I have a little bug that I can’t kill. It’s not entirely unlike a virus. It doesn’t respond to antibiotics (or in my case, reason) and it has lived int he ecosystem of my brain for quite some time – dormant and waiting.
I still want to do the hunters.
I know, I know. My horse loves the jumpers, you say. We’ve done well in the jumpers, you add. Much progress has been made! All of this is true, but it doesn’t change the fact that when I walk to the ingate of a hunter class I’m filled with a sense of relief as opposed to fear or anxiety.
It’s not even the height of the fences that get me, but the courses. Simpler ones I can do pretty well, but jumpers involves so much brain power. Maybe part of the problem is that my brain power has been severely compromised lately, but settling into an easy outside/inside/outside/inside sounds lovely to me right about now.
Now that it’s out in the open, what am I going to do about this problem?
Part of it depends on my noble steed. Although Simon loves the jumpers, he also loves anything in which he is a “good pony” and gets to jump over obstacles. The two biggest things killing us in the hunters originally were making the strides and lead changes. These days, the strides come easy to us… which is great news!
Lead changes are a bit more of a problem, but I’m starting to have hope. I’ve decided to give my horse a fair shot at them in two different ways. The first is to get my new favorite vet to take a comprehensive look over his hind end. I know the hocks are a problem (and due for injections), but I want to get his opinion about the stifles as well. Once we’ve evaluated and injected all the things, I move on to phase 2 – a month of training.
Part of Simon’s problem with changes is that I’ve never owned or really ridden a horse that had them. I don’t know how to ask 100% correctly, and I know I make a lot of mistakes. My trainer and I have discussed in the past that he might need a few rides a week of her expertise to see if he can grasp the concept fully. I plan to do this sometime soon as we’re in a pretty dull period showing wise due to my obvious circumstances lately.
So that’s the plan, and I’ll see what happens. If lead changes never happen, I’ll be disappointed but not heartbroken. Riding jumpers has taught me a lot and continuing to truck around the low jumpers is not a sad ending to this story by any means. Ideally I’d love to get us to a place where we could be competitive in both rings to some extent. The low adult jumpers seem light years away to me, but there’s a Take 2 Thoroughbred hunter division in our local A shows that’s 2’9″. For whatever reason, that seems attainable to me.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but I’ll give it my best shot. Not ready to give up on the hunter dream quite just yet.