Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lesson Recap: Remembering Basics

I am a super mental rider. I have the muscle memory and technical skills to pilot around most small courses safely, but once my brain gets anxious, all bets are off. My lesson the week before last was an example of that: awkward distances, losing pace, and just feeling awful all around. It's hilarious that I was watching Olympic cross country and it triggered in my brain: "You can jump the small stuff. Just sit up and back, dummy." Yes, that's right- watching people ride around a massive cross country course inspired me to jump 2'6"-2'9" without going into the fetal position.

In my defense, though, mare likes to run around like this.
But will still look like this in the end.

Every lesson, my trainer asks me, "Did you bring your big girl panties today?" and gets answers from, "Forgot them.", "I ran out.", "Kind of.", and lately, it's been, "Let's find out.". While I was warming up Lexie, we did get the super nice comment of "Who is that?" from a friend who didn't recognize Lexie being a rockstar on the flat.

We started jumping easy- trotted a crossrail a few times, then trot into the crossrail to a small 2' vertical in 4 strides. We successfully kept it at 5 strides every time, but the first few efforts we definitely took a flyer due to piloting errors. But the 3rd time, I held her for 5 consistent strides and we pinged over the fence. That's the best way to describe it- she felt round and using her hind end, and just ping! over the jump.

We added a "lollipop" turn after the line, going straight after the line, turning along the fenceline, and rolling back to a vertical. Again, striding was tricky until I remembered to sit back, wait, and keep her in my hands. Then we did it again: ping! We added another rollback, and again, sit up, sit back, and ping!

If I could bottle that feeling, I would. Now to just get my heels a little deeper and legs a little tighter. The mare is loving jumping in a grass paddock/grass field, and loves hacking out in the grass. Now... if she would just quit doing silly little things to herself (neck zit, stopped sweating, then started sweating, then a bug bite/sting/baseball size lump, then a small cut on her fetlock).

-K & C & L


  1. Replies
    1. I know! My trainer jokes I love the jumpers because I just want to get over the fence as fast as possible!

  2. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever consistently remember the basic stuff haha

    1. It's always up for debate with me. Sometimes I panic and ride like a rockstar, and sometimes I panic, and forget what to do with my limbs...