This is the week of lessons ramping up to the horse show. Usually I do one group lesson and one training ride for Simon per week, but on a horse show week I’ll swap a training ride for a lesson. That combined with my usual weekend lesson means a group jumping lesson every other day until we go to the show to school on Friday. That much instruction means we have to improve… right? Right?!?
Heading to Sunday’s lesson I was feeling super enthused. Simon was fantastic Saturday, my lovely husband was coming with me to take pictures, and it was going to be perfect. Two days later I think I’m done processing it… and after trying not to be so hard on myself I’ve come up with three weaknesses from Sunday and one major strength.
Weakness One – Drifting Left
It feels like a new habit, even though it’s probably not. My horse loves to drift left and it hasn’t been bad so I haven’t been correcting it… well you can probably guess where this is going. He ran out once on Sunday, and run outs really get me down – especially when I can prevent them. So lots of left leg in my future, because I don’t want this to become a “thing”.
Weakness Two – Weight
His looks fab, but me… well I’ll be honest and when I first looked at these photos I was a little upset and didn’t want to post them. It’s not that I’m really heavier than I was a month ago, but different fitting breeches combined with the boob squish sports bra from heaven changed my shape a little bit. I’ve had some rational thinking time, and I’m not going to hate myself over this. I am going to make some changes though, but we don’t need to dwell on that right now. I’m writing this so I can look back soon and say “Look at how far I’ve come!”
Weakness Three – Jumping Bigger Fences
I asked my trainer if we could do some 2’3″ – 2’6″ jumps in our lessons so I could not be worried about the 2’3″ height on Saturday. She set some up, and the first “big” fence we came to Simon had a nice forward pace, we got a good (but not super close) distance and he jumped it beautifully. Just beautiful. I had this flash of, “Oh wow – maybe this is my adult hunter one day!” There’s just one problem – I went flyyyyyyyyyyying out of the saddle. Like, no contact between horse and rider and then I landed in a big thump on the other side. Cantering off, he thought briefly about bucking me off… but listened to the good angel and did not. Thank you Simon! So yeah, I need to work on that.
The Big Strength – My Lower Leg
Now I’ll stop being Nancy Negative and tell you what I’m proud of – my lower leg. I used to jump every fence with leaning, laying on the neck, and pinching. My leg would go flying back and I often felt really unbalanced and like “oh I shouldn’t really be jumping this right now…” That feeling isn’t 100% gone, but man it’s so much better.
So we’re heading into another lesson tonight where there are sure to be ups and downs, but as long as something keeps improving it’ll be a-okay!