After last week’s fairly shitty solo jump school at home, I was in dire need of another jumping lesson.
Not gonna lie, I was having one of those “oh god, did I ruin my horse in one ride” mini panic attacks. Short version of what happened a week before: I just could not get my canter right, which made all of my distances total shit (as in, I missed really badly several times in a row), which finally made Henry mad enough to stop. While I definitely deserved it, I still tapped him twice on the butt for stopping at a little 3′ vertical. His job is to jump the jumps as long as it’s safe to do so, and he could have, he’d just gotten tired of my monkey riding. Fair enough, I had that coming, but you still have to do your job even when I don’t do mine.
After that he came unglued enough to where I had to drop my whip completely, because he was cantering in place and wanting to run THROUGH everything. Apparently I seriously hurt his feelings with two butt taps. Duly noted. A few days later I went out and cantered a couple of jumps on a circle until all seemed fairly okay, but he was still kinda grumpy in general. Feelings, he has so many of them.
So naturally I spent all week internally freaking out about having ruined my perfect saintly horse. That’s normal, right? When we got to Trainer’s place on Friday I filled her in on what had happened the weekend before. She just kind of giggled at our ridiculousness (I know I’m crazy, this is not news to me) and set up a vertical with canter poles to help address our rhythm issue. After hopping through it both ways and steadily raising the height (while she said the word “balance” approximately 1500 times) things were clicking again.
Since we seemed pretty much back to normal by that point (Henny grudge: over), she put the jumps up to 3’3″-3’6″ and made a course for us.
Other than the fact that I really could not make myself wait to the base of the barrel vertical when I didn’t see the distance, it was actually fine. At some point I will learn that just because it’s bigger, I don’t have to attack it when I don’t see anything. But uh… at least I’m not pulling all the way to the base? Maybe eventually I’ll find the middle ground. Maybe. Let’s just take this as a small victory.
The good news is, Henny was very very rideable and totally back to his normal self, thank god. I didn’t ruin him, I just pissed him off and we had to visit Trainer for some relationship counseling (aka reminding me how to ride). Crisis averted. Ah, the life and times of an amateur horse…