Anyone living remotely in the south knows how hot and humid it has been. Wow. Since I've had the goal in mind of going to Mud Creek Ranch again on Saturday, I committed to riding Tiki more than 3 times in the month before the show. Last week I did well; rode Tues-Friday; Friday was actually a "2 ride" day.
This week has been much more difficult. I've been waking at 4:30, arriving at the barn by 4:50. I then do stalls/morning feeding/turnout/bring in until 7:50. I then go back to the house, get Kody, pack a lunch, and head to Patchwork where I do camp and then lessons. It's much nicer not to have to go BACK to Joyce's and do that extra hour of work, and I'd intended to go back in the afternoons and ride, but with the temps and humidity, it's actually dangerous to ride:( So, I've held off, realizing that Tiki IS fit. Not recognized horse trial fit, but clinic/schooling show/lesson fit. He can maintain that level of fitness by 2 or 3 rides per week. So, plan was to ride today/tomorrow/hack Saturday at Patchwork before heading over to MCR. This is how today went:
Walk into the sweltering ring and realize the footing isn't actually TOO unbelievably hard. Checked out the gymnastic and saw the vertical was 2'9, and the oxer was somewhere around 2'6/2'9. Decided to got for it. Also, separated the 2 halves of the coop, intention being that I was going to jump one of the halves as a skinny:) Here's where my title comes into play ... I have watched my classes in that last show over and over. I've been watching countless videos of pros riding jump courses. I've been watching countless videos of local hunter pros jump courses. I've been watching the videos my friends post on Facebook watching them jump courses. You get the idea. This is the problem with going at it alone and believing in getting lots of different opinions. I just have to be better at taking in the various points of view and making my OWN system. I knew what needed to be done today, and I was determined to do it!
As he moved up to the trot, I could feel the "fresh swishy swishy" going on:) That was fine; all 4 feet stayed on the ground, so no big deal. I had a nice light contact, kept my leg on, and he took a few minutes to drop down and relax into the contact. After about 4 minutes, I heard, "ker clunk, ker clunk, ker clunk, thud". CRAP! I stopped him, checked the right front, and sure enough, a clean loss. I almost stopped and got off, but the foot was perfect, so I decided to continue on to the small jumps. Cantered both ways, and trotted him for a minute to make sure his foot was fine, then cantered into the outside line, still set as tiny (less than 2') jumps. I sat UP, kept my butt tucked under, leg quiet, and sat lightly with my shoulders a little in front of my hips. That was what felt so much better. Sadly, totally missed to the out jump, so had to come in and actually count my strides so I knew where I was. Did it twice more, and tried really hard to be a metronome. I was actually very successful:)
Decided to canter the single coop section, which is about 3' across. Cantering in, he didn't understand the question and tried to duck out, and ended up jumping air. Stopped, showed him the jump on a straight line, then came in at a sitting trot. That worked perfect, so I came in once more the other way and he was perfect, so I stopped there. Bath, venice turpentine, and a call to the farrier. Not holding my breath he'll make it out tomorrow, so planning to cancel out outing on Saturday:( She'd already told me she may cancel anyway due to low entries, so maybe this is God's way of telling me to stay home this weekend.