On Saturday morning I loaded Henry up and made the 2 hour journey to Trainer’s place for a stadium lesson.
My stadium round at Pine Hill last month was fine, until I pulled too much coming into the final combination and tried to kill us both. I needed to work more on keeping a steady rhythm all the way throughout the course, and to remember to allow him to come forward out of the turns.
Saturday morning I woke up with a really gross cough, the kind where by the time you’re done coughing, it feels like your lungs have collapsed and you can’t breathe. I won’t even describe what I was coughing up. Let’s just say it was gross. I made it through the lesson, but I kept getting very winded. Trainer kept looking at me like she thought I might die, so she took pity on me and kept things fairly short.
We hopped over a few warmup fences first, and true to form I can’t stop messing with my canter if the fence is under 3′. Little jumps are the death of me. It’s like when they get bigger I know I don’t have any choice but to keep my leg on and keep coming, but my brain becomes overwhelmed by options when the jumps are small. It makes no sense. But I was kind of glad when she walked around and put all the jumps up bigger.
I have to give Henry a ton of credit, he was jumping really super. I think the SI injection was what he needed, because he was coming off the ground so much more powerfully and evenly. He’s got his trademark Henny bascule back. Trainer even said “THIS is the Henry I know!”. And it’s true, he does finally feel like himself again.
I had a little bit of trouble with wanting to chase him too deep to the red and white oxer the first couple times (Me, a life long gap-lover, looking for the deep distance? What?) but once Trainer got me to come out of the corner and just support the canter instead of trying to chase the jump down, it worked out beautifully. We ended on a short course (because see above about me not being able to breathe) and then called it a day.
I took him on a short walk through the XC field afterward and he was still jigging, so… obviously he was not tired after our lesson. I, however, was rapidly deteriorating. It was starting to become obvious that my cough wasn’t just a cough. More on that tomorrow…