|isabel doesn't get what all the fuss is about haha|
Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, this feat isn't particularly impressive to anyone beyond the principal players. Certainly there's no grand jury waiting to bestow blossoming laurel wreaths upon us. Any comparison between my riding and a world class professional is obviously laughable. Nor will we be featured in any prestigious publications.
Ultimately, tho, I'm only riding for myself. And for me, jumping these barrels felt THRILLING : D
|brita contemplates the realities of appearances from the ground vs from mighty Wick's back. looks like someone might be thinking about novice this year after all!|
And it was just three of us from our home barn GE in the lesson - Brita and Wick, lesson director R with her fresh off the track baby TB Birdie, and obvi me and Isabel. So we all had the whooooole arena to play around with warming up. I kinda expected Isabel to be fresh and ready since it had only been two days since her last ride, but she was actually a little slow to start.
|"ATTTTTACK!!!!" - isabel|
Ooh and trainer P taught me a neat cheat for getting a better feel for the sitting trot. She told me to count "1-2 1-2" while also simultaneously thinking "right left right left," with the idea being to develop a stronger feel for each individual hind leg.
I'm undoubtedly exaggerating the side-to-side swing in my hips while doing this, but I think that'll go away with practice. Bc this method really helped in two important ways. 1 - I felt my seat connect better with Isabel's rhythm; and 2 - 'counting' greatly reduced the noise in my brain and the sitting trot was suddenly WAY less distracting. Win!
|turns out we can jump straight over the middle when i actually think about it|
It was a typical grid for us: vertical - one stride - vertical - one stride - oxer. But then P set up skinny barrels (pictured above) on the other long side and diagonal. FUN!! For someone notorious for drifting over fences, I LOVE skinnies :D And Isabel was obviously eager for the challenge. Good mare.
|seriously, could she be any cuter?|
|game mare is game|
Isabel had a really lovely canter going. Really, through this whole ride she moved very nicely into the bridle and in front of my leg. Starting from walk, to trot, to canter, she stayed very soft to my hands - which then translates directly to getting that great jumping canter from which the distances are always just *right there.*
Tho on this first attempt, while I liked the distance and the canter, it was perhaps a smidgen tight and we knocked the barrels pretty hard.
|"oh shit oh god oh shit i'm gonna barf" - emma|
"geeez chill out crazy lady, we totes got this!" - best pony in the whole world evar
And honestly there's not really a whole lot I can realistically make better at this point. I'm pumping with my body on approach (but not as much with my hands - a definite improvement!) and am slightly defensive position-wise, but eh. Improvements are happening with time and practice. Meanwhile Isabel clearly does not feel impeded!
|pony has always had a thing for barrels. she likes to bite them.|
|dreaming for a day when that snow-covered arena visible beyond the fence line is rideable again!|
So I choose to heartily enjoy and celebrate the peaks, in hopes that those feelings of joy and accomplishment bolster me through the rougher patches.