After short but nerve wracking (for me at least) show season, I’ve been laying low with Simon and not riding quite as often. So instead of yesterday, the last time I rode was Monday for my weekly jumping lesson.
Kathy’s theme of the week was courses with technical challenges, so I was pretty excited. In the division that we show in, the most complicated thing that is ever asked is a roll back and at the November show I totally botched that up… so it’s not like I’m an expert.
I love to school that kind of stuff at home so both him and I are used to seeing it. Here was the course we did:
When I first got on that night, Simon was really fresh. Not in a “FU I’m gonna do what I want” kind of way.. he’s rarely like that. More of a “you know riding me every other day isn’t adequate and I am SO READY to do ALL THE THINGS!” attitude.
The jumps looked tiny to me. Well, they were… several cross rails and maybe 2′ verticals. The outside line going home was what Kathy calls our “challenge height” for the lesson. It was a 2’3″ single heading to maybe a 2’6″ oxer with some spread. The other horse in our lessons is very green/currently stopping some, and what I need to work on right now isn’t super height oriented so it’s fine. I didn’t even blink at the 2’6″ though, just marched up to it like it was nothing.
There is one corner where Simon looooooooves to get heavy and pull me down and then race forward. I did a much better job keeping him off the forehand on the right lead in that corner.
I am learning to ask for the long instead of always squishing something in.
Overall, my leaning in is improving. My endurance is so much better. 8 jumps used to get me winded, but I was fine for this whole course. I also felt like my leg was tighter overall – more double posting will be happening this weekend as the start of the “get Lauren fit” winter boot camp.
Leads, leads, leads. Simon doesn’t know his changes yet, and my downwards for simples are AWFUL. I feel like I get all this momentum and pace, have to fight to bring him down, and then can’t pick it up in time for the next fence.
On the subject of leads, my previous ‘outside leg over the fence to land correctly’ trick is no longer working. Fluke? Me sucking? I’m not sure.
I was looking down more this lesson, bad!
Simon was NQR. Last Thursday his knee was swollen from what looked like a cut on his upper foreleg. He’s the kind of horse that will blow up at the tiniest scrape, and he was pretty sound so I wasn’t too worried. On Monday, the knee was slightly puffy and he just seemed a little stiff. Trainer and another knowledgeable rider said he just looked a little stiff and to ride him anyway. I’m going to keep an eye on it.