No One Needs Sleep Anyway

Last week I texted Trainer asking what her schedule was like for the next couple weeks. If I’m running Training next month, I need some lessons. Unfortunately this is our Stupid Busy time of year at work, so I’m pretty much relegated to weekend lessons only – a weekday lesson requires taking PTO, which ain’t happening anytime soon. Turns out she was busy too, though, for the next couple weeks. After some shaming/whining (which may or may not have included some cuss words and threats to haunt her forever if I die in our moveup – I’m charming like that) she said she could meet me Saturday at Pine Hill, but only if it was early. Since I don’t want to die next month, ass crack of dawn it was.

This is pure ass crack, there was nothing “dawn” about it

My one superpower is the ability to always wake up 15 minutes before I need to actually be awake. In this case, that meant 4:15. I was at the barn by 5, had my stuff packed and Henry fed and loaded by 5:20, and away we went on the 2 hour journey. In the pitch black. And fog. Which turned into misty rain. Which turned into gale force crosswinds. It didn’t take long for me to question my sanity.

Tried to take a picture of all the pretty Christmas lights in one tiny town I went through, but failed miserably. The, uh… stoplights are festive?

But the sun finally came up as we were on our final stretch of highway, and I was tacked up and on my horse before 8am. It was quite warm on Saturday – already 72 degrees by then, and 90% humidity. What does Henry not do well? Humidity. So we kept the warmup short, hopped over a few fences, and then started stringing some together.

I’ve been working really hard on not pulling. It’s my favorite thing to do, but it really doesn’t work anymore once the fences get over 3′. We’ve also worked a lot on squaring our turns and really keeping his hind end under him and shoulders UP through the turn, helping to keep the canter more powerful and flowing forward. Which, miracle of miracles, happens perfectly when I too keep my shoulders up and square and use my body to help turn or adjust, instead of my hand. Funny how that works. No motorcycling, no dragging ourselves around on the forehand. Balance is amazing.

Things you don’t remember to grab at 5am – hairnets

We went through the exercise that Buck Davidson had set up for his clinic last weekend, which is essentially a grid line with all the jumps on an angle. It took me a couple tries to really get the line right (keeping the horse’s shoulders up and straight was vital – oh hey there’s that concept again) but we got it. For the most part anyway. Ok, some attempts were better than others.

This lesson we really focused more on straightness and pace and rideability and kept the fences low, since it was our first stadium lesson since August (for real). Next time we’ll bump them up to height.


Overall it was a good time, and worth getting up stupid early. Even after all that, I was still home by noon… just significantly more tired and grumpy than normal.

14 thoughts on “No One Needs Sleep Anyway

    1. It doesn’t look that terribly hard, but it is. There’s only one exact straight line through it, and if you start getting handsy instead of using your legs and body to stay straight, things go to shit. Ask me how I know.

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    1. He wasn’t the first time. Or the second. It took me a few tries to be like ohhhhh gotcha, even though I had watched people ride through it last weekend with Buck. It’s harder than it looked!

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        1. We jump shit on a steep angle all the time so I was kinda like MEH nbd… the whole grid aspect kinda changes things though. You don’t have to just be straight for a fence or two, you have to be arrow straight all the way down. It was such a tattle tale if you started trying to steer with your hands or lean.

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            1. Highly recommend!!! You can jump through it either way if the jumps are all square… it’s easier doing the one stride to two stride to three stride, it kind of builds on itself, but it’s a good exercise. Plus technically all the jumps can stand alone as singles for a course.

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  1. Heyy these are the same things I’m (supposed to be) working on. It’s so hard to sit up though. Motorcycling is so much easier. This exercise seems way too hard for so early in the morning.

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  2. Oh my gosh that angled line looks absolutely deadly! Well ridden! It’s AMAZING what our horses can do when we get out of their faces and stop pulling and allow them to be balanced. Pulling is just so much easier though.

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