Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jumping Out of the Box

Tuesday is riding lesson day for me.  I rush to the stable as soon as the kids leave the building and get my lesson horse ready for a 4:30 lesson.  It has been a steep learning curve as I struggle with redeveloping English concepts and destroying bad habits learned as a child.  Each lesson I finished exhausted and sweaty.  And I love it!

Today a lady from Golden British Columbia joined us riding a lovely green horse.  She is spending the week riding with my coach.  She is an elite type rider, much more skilled than myself and it was wonderful to watch her.  

Last night I had been talking with my best friend, who in her impatient manner demanded when I was going to start jumping.  I exclaimed I wasn't in the least bit ready for it as I was struggling with riding on the flat.   That conversation was freakish foreshadowing for what was to come today.

Tricia asked us to warm up by trotting and cantering around.  She explained we'd be trotting ground poles.  This was new for me and I was a little bit nervous.  After a few rounds of that she upped the anty by having us canter the ground poles.  Holding on to Buddy's stubby mane with a death grip I successfully mastered (well, maybe not mastered but accomplished) that.  Tricia pulled Marie (the other 4:30 regular) and myself into the center.  We then watched as the guest rode her horse through the poles.  We watched as Tricia moved the ground poles into jump brackets.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself at this point.

I was enjoying myself until Tricia called my name and asked my to go ahead and canter the poles.  Only they weren't just poles anymore, they were jumps.  Yikes!!!  In my head I was wailing "I don't know HOW to jump!!!"  but an unwillingness to quit had me pulling to the rail and picking up the canter.  As we neared the jumps I gave myself a stern talking to.  I told myself to lift my head up, keep my eyes off the ground and to trust my wonderful lesson horse who surely knew what he was doing.  And then I grabbed on for my life.  And we flew over the jumps!  

I am now a jumper?!?  I even did it more than once today.  At the end of the lesson I told Tricia I had never done that before and that I had been scared, how I didn't think I was ready for it.  And she said, she said she knew I could do it.  That dressage complements the jumping and jumping compliments dressage and doing both will improve my riding quicker.  

All in all a very exciting and rewarding lesson today.


Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

Cool! I'd love to try jumping again! Good for you for going forward and just doing it!!

Jim said...

Keep your courage while jumping! :) Good for you!