Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Strides are for sissies...

So I have deemed if I'm going to be in both gym and horse boot camp in the same week, why not add writing?  Cause, you know, that's totally logical ;)    I did learn last wknd that I sleep much better when completely exhausted, so seems reasonable to aim for that >;-P    So the goal is one post a day for one week.  No problem.  Except for every hour from 6am-10pm being already booked.  

Anyways -- went out to ride Lexi today.  Didn't have a ton of time to ride and was really hoping to jump.  Fortunately for me that's the one thing I can *almost* always count on her agreeing to ;)   So knowing time is short and I have neither ring crew nor a large selection of jumps, I set a simple grid:  trot approach, 2' vertical, 1 stride, slightly bigger vertical, 1 stride, slightly bigger oxer.  And I do mean slightly -- the biggest fence was maybe 2'9.  And a random 2' other fence in the middle of the ring.  

Go get my horse and am pleased to discover she's *not* covered head to toe in mud.  Woohoo!  Score one ;)   She warmed up nicely -- I admittedly wasn't asking her to work particularly hard, but nor was she giving me any reason to need to either.  We jumped all the various fences on angles all no problem and popped through them as is.  Actually just a canter stride.  Okay hop off and put the fences up.  Rinse and repeat a couple times.

As we're doing this, they're bringing horses in.  Lexi is *very* ADD about that -- so I try to ride her at turnin often so she can learn to deal with the fact that she still has to work when things are going on.  And to her credit, she never missed a jump for all her distraction, although there was one she jumped sideways and a couple we did in slow motion as we went away from whoever was being brought in.  We also had a wicked drift toward the gate which admittedly went away as soon as her rider smartened up ;)

We get to the point that the middle jump is about 2'6" (still a speed bump) and the last about 3'6" -- which she's also just loping over.  Let me tell you, having always ridden sports-car model horses that really power over *everything* (hey Paula - just trot that X...) this is a disconcerting feeling.  I never entirely believe we're going over it because it never feels like we have any power.  But she's yet to miss.

Anyways -- running out of time, so being responsible, I decide not to go the remaining two holes higher (just in case) but instead just do this one once more and call it a day.  One. More. Time.  There's a reason I basically never say that when I teach.  It's a phrase determined to make a liar of me.  Yet somehow I can't cut it out of my inner speak when I ride.  Ugh.

Trotting in, all good...  And then...  I actually have absolutely no idea what happened to be honest.  I wish there'd be somebody with a camera!   She either got distracted or tripped or both 1/2 a trot stride out from the first fence.  I have no idea how we got from one side of that to the other but we ended up facing fence two and she randomly decided to treat it like a jump (picture the cat that falls off the table and then walks away with this look like "I meant to do that.").  Okay good -- except she treated it like a grandprix style liverpool...   Which landed us in the middle of the distance to our oxer.

So of course the only logical response is to bounce out.  Yeah.  I'm going to go ahead and admit I grabbed a good hold of her substantial mane for that one.  But the really scary part?  It still didn't feel like she was even attempting to put any effort into it. Just cantered away as per usual.  Sheesh.

Why wouldn't you bounce this?  It's only a 24' distance.
Had to do it again just to smooth that out a bit.  No drama or excitement.  Went for a trot around the track (killer mosquitoes!), then trotted back in and popped through it "one more time" to finish.  And it really was one more time and it still felt ridiculously easy.   Training courses will seem baby sized by the time I ever get back in the show ring :)  But until then, we'll just have fun at home.

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