Warning: there is some Bobby involved in this post. Is the title about Henry or is it about Bobby? I’ll let you decide.
Originally I wasn’t planning on having another jump lesson this past weekend. We had one the Saturday before, and then we XC schooled on Wednesday, and since I was still getting over the flu all week I didn’t ride much aside from those lessons. But Bobby basically begged me to tag along with him (he’s obsessed), and lord knows I always need more jump lessons, so I hauled Henry over to Bobby’s barn and then we carpooled from there. IE Bobby drove. Because, no shit, I am so tired of driving back and forth down that same 60+ mile stretch of highway.
Bobby and I were both kind of tired and run down, so we were relieved when Trainer took mercy on us and said that once we did it right, we could be done. Granted, with me, you never really know if that’ll be attempt #1 or attempt number #15. Consistent, I am not.
We warmed up and Henry was absolutely raring to go. Like… cantering in place. We hopped over a little vertical each way before we started courses and Henry literally took off an entire stride away from the jump, which caused fits of laughter from Bobby and Trainer (thanks guys, always helpful). At that point I chunked my whip. Then we did a little short course and again, I didn’t have much control over where we took off from. At that point I chunked my spurs. I honestly think Henry was still a little offended from the taps on the butt that he received on Wednesday. He’s a delicate flower like that, especially when it comes to getting in “trouble”. He always remembers. Once I ditched the whip and spurs he became much more reasonable.
Then Trainer put the jumps up a little and gave us a full course. First Henry and I stood and watched Bobby go:
And I gotta say, it was probably one of the best courses I’ve ever seen Bobby do. Their stadium has come a really long way in the past year or so. White boy found rhythm. He even nailed it on the first try. Then it was my turn and somehow the stars aligned and I actually managed a decent effort on the first try too.
I felt like a total sack of potatoes up there, still really drained from being sick all week, but Henry packed me around and listened to my input, and I only made a couple of questionable decisions. For me, that was a fairly solid first attempt. Trainer was like “Oh My God, you guys can ride now!”. I thought she was going to retire on the spot. Yeah I know, what are the odds that both of us actually got it pretty right on the first try? We’ll see if that actually carries over to the show this weekend. I would not bet money on it, but hey maybe? Henry was so proud of himself he literally clicked his heels together over this jump:
After the lesson we took Henry out to the XC field to lunge him down the bank, but… that’s, uh, a story for tomorrow…