Wednesday, September 20, 2017

jumping lessons one month later

It probably wasn't super obvious, but yesterday's summary of our recent dressage lesson was actually a full week old. That's the way of things around blogs tho, I guess. We're always at least a day or two behind around here, if not a little more!

"i am fancy dressage horse, yes?" - charlie
In the case of Le King of Dings over here, that means he's often coming sound again right around the time I post about his latest lameness. Which was again the case this time around. His awful, terrible, no good bruise resolved itself enough for him to consider himself no longer crippled by Sunday. At which point he got a nice long hack (as mentioned yesterday).

"yes, i suppose i am."
Then Monday he got a reasonably structured flat ride - for which naturally I dressed him up like the fanciest of fancy dressage horses. White boots, fleecy bells, the whole nine yards. Bc obvi if he came up lame at least maybe ppl would be distracted by his cute outfit? Maybe??? lol....

He was sound tho. And quite good. Well. Let me temper that a little bit: he was sluggish and decidedly behind my leg for at least the first half of the ride. But he offered exactly zero dinosaur moments. And actually got right on board with my efforts to put him in front of my leg. Specifically: halt-trot transitions. Actually, he was so on board that he did a shockingly nice walk-canter transition despite me only looking for trot. Goooood boy!

he's also a fancy jumping blur too!
So I was optimistic going into a hastily scheduled make-up evening jump lesson. Which, if you're keeping track, is our first real lesson over fences in exactly one month. The last one being that hybrid stadium / xc lesson back in August. Then we were sidelined by that abscess for a little while.... tho at least we got one quick supervised school over fences in the meantime.

his middle name is "unimpressed"
Also in the meantime, Charlie and I had a few opportunities to go out and jump our own selves around - such as during that baller paper chase at Tranquility, and obviously during our recent competition at Fair Hill.

thank god for that star to at least sorta make sense of the blur!
And Charlie's just been jumping great. So well. I'm so excited for him. But simultaneously honestly I'm a bit caught up in the disappointment of wondering where he could be if we hadn't had such a crappy 6-8 week run of things. Between my travel, his aggravated splint, more travel, that abscess, then the recent fat leg... We've just missed a lot of time.

"we're gonna need a bigger fence!"
I know it sounds like a broken record every time I dwell on that.... But it's what's on my mind so it's what I write about. Like, included in that lost time are the opportunities to school new and interesting challenges, or continuing to expand Charlie's horizons with adding more height.

When you're constantly just trying to "get back into it" tho, it doesn't make sense to always be pushing boundaries.

love how clever he's getting to the base!
So this lesson was nothing amazing or super ground breaking. Charlie was good, I was ok. We had mostly a good rhythm and still some green mistakes. I'm REALLY excited tho about how adjustable the horse is getting - in learning a half halt, but also in his steering.

he's a pro at bending lines now too <3 i didn't even know he popped a change in this line til i watched the video lol
We schooled around some lines and bending lines. A couple interestingly styled fences (tho we left out the skinny shark's tooth bc of needing to share daylight among lesson mates) and more technical turns. But yet I wished it could have been more. And honestly wished each fence was raised another hole or two. That they could have been 2'6 and up instead of 2'6 and below.

disappointed we didn't try the shark's tooth, not enough daylight :( soon!!
Which seems crazy haha considering my crippling nerves and anxiety just three months ago. But if I've learned anything, it's that confidence and anxiety are cyclical beasts. And I will take whatever good positive feeling comes my way, no questions asked, thankyouverymuch.

(imo, negative gnawing feelings deserve full dissection and analysis. i like to know those issues inside and out! the happy feel-goods tho?? no need to look that gift horse in the mouth!)

fan jumps are old hat now tho!
I hope that doesn't sound whiny lol. We aren't really in any rush to get any where, and we aren't exactly stagnating or anything -- obviously there's still a lot of work to do in improving my riding and getting Charlie more schooled, ever more trained.

dusky evening video here!


Maybe I'm just feeling greedy tho lol. I just want to get beyond this feeling of "getting back into the groove." It's cool tho. It's all ahead of us.

