With a big show coming up this weekend, my second every Horse Trial with the TWH, it is time to get my butt in gear. I had a lesson last week with H and didn't get to ride much afterwards due to other life events, last weekend was filled with volunteer stuff from 9a to 5p each day and I was too exhausted to ride Saturday. Sunday, however, I knew I have only a week left to prepare so up I hauled myself onto the horse.
Sunday we did some basic dressage, working some on the shoulder-in that we worked on in our lesson in addition to lengthening and shortening to get some of the flexibility back. TWH worked really hard and even with having butt sweat he still had barely enough gas in the tank to do some fitness at the end of the ride. I only did a quick 2 minute canter set as we had worked really hard that previous hour and we haven't been working on fitness so I didn't want to push him. It was interesting riding as when I rode the App he would go and go and go (and go) even when he was tired until he was just done. With the TWH, however, it is different. It is like you can feel the gas tank level and as the needle falls, you can feel him slow down overall. It is a cool feeling.
I rode Monday morning in my jumping saddle, I figure since I will spend the majority of my time in the dang thing on Sunday I should probably get comfortable in it again haha. I did some basic stretching and worked on some transitions before getting into two point and cruising around. And I did cruise around. For about 5 laps before collapsing in a slobby, unfit heap back into the saddle. I knew I hadn't ridden in the jumping saddle for almost, what, 2 months now? But I didn't realize I was THIS bad, sheesh. I did several smaller sets of two point and worked the TWH on lengthening and shortening in the trot before biting the bullet, heading outside and forcing myself to do a 2 minute trot set of two point.
Admittedly it wasn't as bad as I expected and at the end of the two minutes I could certainly feel the burn but wasn't about to die like when I started the ride. Progress success! After a good (long) walk break I repeated my 2 minute set except I kept it in a canter, thankfully the TWH wasn't too huffy and puffy at the end of 2 minutes. We gotta get to 5 minutes by Friday! My goal this week is to ride 1-2 times a day, ride only in my jumping saddle until Saturday and to get fitness back for my two point and the TWH's canter.
I was successful in riding Tuesday and Wednesday morning and plan on riding again tonight. This morning I was finally able to stay in two point for a full 4 minute set, fitness success! I am certainly feeling the pain, my legs are doing what they can to protest my two point attempts. It is not, however, stopping me and if we keep going at the rate we are I should make the goal of 5 minutes by Friday. Tomorrow I have a jumping lesson with H, now that I have the new pasture I have enough room to jump outside (!!!!!!!) so I can have more than 2 jumps in a row! I have enough standards for 4 jumps and there are 14 poles so hopefully we can put something cool together. Progress success!