Here there be dragons...

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

Never fail to recognize the sucess in failure.

So when you're an adult, and you decide to randomly put your life on hold, there is a fair amount of chaos involved. What do you do w/ your apartment? How will you pay your bills? (funny those don't disappear just cause you're making no money!) What do you do about your job? (that one was very easy since I was being downsized anyways :) But really, all of these things fall into place. The biggest concern for me was What do I do w/ my pets?!?! Now my last fish had passed on and not yet been replaced, so the tank just went into storage. My horse was sold the week before I left. My parents very kindly accepted my cat for the interm... But I didn't know any bunny-people... What to do w/ Bilbo? Well Anna saved the day! And has been taking GREAT care him -- I'm not sure he'll even want to come home... And the point to all this -- it's Anna's birthday!!! Woohooo! hahaha so happy birthday Anna, from me, and Bilbo, and anybody who's enjoying this blog -- cause none of this would be happening w/o you :)

So today was XC day again!!! Woohoo!!! And for the first time I didn't feel completely discombobulated. Take a year off and it takes FOREVER to get it back (and by forever I mean what like 4 lessons? hahaha but still :). That being said, it was also the first time I thoroughly screwed up -- but it proved Denny's point quite nicely so I was forgiven *g* Yeah I was pretty close to being eliminated at the 2nd fence. Skinny brush jump (about pt height). No problem. Except it's A, skinny, B, very upright, and C just happens to be located at the bottom of a hill off a turn. N worse, a hill that didn't LOOK bad @ all -- till u were riding it. I got totally suckered. hahaha Yeah so I had TWO runouts before I smartened up. Sheesh. And then on the 3rd try I cheated and trotted. And definitely got called on that (trotting fences is not allowed - and I KNOW it's not allowed. But I also know it works! hahaha and sometimes you just have to get the job done.) "Alright -- now go do it properly. In canter." hahaha - yeah ok. But we've already cheated so won't be any problem now. Sure enough, a non-issue. Ah well -- overall though it was a much more sucessful school then the past few have been. Partially cause little RC is getting more fit, so he CAN get his hocks under him, and partially cause I'm getting back into the whole jumping thing AND getting used to the whole MOUNTAIN thing :) May (Denny's wife) was out w/ both a vid and a still camera -- n from what I've seen she's got pretty good timing w/ the stills... So I'm hoping I'll get to see some of those (very good w/ a camera. Not so good w/ a computer -- whether or not they make it to me might be questionable).

So XC theory -- when you get into trouble, STAY STILL! (not sure this particular riding lesson applies so well to real life... Maybe that's why people find it so hard?) He says one of the most fatal mistakes he sees is when people can't see their spot and they panic and throw themselves up the horse's neck... (thinking this is his variation of my "Jump 1st = Jump Alone" :) But of course throwing yourself up the horse's neck then puts all your weight ON said horse's neck -- making it very difficult for them to lift themselves up and SAVE you! hahaha If you're counting on your horse to bail you out, the least you can do is make it easy for him. Sit still, keep your chin up and your leg on, and do NOT go forward until you feel him leave the ground.

There was one girl riding (solid @ T, was here to see if Denny thought the horse had potential for prelim - answer was absolutely). Anyways - you would not believe the difference this made. I mean yeah the general concept is pretty classic -- but her "jumping up the neck" was *maybe* an inch. She was about 1/4 a stride ahead of the movement. Really subtle flaw. I would never have caught it if it hadn't been pointed out to me (yeah coach's eye improving! Cause now I'll know it if I see it again -- well when I get students to this level and can worry about it! hahaha gonna be an intense summer girls *g* :) But anyways, Denny called her on it and when she did it right the diff in her horse's jump was amazing. He always had a little... hmmm almost, hesitation... before takeoff. Nothing really bad, but just a pause b4 he jumped. Well when she managed to stay still that went away and the horse just flowed over the fences. Was really kewl to watch. N you could tell she felt the diff cause when she did it right she came off the course just beaming :)

Thanks to Zel, I don't have this issue :) My focus of the day was entirely keeping the horse balanced and in a frame he could jump out of (an issue none of the others had -- movement to die for!). But we're starting to be allowed to jump real fences, so that makes it a little more interesting.

One phrase of the day that caught my attention, although it wasn't directed at RC... "That horse is stuck to the ground". Now whatever image you've got is prob pretty accurate *g* Horse was being VERY nappy -- didn't want to leave his friends to go jump. N was basically stuck to the ground. "I'm not moving and you can't make me" hahaha but he DID get going and after that was the FIRST to do any course and that helped a lot.

Moving date's been changed again -- 14th now. Sheesh >;-P So we'll see...


-- ps all you lurkers out there, it's time to become Truly Intelligent People!!!

-- pss - no not really, I just had to include that for Paula :)


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