He was a gem yesterday too, despite the resurgence of disgusting summer heat.
I will do my best to recap without sounding like a boring 3rd grader, but I am having a hard time braining today and it most likely will still be rambling garbage. Apologies.
ALL our jumps are at New Farm and the farrier prevented Supertrainer from hauling horses over there for a jump sesh pre-show, so I was left a little concerned about going in to a show with only one schooling session. Luckily, its the two foots division and will be a literal walk in the park for B, but I still feel a titch weak and not 100% confident in my abilities.
I spent the entire drive to the barn wondering what I could dig up to jump so we could at least get a few more hops under out belt. I started off with some chairs and a board thing from fence building, but while walking back through the barn to tack up I saw our jump blocks hiding in a corner! MUCH better than some ratchet chairs! I set them up behind one of our logs, to create a makeshift oxer. One jump, thats the best I would get.
|Whhhhheeeehhhaaawww lets git it|
Our ride started off with a slight miscommunication, that could've been bad but turned out hilariously.
After our-warmup, we approached the jump for the first time, only the log and no "oxer". Meaning, it was a super tiny warmup log and should have had no issues with it whatsoever.
Well apparently, my fear of XC resonates across all disciplines, and even though I was technically trying to practice for show jumping, the fact I was jumping a wee log in a field meant it was time to ride like shit and brace for impact.
Being the good pony B is, he was headed straight for the log. Meanwhile, I was unintentionally telling him to turn left and NOT jump the jump. He ended up half jumping it, kind of sputtering out last second, landing with his front legs folded and on top of the jump. He stood there for a second, baffled, and then lost his balance and started tipping forward and down. I too, was falling down with him, thanks to momentum and gravity. He finally wrangled a leg out and propped himself up and away from the log so fast that I was essentially catapulted up and literally only saved myself from rolling off by grabbing my trusty neck strap. LUCKILY, B didn't bolt off like he would've in the past, and I was able to right myself once he stood up fully and stopped moving.
After realizing I almost fell off B for the first time ever, I sat there trying to figure out what the fuck actually just happened and laughed it off. Circled around and popped right over it.
Dumb. So dumb.
Down a pair of jump boots though. Luckily it wasn't his leg that got torn to shreds, and I am thankful I opted for full coverage boots instead of regular open fronts. God, I would've killed myself if my stupid riding had hurt my horse.
Moving on from that, I worked on maintaining tempo and energy, through a figure 8 exercise, jumping the "oxer" in the middle of the 8 each pass. This helped with balance, tempo, engagement and flying changes as well as gave me time to concentrate on my position.
At first, I was still struggling. I feel so floppy and insecure, even over the small oxer that B was barely jumping. It was getting frustrating. My hands kept floating around his ears, I kept jumping ahead and slipping back and it was just a mess.
|Still jumping ahead|
When you've got nothing left to do, jack your stirrups up, amirite?
I felt so much more secure and unmoving with my stirrups up, and less apt to jump ahead of the motion. Granted, its very difficult to practice when your horse isn't really jumping and kind of just gliding ACROSS the fence, but it was still good practice.
I was nervous to put them up, fearing it would strain the ligament and muscle across my back into my hamstring, but I had no issues.
Its funny, because every single coach I have ever had has preached how shorter stirrups lead to security blahblahblah, and yet I had not thought to do it yet with B. In fact, I had intentionally been jumping 1-2 holes longer with him, so I shouldn't have been asking "why does my position suck" for the entirety of TWO fucking years. How dumb. To be fair though, he used to be a dirty stopper and then bolt, so riding extra short made me feel quite insecure with those shenanigans. Now though, I think I'm ready to graduate back to short stirrups.
We will see if I can memorize my courses tomorrow, but otherwise I feel prepared for this schooling show outing. I am notoriously god awful at memorizing more than one jump course, so we will see if I can keep my shit together and remember FOUR. Thats 3 too many.