|fat cat says she needs a few more trot sets before she can come schooling with us|
|the spring growth doesn't look all that much different from last fall|
|in fact, the previous pic looks almost identical to last time we were out in this field - when i hacked Bali out approx ~15min before breaking my leg. womp womp.|
This lesson was the perfect opportunity too - just three of us, plus trainer P. I told her right off the bat about my recently renewed 'fraidy cat status and she kinda just laughed me off. Which is good. She doesn't take me nearly as seriously as I take myself, which in turn helps me take myself less seriously. Which then makes it easier to worry less and enjoy more. Seems simple enough, right?
|izzy wasn't the smallest horse out there for once!|
This also meant she wanted to move us right on along to appropriately sized obstacles... But admittedly I demurred and asked to start with a smaller log first. Points for consistency, right? Didn't matter tho. Isabel was ON. She had warmed up very nicely and settled perfectly into a forward rhythm to the little logs. Good mare.
|wick + water drop|
We trotted and cantered down banks into the water too. Isabel's never really shown any issues with down banks and I FOR ONCE remembered to slip my reins. Points for remembering how to actually ride the way I've been taught even when I'm scared? Sure beats letting the fear paralyze me...
Anyways, I was super proud of Izzy for constantly landing and hunting for the next fence. So even if our schooling at AOPF last week was kinda easy on the height (and a bit of a bust with the fall), at least the coursework we did then translated beautifully to this ride. Isabel was locking onto anything that crossed her horizon lol.
|ditches eat horses yo. better jump extra high!|
Then over to the ditches for a quick school. Isabel and I didn't spend much time here since she schooled the ditches so well last week. Just a quick couple passes then done. She was obvi fine.
|used to be a training log before the rest of it collapsed lol|
|another horse does her best to dwarf this cute cabin. i promise it's legit novice tho|
But again I was pleased to find that I still made good (for me) riding decisions when needed. We reached the cabin nicely tho I still took care to close my leg and commit to the fence. Probably mare would have jumped anyway (#gamemaredontcare!) but it somehow felt reassuring to feel like I was actively participating in the ride.
|finally smiling bc i know we're done for the day|
As trainer P said - the structure of the jump itself isn't particularly large. And horses love brush. Turns out she was right.
I honestly considered bowing out, but
It was fine tho. Isabel got there beautifully, if ever so slightly deep. Nbd tho, she just added a little extra loft to her jump and sailed over - happily locking onto some logs off in the distance haha.
|seriously a very good horse|
And sure, I felt like crap the entire ride. Like, physically ill at times. But it didn't impede my ability to actually ride the horse to the best of my education. That feels promising. Last time I struggled so deeply with confidence, I was also simultaneously rusty at a very fundamental riding level. Tackling both those at once was challenging.
At least for now I can trust that my trainers have done their job in instilling good riding habits in me. And I can definitely trust the horse. The rest is coming slowly but surely.