Our upcoming calendar has a lot to be excited about, and there are a few other ideas bumping around in my head for new ways to enjoy this wonderful horse of mine. We'll see how it goes! And in the meantime.... yea, we'll just be here, working on getting back into that groove. Forever and always lol.

How about you - have you ever had to deal with little nagging setback after setback, or feeling like you have so many goals allllmost within reach, but not quite? Or maybe you're more patient than me haha -- or you're better about not making too many concrete goals with your horses bc horses have such a knack for irreverence when it comes to our plans??

30 comments:

  1. He definitely have a higher jump in there but look at how steady you two are! I struggle with the we should be doing more thing too.

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    1. yea it's such a tricky balance. i always remind myself that i'd rather finish a ride wishing we had done more or gone farther, vs regretting pushing too hard. it's good tho in a way to feel ready for more of a challenge!

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  2. he looks great!! I am so jealous you still jump more than me in any given week :) HA! He definitely is filling out too. Keep sound Charlie!

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    1. srsly, stay sound big guy!! and thanks, i'm actually kinda happy with most of his current condition. it's not quite so muscled as i would like, but we'll get there. and yea i mean, we've jumped 4 times in the past month - which includes the hunter pace and fair hill's jump phases lol. it's obvi enough to keep charlie feeling like he knows what he's doin out there.... but not quite enough to feel like we can raise the proverbial/literal bar lol. needs more lessons!!

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  3. I love that course! Hope you get to jump the shark's tooth soon :) And that he stays SOUND. The past 2 years I've felt we should be doing more things. Now I don't even know where to start!

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    1. i know i'm so eager to jump that damn thing. i've cruised over it with izzy and some of OF's school ponies (like noel!!) but haven't had a chance with charles yet. and this past weekend i was soooo annoyed to be grounded bc of charlie's ouchie fat leg while our normal lesson group got to play around with it somewhat extensively. gah! oh well tho. at least the horse is cleared for duty now!!

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  4. my life is a series of setbacks

    its such a pain in the ass when youre like i just want to make some PROGRESS. but sometimes the progress is not letting the setbacks pull you back to start.

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    1. ain't that the truth. and that's really what i need to be grateful for - the fact that even tho we haven't been able to move forward at the pace i had hoped, charlie has still managed to continue improving.

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  5. I know it sucks real bad in the moment, but those slow times seem so short in retrospect.

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    1. honestly in the moment it doesn't suck at all (except when he's lame haha) - this lesson was awesome and i was super happy with calling it a day after that course. mostly it just sucks when certain milestones are intended to align with hard and fast deadlines, but the schedule gets trashed bc of unplanned time off. that's horses tho!

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  6. Between throwing out my back and now being smack in the middle of a move that is taking over my life, I've sat on my horse for 10 minutes in the last two weeks and haven't seen him in over a week. We had made some shoeing and tack changes that I was hoping would improve Duke's comfort levels but alas, I am going to have to wait until things slow down. I guess time for him getting used to his new shoes is a good thing?! That's what I say to sleep at night. It's so hard though to keep all the balls in the air when there isn't enough time in the day!

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    1. ugh booo about your back :( the move sounds exciting tho! i hear ya about feeling super frustrated about their not being enough time in the day too. like on the one hand we know we're busy doing important things for the long term.... but in the short term we want our pony time!!! good luck with everything, and hopefully Duke loves his new tootsies!

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  7. I can unerstand your frustration- summer is only so long and when it gets "wasted" on injuries etc. it just seems like a hug bummer and wasted time. But, you'll have an incredible fall I am sure and it is so great that he is feeling good again!!

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    1. thanks! and yea that's basically it. nothing like the changing seasons and ever-shorter days to remind you that zomg time is running out!! except.... no, there's time. all the time in the world, emma. chill. lol. i'm definitely looking forward to an exciting fall tho - it's my favorite season after all!

