Wednesday already? I feel like this week is going by pretty fast. Probably because I've been busy! Let's start from where we left off last week.
Last Wednesday I mentioned that I was taking a riding lesson that night. It was so fun to ride a new horse and jump over some sticks! This is the horse I rode, his name is Liam:
I took a semi private with another amateur. She has a very pretty mare that unfortunately was not the right match for her. I related to her story WHOLEHEARTEDLY after having owned Jasper. Basically, it's a lovely horse, but she's a bit spooky, and her owner has lost the trust. We did the flat part of the lesson together, but she didn't want to jump. It was nice to have some solid time on the flat to get to know my horse a little. We did some lengthening and shortening, then some shoulder in and other lateral work before moving on to the fences. Trainer J started us out over a teeny tiny cross rail line. Eventually the jumps got a little bigger, but I think the biggest was 2'9". I'm not looking to break records, I just want to get comfortable jumping again. The exercises were simple. First we did the outside line a few times. (It was a four stride.) Then we figure 8'ed back and forth over a vertical and an oxer before putting the exercises together into a course. It was a lot of fun, and Liam was lovely to ride.
Thursday and Friday I didn't have anything exciting happening. Just work and pony grooming in the evening. Saturday I was on my own for chores. It was a nice morning, not too cold, and it was fun to watch the kids enjoy their turnout time.
Rio was WILD! I have a solid two minutes of him on video cantering figure 8's and bucking like a decrepit bronco. I love him so much.
After chores, I had another lesson scheduled. I was excited to lesson, but it was such a nice day, I really wanted to ride at home. There wasn't time for both. But the lesson is more important at the moment because I need all the help I can get. So off I went!
Trainer J is good friends with my regular trainer, and apparently they chatted about
my chicken tendencies
what I needed to work on. Regular trainer said I need to ride different horses. So this time I rode a horse named Ben.
Ben was pretty easy for me to figure out because he goes similarly to Jamp in a lot of ways. You have to really keep a hand on the front end. Unlike Jamp, Ben wants to get heavy on his front end, but it's still a similar feel as trying to keep Jamp down on the bit. Both need LOTS OF LEG! Trainer J was surprised I was able to get decent flat work out of Ben, but I think it was mostly due to him being similar to Jamp. I really like that we spend some time on the flat before jumping. It helps me get a better feel for a new horse, and also gets my horse really warmed up for the fences. Oh, if you want to laugh at me, I nearly fell off when he spooked at the doorway while I was supposed to be cantering in a half seat. Oops.
Over fences, Ben was a bit of a wiggle worm. It was good practice for me to really keep thinking about all four corners of my horse at all times. Despite his lack of interest in going straight, he was very honest to the jumps regardless of my finding the spot right at the base a few times more than I probably should have. I jumped a little bigger this time too. The singles were still low, probably 2'6"-2'9" but we also did a combination that had 3'3" oxer on the way out. Moving back up!
After my lesson, I actually had to finish up chores at home. I had one more load of poop to dump and I needed to sweep the aisle one more time. And feed. Barn chores are never really done are they?
Sunday I had my helper back, so I slept in a little. It was a pretty nice day, overcast, but in the 50's. Not at all normal for January. But you know what that means? DO YOU?! It means I got to work my horses! I started with Jampy. I put him on the lunge line first because he's had two months off and I didn't want to die. He was wild. Shocking I know.
But since he's super unfit, it didn't last very long. He was actually great to ride. Obviously I didn't do much. After two months off, the lunge alone was probably more work than he should have been doing. But we trotted and cantered a little each way. It was just nice to be back up there.
I didn't ride the others. I lunged Rio, who looked pretty amazing believe it or not. I was pretty tempted to hop up on him, but I have to remember to go slow with him. He's a delicate flower.
Look at that boy tracking up both ways! Take that EPM! Despite everything he's gone through, this guy is looking pretty good for 20 years old.
By the time I was finishing up with Rio it was getting dark, so I just took Romey out for grass. I won't lie, I didn't really want to ride him anyway. I need some professional guidance with him before I get back up there I think.
The craziest thing about this weekend in January in Connecticut? My horses all got to GRAZE!
Mmmm January snacks. Happy Ponies.
Monday and Tuesday were rainy. Rainy and cold. And windy. Obviously not riding weather. I did go back to our exercise class last night though. It was oddly harder for me than last time, but I woke up with a pretty nasty head cold this morning, so I'm guessing that's why. I knew working out was bad for my health!
How was your week? Did you get to ride? Take any lessons? Do anything non-horsey? Do you go to the gym or take classes?