Thursday, September 29, 2011
Actually proud of myself
And the Muffin, of course! ALMOST called it and didn't ride. Joyce has been extremely busy this week, which has meant lots of extra work for me! I did an hour's worth of work before I even touched the first stall, so by the time I was done cleaning, I was done. But, I pushed through, tacked him up, and took him up to the rock hard ring. I dragged out 2 jumps from the enormous pile in the center of the ring, and put them at '6' and '12', perpendicular to the short side. Basically, I had half of the "circle of death".
I eyed the jump cups closest to the rail, and guesstimated them at 3'3. After placing a pole on them and realizing it came up OVER my hip bones, I thought maybe 3'6, but thought, "Nah, 3'3". Pulled out the measuring stick, and sure enough! I set the other jump at 2', and debated dropping the big one down to 2'9. Then to 3'. Then I gave myself a mental butt kicking and said if I'm really contemplating a BN trial in February, it will be the final one barring any problems. Which means that my NEXT outing will be a N. And if I'm showing at 2'11, I need to be comfortable schooling 3'+, emphasis on the +. So I walked away and mounted.
After another good loose rein walk warm up, picked up the trot. He is tough flatting at home in the wonder bit because he is SO quiet, and the wonder bit has a lot of "whoa". I worked my butt off keeping him going forward, and spent about 15 minutes switching between big trot, toth, shoulder-in at the walk, and leg yielding across the entire ring at the walk; that was cool! I didn't drill his contact today since I had already done that yesterday; instead, I waited until I felt satisfied he was working hard, then cantered up to the 2' jump off the right lead. He twisted in the air, knocked the pole, and tried to go left on landing, but I stayed back, stayed committed, and kept him on a circle to the right. To begin, I was working only over the 2' jump on a 20m circle. Did it again, and nailed it. Right lead probably 4 times, then reversed to the left where it felt even better! I drifted a little bit so I could nail the distance, and then without thinking about it too hard, headed up to the "big one". I sat UP, I maintained a rhythm, and I closed my LEG! Yay, me! Did it about 3 more times tracking left, then reversed to the right. Right lead is MY weaker side because HE is a little bit weaker when it comes to jumping. I've always been most comfortable tracking left even though our flatwork to the right is better because my right leg is stronger.
ANYWAY, didn't quite "see" the distances as well as I could have, and only had one "tragic" one, but STILL the boy jumped out of his skin to keep the jump up. He felt amazing. Despite the fact that he almost knocked the 2' jump down the first time, he felt amazing every time over 3'3. I did put both jumps together both directions twice each, and I was pleased with how it went. I was proud of myself for not wimping out and making it easier on myself. I didn't use guide poles, I didn't use a neck strap, I didn't tie my stirrups to the girth, and I didn't lower the jump. I'm trying to train my eye to see the jumps as "No Big Deal", and to view height as being inconsequential.
It's been a slow process, but I'm getting there. Even though I haven't had the $$ to do anything eventing related this year at ALL, I've kept up with keeping Tiki fit, strong, and well schooled, and I'm always working hard on making myself a better rider. Hoping to introduce chiropractic care into the budget before the end of the year, and now working towards a HT in Aiken in February. Until then, I have warming him up for his first IEA show of the new season next Sunday, and a lesson with Susan some time this month:) It's all good!