little bit of no stirrup work into each ride. I hate no stirrups – I feel like a floppy fish slamming on my horse’s back. It’s frustrating that when I was 16 I could LAPS of no stirrups without a problem and now once around the ring makes me want to cry.
But no pain, no gain (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to make me feel better) and I’ll be damned if my leg strength is what holds us back this year. I’ve worked too hard and come too far to fail now!