Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ho hum lesson

I wasn't really sure how our lesson on Saturday would go. Isabel has seemed a little off her game recently - kinda a big stressed mess. So we didn't ride at all this week, tho I came out for lots of brushing and treat dispensing and hand grazing. 

'um, i'm kinda busy at the moment, thx' - isabel

In fact, she got a really thorough grooming Friday evening then wore her sheet overnight. So I didn't need to do much more than pick her feet and dust her off for Saturday's lesson.

'ok, fine. i guess we can go. but only bc you finally found a cooler in my color' - isabel

Once at OF, I talked to P about Isabel's current state of physical and mental well being. She had a few thoughts, but that's for another post... 

Isabel actually warmed up and flatted quite nicely, considering her time off. And we got a few really nice canter steps where she felt light-ish up front, and was really pushing off her hind legs. 

'i am the queen of sheba' - isabel

To warm up over fences, we trotted a single on the diagonal - and Isabel made a HUGE effort over it. Jumped me out of the tack (tho fortunately I at least kept my hands forward and didn't yank on her), and trainer thought it was mighty lovely, if a tad unnecessary lol.

We came back to it again at a left lead canter (coming towards the camera in the above pic), then right turn to a diagonal line of unknown length that Isabel handled in a very tidy five strides. Good mare! 

Then the jumps went up and my eye disappeared AGAIN. Ugh. 

Trainer thinks I start out too tense for the first few fences. I think it boils down to getting preoccupied about fence height. Especially since P said if we completed the 7-fence course correctly we should continue to the rolltop and bend to the coop. 

So naturally I proceeded to chip in badly to the first two fences and wiggle down the 2-3 diagonal line to add a stride. 

Then 4-5 was a *short* three strides up the outside line (we did 2.5 ugh), and 6 was the caution oxer on the far outside rail, with a crazy bend across the arena to another oxer. We made it over the caution oxer ok, but missed the turn and had to circle to 7 (just outside the frame of the above pic to the right). 

So instead of continuing to the rolltop, I just repeated the first 3 again to try and fix them. And... kinda still failed. Ugh. 

So it was a pretty lackluster performance on my part. I don't know why, but as soon as the jumps go up I start rushing Isabel and chasing her past her pace, then grabbing at the last minute to get an ugly chip at the fences. She's a saint though, and still got us over everything quite neatly. 

'only bc you give me pretzels. if the treats ever stop, so will i' - isabel


  1. Baby steps and it will all come together. As you get more comfortable with the fence heights and stop worrying about that your eye will come back for distances. As much as we pride ourselves on multi-tasking there is only so much the brain can process at any one time.
    Don't beat yourself up, you guys are doing awesome, pushing boundaries and broadening your horizons every lesson ☺

    1. thank you! and you are spot on about our brains only processing one thing at a time lol.... so frustrating!

  2. Replies
    1. thanks! it's funny, i had been accumulating purple stuff well before i met isabel, and her owner had chosen purple as the horse's color - so it was a perfect match!

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    1. thanks! it wasn't an awful lesson by any measure (we've certainly had plenty worse)

  4. She looks adorable in purple!

    I used to totally lose my eye of the fences hit anything over 2'. The only thing that helped me was to just jump them over and over. I would unknowingly freak myself out and it all went to pot.

    It got better though! It sounds like you're keeping positive and that's the best you can do. :-) You go girls!

    1. thanks! and that's pretty much the plan. i made a rule a few months ago that i'm not allowed to jump *below* 2' any more for that exact reason. and it's helped... still more work to do tho!

  5. She has the cutest face ever!!! I can't really help with the jumping since I don't know anything about it. Don't be too hard on yourself though after some time off. Go into your next ride and lesson with a clean slate and don't pressure yourself for perfection! Always remember to have fun!

    1. thanks! having fun is always my #1 priority!!