Now that everything has pretty much settled back into a normal routine and my budget has (kind of) recovered, it’s time to buckle back down on taking some lessons. Most of my spring/summer lesson budget actually went toward trainer rides, getting Henry ready for his moveup. It wasn’t until Wednesday, when I was tacking up my horse before my lesson, that I realized- I haven’t actually had a show jumping lesson since like… MARCH. Good god.
I jumped Henry over a handful of very tiny fences last weekend, just to make sure his brain was plugged back in after his vacation. And to make sure I could still like, steer and stuff. You never know. Then on Wednesday, Trainer came out for lessons.
We warmed up briefly (it was approximately 9000 degrees with 4 million percent humidity) while Henry protested the fact that he is now going in a flash again, and then we started hopping over a warmup fence. It started as a crossrail, yet every time I came back around it had grown significantly, until it ended up as this:
And while it definitely looked decent-sized, I had zero trepidation about cantering down to it, so… progress? Once I actually started using my outside aids to rebalance, turn, and straighten, everything kept coming up golden. That one fence above might have been the best I’ve ever felt him jump. Henry was leaving the ground out of a really good canter with plenty of power, and I was leaving him alone. Miraculous how that works out. Also miraculous that I’ve heard this a million times and still cannot remember to do it consistently.
We did one full course and then just broke out the one piece of it that I was having trouble with – an angled fence, bending line to a one stride. The angles made it a true test of riding off the outside aids, so it’s not a surprise that it took a few tries for me to really get it. I kept letting that outside shoulder get away from me, which really messed up the line and the balance. Once we did the exercise reasonably well a few times, we let him quit.
I’m pretty excited that Trainer lives closer now and will be able to come out on a regular basis for lessons. What a luxury it would be to have some consistency! Or at least more consistent than every 5 months…