Monday, May 12, 2014

I was so excited for spring


It's starting to feel like Mother Nature completely skipped over spring and went straight to summer. Mornings have become so hot and humid, and the afternoon isn't any better. I'm all for warmer weather, but this is just too much too soon.

I took a private lesson today, and jumping was the focus due to my difficulties last Tuesday. I've finally settled on a stirrup length for the flat, and thank God it's a longer one. It at least encourages me to stretch my leg down instead of pushing it forward so long as I'm paying attention to what I am doing. I used it for flat and jumping, and it worked well, but I'll probably shorten them when I start jumping higher.

We started trotting around, and she was going really nicely, forward but not rushing, and listening well to my leg and seat cues. Miss S had me do a figure-8 where I sat as I approached the center, then started posting again on the circle part. Baby was bending super duper, but I will admit that I was micro-managing a bit, or, at least, it felt like I was. She was good anyway, and the canter was fabulous both ways, but she's being such a butt about picking up that left lead. I feel like that is the moment that I have to micromanage to make sure that every single little thing is falling in the correct place in order to guarantee that she picks up the correct lead. I'm praying that she gets that lead at the show this weekend!

We get to the jumping thing and started with some tiny crossrails in the red line. I did that a couple of times. Miss S progressively raised the jumps up until they were at about 2'0", and it was pretty good. Then we did the brick a couple of times either way, then an oxer in both directions. Miss S got a couple of pictures, and my release is much better. Now I need to focus on squatting and still with my lower leg. The amount that it slides back is getting smaller and smaller, so I'm becoming less likely to notice it. Today, however, I could consciously feel my heel coming up. I don't exactly know why I was doing that, but it sure as heck ain't happening again.

We did one course because time was running down and Baby was sweating bullets despite all the breaks she received. I missed all my leads, got one bad distance, and then there was just one jump that I don't even know what happened, but everything else was flawless. Her pace, her jump, just everything. I can't even complain about that course. She did nothing wrong, she was attentive, she was relaxed, and she was consistent. I couldn't be happier.

Afterwards, I got to give her a bath, a full on, shampoo in the bucket bath, which I don't get to do often. I've been showing for a few years now, but I never get to be the one to get the horses ready because I'm at work making the money to pay for the show. It was nice to just scrub all the dirt and grime off of her and bring out the beautiful white in Baby's coat . . . then I cringe at the fact that she's likely to roll in her own feces within 24 hours of a bath *headdesk* Horses, you gotta love 'em.

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