Here there be dragons...

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

One of those rides. Twice.

This post is for any of my students (or anybody else for that matter) who has rides where they wonder if perhaps its time for a new sport.

Text message from me to my coach this eve:
"There are two things you should know: 1. My pony has qualified for sainthood. 2. Her rider has forgotten how to ride. Good luck tomorrow."
Response from coach: "I'll bring my good luck charm."

hahaha so that made me laugh.

What inspired the text?

Tues - most amazing flat ride ever. Jumped a few little fences in w/u just to cheat a little and get her using her back n then it was all about dressage. And I had a canter to die for by the end of it. And I actually looked at the inviting but pushing the edge of Sienna's current abilities 3'6" vert thinking, with this canter, that'd be no problem. And then clued in to the fact that if I jumped that with dr tack, it would not be beneficial to my pony. So ended on the awesome canter, cooled her out, tons of pats, and put her away.

But now for two days in a row I have been completely unable to ride a fence. On Wed, there was a minor hurricane going on and she wasn't entirely ummmm focused. It was also like riding in an oven (to be fair, I didn't notice the heat till we stopped, but both Si and I were pretty well lathered). Easy gymnastic, vert to oxer. Vert was a nothing trot speedbump. Oxer also not huge, bout 3'4 -- and nice and slopey (is that a word?) not square. So easy. Text-book striding. Si was pretty high the first couple times, but then she settled and jumped it beautifully several times in a row. At which point I stopped her because it wasn't HER fault her rider wasn't riding well, so why should she have to keep jumping? But I was just feeling out of it. Couldn't stay with her properly, reverting to old habits of being too high out of the saddle, all sorts of bad things. About all I did right was stay out of her way. *sigh* So I left that day feeling proud of my superpony but frustrated with myself.

Then today we could be back outside in nearly perfect weather. Course is set @ 2'9 which she's solid and confident w/ now. But 3 + she sometimes still looks at. Only one that was in that range -- two barrels standing upright with a random pole on top. Now she has jumped that exact jump before, but only a couple times and always set up w/ another fence first. So we jumped around the course a couple of times but I was still felt way off. And you know what? She never lost it. Not once. She did turn and give me an evil glare once *g* but that's about it. My timing, for the most part, was ok -- so not as bad as yesterday (yesterday a course would've been a bad idea), but my position was still rather ummmm interpretive. In fact I'd say the *only* thing I rode correctly was the stupid barrel jump and that's only cause about three strides out she says "you're kidding right?" so I had to answer her :) Anyways jumped a few courses and worked on replicating that amazing canter and holding it to a fence (yeah once that's consistent it's going to be something impressive). And then after a couple acceptable ones gave up and went back to flat for the rest of the ride.

So I came out of that ride incredibly frustrated with myself, and superproud of my pony that I trained to be good enough to cover my ass *g* (how sad is that?) Knowing that a year ago she would never have done that, for that matter three months ago she wouldn't've done that, does help balance the frustration but it's not as though this is a new skill here. And it's not as though she was doing anything bad I had to deal with. No no, she was being perfect and I was still nqr. Blah. Hence the heads up to my coach *g*

So we shall see tomorrow :)


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