Was it beautiful this past weekend where you were? It was here, it reached the mid 60's, had a light breeze, was sunny and dry. I was successful in getting a LOT accomplished, from climbing up the tallest ladder here to clean the arena gutters of the dead leaves, moving the chickens to their winter spot and giving them a light to hopefully kick start their egg laying again to powerwashing the trailer for winter, the beautiful weekend gave plenty of opportunity to get winter necessities done. It also gave me an opportunity to ride, something I didn't totally expect and while I *could* have filled the time with more chores I instead chose to ride.
Sunday afternoon I pulled the TWH out of the pasture and made the decision to ride in the jumping saddle. I have endurance issues when going into two point/jumping position but I am determined to get better so I could start doing fun things like jumping. We rode the 3 mile loop and I worked a good bit on getting the TWH to trot, since I have been riding with others when I ride the loop I typically ride the App. The people who tend to ride the TWH don't insist on a trot and let him go at whatever gait he is comfortable with. As a result we had a few "discussions" of mostly pulling to a halt and backing a step whenever he decided he wanted to switch gaits at random. It took several corrections but he decided it was easier to give me the gait I asked for instead of what he wanted. It was such a gorgeous ride, too bad I didn't get to do that much this year. About 25% of the ride was done in two point and come Monday I could certainly feel it. My muscles were certainly telling me I had done a bit much however there was no time for recuperation, I had someone coming over to ride!
Last night I had someone trailer her horse over, she is someone that has taken lessons from H as well and we are fairly close to the same level of riding. She has a big TB that she does Beginner Novice eventing with and I have seen her ride a couple of times. We started out doing basic W/T/C and I worked pretty hard on getting the TWH to give me the correct gait when asked, he is still having issues in the canter with it being more pacey than pantering. Still have homework to do! Her horse was very well behaved and we didn't have any issues riding together, yay! After a good warmup I put up a one stride line of jumps, having two crossrails at 18" and 20".
The first time I pointed the TWH over the line I kept lots of leg on but he told me there was no need, he jumped the line like he hadn't just had 7 months off from jumping. Success! I certainly need to work on two point a little more however jumping went really well even after we bumped it up in height. At the end of the ride we had a 2' crossrail and a 2'6" vertical. The TWH did knock the poles down a couple of times, one time was because he tried gaiting into the line, missed the takeoff spot for the first jump and wasn't able to save the second jump since he was so out of whack. On the plus side, he still tried to go through and didn't even think of refusing. That is a huge success for him in my book! The 2'6" jump was about a 50/50 mix of good and bad jumping efforts, there were times when you wouldn't have really even known you went over a jump because he was so smooth and seamless, other times you felt him really rock back and push off of his hocks, other times he stumbled over the line and hit the pole. Overall it was a VERY good ride and I am very pleased with how he behaved.
I need more work on my two point, it was much better over jumps than I expected but it is glaringly obvious that I need to work at it more. Collapsing over the jump, not folding at the hips, being left behind when the TWH missed his mark, all things that fresh practice will fix. It felt so good to jump after so long, it has been April since I jumped last. This morning, on the other hand, it doesn't feel so good as my body is putting a pretty good protest over my actions the past two days. I am not sure if I will ride tonight but already have plans to ride on Thursday with RB4. Maybe the new girl will want to keep coming back out and will be a new RB, perhaps RB5, here's to hoping for a new RB5 and continued non-injured days for me!