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  8. Oh I know that feeling. It used to bother me a lot more a few years ago but now idk, I'm just in a different place I guess? Like in a year maybe I will be at the "ugh time is going so fast and I haven't done/accomplished the things I wanted to yet". But right now I am kind of beginning to feel the whole winter is coming and I have 3 months of riding in the dark and rain ahead of me and I can't make excuses and avoid it because then I will never get over this hump of green athletic horse anxiety you know? Changing seasons are hard for sure. Bah humbug and all that.

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    1. ugh yea haha, bah humbug indeed. tho actually, in some ways where you are right now with Phoebe is a lot like where things were with charlie going into last winter -- in terms of having a green horse with the whole low-pressure off season stretching out ahead of us to really work on solidifying our partnership and trust and all that good stuff. in a way, i kinda appreciated that the least pleasant time of year for riding aligned nicely with the time i needed to spend with charlie on all that simple basic stuff, without being tempted to rush or whatever bc of busy calendars. hopefully it goes well for you guys too!

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  9. I am constantly in the "getting back into it" phase and feel like really I am getting no where. It is only with a very wide angle lens I can see Savvy and I are improving.

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    1. definitely know that feeling... it's maybe one of the (many) reasons i'm grateful for this blog. bc it's always there to give me perspective when i need it. it's also the nice thing about being an outsider for others tho too - from my vantage point it's honestly SUPER impressive how far Savvy has come, and how quickly certain skills came to her! you've done a great job! but yea... setbacks and constant starting/stopping is insanely frustrating....

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  10. All these rides add up to build something great :)

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  11. Okay, now that Charlie is staying sound - STAY SOUND SIR CHARLES. lol But seriously Charlie. He looks good! Very confident and looking like he views this as a bit of a piece of cake now. Yay! It's actually been a struggle because I want to start doing lessons - dressage and jumping but I'm doing shows the next three months so I feel as if I'm in this stasis - probably can't really do much about jumping if any but can work on a bit of dressage, and doing western is good but I want to keep going and improving with English. So yeah, totally get it lol.

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    1. ugh yea juggling schedules can be so frustrating some times - esp when everything requires travel!

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  12. OMG, Charlie in that first photo... what a hunk! I'm going through a bit of this emotional struggle right now too, just in a different way. Scout getting injured really snapped me into some sort of clarity I think I was searching for. And somehow, now on his road to recovery, every single ride (no matter how boring) feels like a gift. But everyone's journey is so different and I love hearing about your determination and drive with your fabulous pony partner!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about the injury and emotional struggle. But clarity is always good, no matter how we arrive at it! Wishing you luck!

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  13. I used to feel that way doing endurance until Gem nearly cut her leg off and everything was up in the air if she would ever even be rideable again. Coming back from that my entire perspective changed. I still get frustrated when I don't get in enough saddle time and feel like we keep working on the same things but in general I'm just thrilled I can ride her and work on anything that it outweighs it. Plus I don't have the competition goals you do and I'm sure that changes it too. You two are doing great and moving along so well.

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    1. Yea I think those big shifts in perspective are so critical. Sometimes it takes a big event (usually unwished for) to help us see what really matters. In my case, it was my own injury rather than an injury to the horse that helped me understand what I really wanted to be doing with horses. And then the whole saga with Isabel wanting to transition away from training.... That helped refocus my own perspective too in maybe a surprising way. It's all just such a balancing act sometimes!

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  14. I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL. But really, I do. I have also been stuck in that loop of bring Rio back from injuries, just long enough to start feeling like he is ready to press on and do something new, to only have him sidelined again. I've had him over a year now and have yet to be able to try him over anything bigger then 2'9 ish- simply because every time he gets fit enough some issue comes ugh. It can be really disheartening! I keep reminding myself it isn't a race.

    The horse that won the national derby at the show I went to last weekend was 17 yrs old! That really inspired me. Rio is only 6, so I keep reminding myself I have tons of time :)

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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  15. I always feel like I'm trying to get back in the groove or find some sort of regular schedule. But man girl, you guys have come so far already!!

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  16. Building blocks for sure - it can be frustrating at times, esp with a green horse but each ride chips away at something for the future :)

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  17. Sounds like a great lesson. Charlie needs to be bubblewrapped! I feel you on the setbacks, my main issue has been money lately... for saddles and lessons etc.

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