About that forward thing…

About that forward thing…

Okay, so maybe that’s still a work in progress.

My lesson on Tuesday went quite well overall. I started my course with a decent forward pace and none of the jumps (2’3″ – 2’6″) looked intimidating to me at all. We cantered up to a vertical and I didn’t see a spot, so naturally I pulled for the add and my horse was like “Trot?” and it was kinda fugly.

Well, that wasn’t amazing but we recovered fine and no harm no foul. Lesson to self, thou shall not pull down to a crawling pace.

So things are going okay. Simon has been ridden really consistently lately, and is happy and forward but not exactly fresh. This means that I still have my forward moving Thoroughbred, but he needs some leg in the beginning of the course to get going and some leg over the first few jumps to encourage him to jump over them well. No big deal.

I’m feeling good, and I ask my trainer to raise the jumps.

So she goes rogue and raises them two holes. TWO HOLES! 

Naturally, I lose all feeling in my feet and whine/complain/plead that they are quite high. I asked her if she realized that I hadn’t jumped 2’9″ since 2014.

She did realize that, and she said I was ready and in a oh so polite and trainerly way to get my butt going and jump the 2’9″ oxer.

It was the second jump of the course, and although I had a good pace coming up to it from a slight angle I saw nothing. Nothing!

So I leaned to no distance what so ever and my horse was all, “Da fuq?” and jumped it in slow motion.

(I can't take credit for the text of this meme but it's super appropriate here)
(I can’t take credit for the text of this meme but it’s super appropriate here)

Seriously, it was so slow I had tons of time to stare at his neck/the jump/the ground and drop the f bomb no less than 8 times. I had enough time to listen to my trainer repeat “You’re okay!” through this terrifying slow motion jump that was undoubtedly going to murder us.

I had enough time to feel Simon sigh as he hurled us over that thing.

Needless to say, on the other side I gave him 1,000 pats and got through the rest of the course okay.

We couldn’t end on that note, so we repeated the same course once I recovered from my near death experience. This time I was still terrified of the oxer, but I knew that if I let my horse crawl to it he would start backing off of oxers again… and I couldn’t let that happen.

I still didn’t see a distance, but this time I applied leg, sat up, grabbed the martingale and both me and my trainer kissed to him. He went right over and again got 1,000 pats while we continued on to the rest of our course.

So I have jumped 2’9″ again without dying. If you need me I’ll be stuffing my saintly, tolerant creature full of cookies.

20 thoughts on “About that forward thing…

  1. Interestingly enough, my Trainer is all about letting the horse judge the distances. She constantly yells at me for micro-managing Fictions mouth, which distracts him from the jump and causes much uglier jumps overall. The more I micromanage, the more poles he drops. The more I let him do his thing, the better we jump. Within reason of course.

  2. Ha! “I had enough time to feel Simon sigh as he hurled us over that thing.” I almost want to go hunt down the blog post I wrote about a horse show where I actually brought Tucker to a halt accidentally and he jumped a 3′ oxer anyway. But that’s probably blog hijacking 🙂

    Anyway great job – you did it. (I would probably be so proud of myself that I’d be stuffing myself with cookies too.)

  3. You did it! And I die laughing at the meme. I feel like that sometimes.
    Dropping the bad habit of pulling at the base can be hard. I struggle with that one too. Sometimes my coach has me advance my hands a step or two from the jump (when it’s a trot fence). His big thing is “solve it by going forward”.

  4. Good for you!! Btw…. Don’t feel bad about pulling to a trot in front of the fence. I did this to a WIDE 3’6 oxer and my saint of a horse jumped anyway

  5. All I had repeating in my head during my rides at the show were SIT UP AND KICK SIT UP AND KICK. Did I do that? Hell if I remember. But something worked. Nice job handling the monster sized jump!

  6. Forward is the answer to everything. I don’t pretend to understand why, but it is. It’s like the equestrian version of 42 or something!

  7. omg that meme – too funny!! also congrats on getting it done!!! in a lesson last night when i complained about botching distances, my trainer pretty much said the distances don’t matter if you have the right canter, so just keep riding your canter and the horse will take care of the rest. really REALLY hard for me to do (i prefer picking), but it works so… we keep trying lol

  8. You saw neck/ground/fence, which means you had your eyes open. I’m pretty sure that’s more than I would have mustered!

  9. Yay you survived! 2’9″ is still super high to me. It’s amazing how they read us getting nervous and backing off and slow down or add add add. It’s such a hard concept sometimes that going faster ends up less scary.

  10. I LOLed hard at your meme. That was a good one.

    I was crawling to terrible distances yesterday too. Feels yucky, BUT, kinda good to know the pony can get over it anyway! Good job Simon AND Lauren!

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