Mr. Oats jumps again!

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.

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This is literally Oats now.

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.

Your family loves you when you cross the finish line regardless. But they love you a little more when you win.

Saw this and kind of made me laugh- is it true? Well…Maybe in your heart of hearts, it is.

I had a weirdly challenging week. Things made me laugh and cry, on the same day. It was both not stressful and incredibly stressful (ie- job was fine, personal life wasn’t.) Not normally the way things go.

Wednesday, I chatted with one of the gym regulars, a guy I see pretty much every day at my work gym and he mentioned to his colleague that he didn’t know my name, but that he called me Super Girl in his mind, because I worked so hard at the gym, and he thought that I looked like the actress on the Global TV show ‘Supergirl’ Melissa Benoist. I was very flattered and it pretty much made my day! Wow! What an nice compliment.

On the same day (Wed) I took off riding for a doctor’s appointment that was HORRIBLE and so invasive, physically painful and emotionally extremely difficult. UGH. Even thinking about it makes me cringe and get mad.

Cue stress eating all night when I got home. Instead of a run.

So…yeah. Monday I get poisoned, Tuesday is a good day, Wednesday is both good and horrible at the same time, what was in store for my jump lesson on Thursday?

Well, again a mixed bag.

Work was fine, except I learned they were re-doing Watership Down so I of course had to revisit that and I found it super emotional? I’m not sure why, but even reading references to it (and listening to ‘Bright Eyes’) was making me tear up.

And then, the drive out to the barn was a nightmare. Traffic was backed up, I was stuck in gridlock for 50 minutes. It was insane! I got to the barn at 6:20 and my lesson was at 6:30. FML. I was so tense, anxious, angry, pissed off, edgy…It was a very bad way to start my lesson. I came in wanting a ‘win’…My miserable experience at the Dr’s was still very much in the forefront of my mind, and like, I was just feeling so edgy.

Didn’t help that I was now running very late, it was crazy windy, and I was just…aRGH. So ARGH.

Oats warmed up really nicely, no spooks at all thank god. We worked over grids (and I still kind of dislike them, I almost ate it at the last fence due to jumping ahead…you can’t take grids for granted still, dummy!!).

Our work was good, but the two-stride last week that I mostly conquered I really…didn’t this week. It was kind of a hot mess. And then it was good. And then kind of a mess again?

One note of pride: Our outside line that I kept bungling last week rode just lovely this week! So…Mild improvement on that scale?

HA.

I also felt something interesting: Oats kicking it in to a higher gear. It felt so awesome, this power that he suddenly was able to open up with. Wow, I wish I could get that feeling every time!

So, to sum up- I came in on an angry, anxious and difficult personal time this week- and managed to not completely screw up my ride, with my  mostly forgiving and saint-like pony.

 

Now boarding the struggle bus

Jump lesson last night and woooow…I was just NOT clicking with Oats. I have no idea why (hmm, maybe the death of my friend’s dad, my car being an idiot and having to pay a repair bill this week, oh and feeling overwhelmed at work?), yeah I have no clue!

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So easy and yet so hard??? Why??

So anyways, we set up a small gymnastic and I absolutely flailed my way through it. Smashed my face on Oats’ neck when he went to canter it, as I awkwardly fell back, and then forward, and then BANG! Face meets neck. Ouch!!!!!

Well, I don’t know how to to ride today, was my immediate thought.

It got ok, and then worse, and then…well I don’t know.

We worked through the gymnastic w/o reins, because clearly I had relinquished my rights to riding normally with my idiotic display…Oats was also in fine form, wiggling, wobbling, taking off ridiculously early, heading for a chip, he even spooked?!! This is a pony who didn’t even blink an eye when geese were like, getting killed on the roof?!!

We had one really nice go-round, took a break to talk about cheerful things like death, and then I proceeded to go blow up another round. Greeeatttt….

Fumbled and tripped our way through the grid. Lovely.

Went to try grid again and fumbled and wobbled through it. Well, ok. Take a massive chip to the next fence. ARGH!

Single fence after that was good, and then headed back to the gymnastic. Oats leaps over, I flail wildly and pull him to stop, very narrowly missing the standards. Okayy…Take 2: We go over, I stay firmly planted in the backseat waving my arms..We make it over. Canter to the next fence, it goes well. Canter to a few more singles, also good.

I have a righteous fire lit within me, for some reason….You know grids are often easier for horses and riders? So, WTF is my problem?

Wow, it was kind of a rough ride. I have a headache today, thanks to my nose…I guess we need these rides to make us really appreciate the good ones??? Please tell me that is the truth!

Sidenote: I am making another appointment for a session with the equine counselor. It’s time for a tune-up.