Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm sorry, did my awesome jumps offend you?

If they did, I don't care! I've been waiting a long time to be able to put those jumps up, and it was worth the wait. Miss S finally let us set up the new jumps in the big outdoor and they look awesome. There are so many colors and combinations. It's all just so lovely. Here are some crummy, iPod pics of them.



Of course, however, the jumps were set up after the lesson so no jumping them until next week. I'm fine with that though, my lesson was awesome. It seems that the hunter/jumper gods visited me once again, and while I was not perfect (Oh mighty hunter/jumper gods, please hold my lower leg in place . . . and give me a new saddle; I really need a new saddle, thanks!), I was still very happy with my ride.

I was on Baby yesterday, and we warmed up in the grass area by the driveway. It's gonna be a pasture soon, so we're enjoying it until then. Of course Baby just isn't giving a hoot about leg (I could literally hear Miss E screaming at me "ENERGY, ENNNERGGGYYYY!"). Lots and lots of squeezing and lots of lots of soreness while I'm talking about that. We go to canter, and Baby gives me the "Really?" look. Oh, she was pushing it. Finally get her to canter, and we tried this sit for half a lap, two point for half a lap, sit again, two point again exercise. If you ever struggle with your two-point after the first two steps of approach and take off, do this. Sit for half a lap, two point for half a lap, and just do it. It honestly works, and, if you're doing it right, it'll strengthen your legs and open your hips.

We finish our warm-up and go into the big arena to get some jumping in. At this point, Baby is just like, "Oh, we're in here? I guess it's time to gallop!" Um, no, Baby, it's not time to gallop, it's time to listen to and respect my leg and seat cues just like it's been for the last 45 minutes. She confuses me at times, she really does. We get to doing some lines. First we trot in, canter out, then we canter in, canter out. She's doing these lines perfect, and maintained a nice pace in between. I was staying down and loose, but of course that darned lower leg was going back and forth like a pendulum. I have to remember to squeeze with my calf and keep weight in my heels.

We went to go do courses, and that's when Baby really wanted to pick up speed, but at least she actually listened to my seat cues at that point. She moved back when I moved back, and I must say that, overall, the lesson was a huge confidence boost. Being able to pick apart what I need to do better rather than only focusing on the bad and getting frustrated with myself is a huge thing for me. I need to focus on being a better rider instead of beating myself up for making beginner's mistakes. I am a beginner; I have a lot to learn, and those mistakes are simply part of the learning process.

Speaking of mistakes, my saddle. Oh, woe is me, woe is me, I have already become annoyed with my saddle. I'll be honest, it was an impulse buy. Shelby got a saddle, so I decided that I just had to have one, and oh Lord, that was a mistake. It was a huge mistake. So, my beloved accursed Stübben is officially for sale. Siegfried, 16.5" deep seat, flap is too forward for my leg and seat is too hard for my bottom. The knee rolls are dry rotted (previous seller wasn't entirely honest), but they're pencil knee rolls so padding isn't even of importance. One knee roll was ripped open (don't ask, another mistake that I have learned from), but you can't see the tear when you're riding. You might as well rip the other one open, get out all the dust, and then stitch the two back up for aesthetics. Medium tree. Would be a perfect training, schooling, or show saddle, and it's not falling apart for at least another century (there are two things that would survive a nuclear explosion, and they are 1) cockroaches and 2) Stübbens). $350 OBO.

Miss S has a couple of saddles sitting in her tack room, and they aren't being used. I would like to look at the plain flap one she has, and I've been meaning to ask, but I just forget sometimes. Eh, what are you gonna do.

Getting back to the actual lesson, I got a flying lead change out of Baby. Yes, you read that right, Baby did an awesome and timely flying lead change, and I barely had to ask her. Ah, this horse is perfect! I also switched horses with Cassie at the end. She got on Baby and I got on Skye. Let me show you Skye.

Yes, that is Skye, a little 14hh pony that Cassie has been riding for almost a year now. I felt like I was going to crush that poor animal. I am AT LEAST 30 pounds heavier than Cassie. Skye was not having it. I could tell that she wanted me off of her, not to mention she's been getting lazy with Cassie the last couple of lessons. Talk about leg. I finally got her moving and took her over a jump. You would have laughed if you had been there. Look back at that picture and tell me where that pony's neck is. Can't find it? Don't worry, you're not crazy. She has the shortest neck. I went to two point and put my hands forward. I could have easily touched her ears. I was odd. It was really odd.

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