Well, apparently all I had to do to get it stop raining for a few days here in Texas was to whine about it extensively and annoyingly on the internet. Literally hours after my post last week about the mud and non-stop rain, the sun came out. It’s suspicious, and I don’t trust it, but I’ll happily take it while I can get it. Since it looked like the weather was going to hold we went ahead and firmed up a lesson schedule for the weekend, and on Thursday I decided I should probably make sure Henry and I still remembered how to jump. We literally hadn’t jumped anything since the Pine Hill show at the beginning of December. The jump field was still too wet though, so I set up what is the only jump in the arena and figured that was good enough.
We hopped over it a few times each way and no one died, so I called that a success and quit while we were ahead. On Friday the field was dry enough to trot, so we did a long trot to try to take some of the edge off the horses, and then Saturday was lesson day! We hauled down to a local farm only about an hour away where my trainer was teaching for the day. I love it when she’s there, because it cuts my typical lesson commute in half, and the arena is freaking fantastic. The footing is so nice and Henry always moves and jumps so well in there, like he’s extra springy.
Baby Inca came along too, and she wins the superstar behavior award for the day. The loudest most annoying horse on the property was definitely mine. He’s so dumb, he spent the whole trailer ride with his ears pinned flat to his head, occasionally kicking the wall and threatening to bite her (while she just ate her hay and ignored his theatrics), and as soon as they were off the trailer he was like OMG WHERE IS MY BEST FRIEND THAT I LITERALLY HATED 2 SECONDS AGO. It got even more pathetic when he spotted Halo, who he hasn’t been turned out with in 2 years and he never actually liked anyway. This is why he doesn’t have friends and gets turned out alone. He’s a total butthole to them when they’re around and a stage 5 clinger when they leave.
But as soon as we got in the ring he settled right down to business, and he felt freaking fantastic. He was moving really well, he was listening, and he was so happy to be jumping. We tend to not jump a ton of fences with him, in the interest of preservation, so after a brief warmup, everything went up to height and we just jumped a couple of courses.
I definitely felt a little rusty, like I was a smidge late with some half-halts and was a little slow to sit up and rebalance in the turns. I’ve noticed that it’s always my reaction times that suffer most when we go a while without jumping. Trainer set a one stride that was oxer to vertical, which can definitely be a bit of nemesis combination for me, but it actually rode great in both of the courses we did. Henry was pushing off the ground really evenly and using his body well in the air, he’s definitely feeling good at the moment. He tends to jump around “by braille” a lot of the time, but he was actually giving them some air for once.
I left the sound in the video so you can enjoy the “Oh Lord” from Trainer towards the end when I saw the big one to the skinny and gunned it. I am here for your entertainment, people.
Now we somehow find ourselves two weeks from the next show (damn, time flies) so hopefully we can fit in at least a mini XC school to make sure we remember how to gallop solid fences. We’ll see how much longer the weather cooperates!