Oats and I have not been the most consistent jumpers as of late…I was away in Brazil for a few weeks, got back and then had to take more time off after two lessons to move! So, yesterday was our third jump lesson back after not being very regular with it.
We have, however, been riding a lot!
I was feeling kind of blah about my lesson yesterday- I wanted it, but also felt rather ambivalent. Jumping is kind of emotional for me, and I was tired (from my dressage lesson the day before, running races on the weekend, moving and just not sleeping well). But I also still really want to jump, so I had to buck up and do it! It didn’t help that I was late for my lesson because my darling pony was absolutely filthy and covered, head-to-toe, in dried mud. ARGH.
Oats was kind of on my brain-wave though, and wow if I felt ‘blah’ then he felt super ‘blah’. We cantered in to the grid for gridwork, because if we had to trot in, I don’t think he would have made it!! Lazy pony!
As it is, we had 1 stop through the grid when he got distracted, I got flustered and we just didn’t have enough ‘oomph’ to get through it. He was not super generous with me last night- fairly willing, but I had to ASK ASK ASK for it. And be quite firm about what I wanted. Fair enough, horse, fair enough.
We then worked through 1 course, and while it was not pretty – hello, slow pony- we did it and I had to really ‘ride’ through the whole thing. We had 1 more stop when I was kind of gunning Oats to a jump, but he got strung out to a strange distance and was like, nope!!! Try again!! And we did, and with some encouragement from Nicole (clucking!) hopped over. None of the jumps were big or even remotely ambitious, it was more of a ‘get GOING’ coursework. The grid was included in the course and rode really well.
The emphasis was on landing, and GO BUTTON and then balance the canter, rather than landing, letting him peter out through the turn and then trying to get a better canter to the next fence. It was definitely a learning curve for me, as I tend to get very passive on courses and kind of let Oats go as he pleases, or let it go a bit as I approach the fence. No chances on this one, as he wasn’t particularly energized so yes, I had to work for it.
So, a lot of work but also a good learning lesson. While I really like the lessons that go smoothly and easily, I know sometimes I have to learn these lessons the hard way. Plus, it still ended great anyways! Win-win.