|This post sponsored by Max, whose tail is now fully functional.|
Yesterday Dino and I jumped for the first time since our last HT. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst, and I have some things to ponder and work on.
I set everything between 2'3-2'9ish, not really sure what exactly I wanted to accomplish, but knowing that I wanted to jump some good fences off of a confident approach and give myself a positive jumping experience.
Dino was a bit of a stinker to warm up (I'm pretty sure he had to poop, and I wasn't letting him stop, so he got cranky) and it took me a while to get him off my leg and motoring sufficiently forward. HOWEVER, he didn't throw any out-and-out tantrums! Winning!
Everyone else was getting fed by the time I popped back up to the jump field, and Dino was equal parts offended and distracted by that situation. I focused some more on transitions and getting a decent canter going to regain his brain, and lo and behold, it worked! I popped over the smallest vertical in the field a couple times, getting good distances and not waffling or panicking on approach.
|TECHNICALLY he isn't allowed on the couch... but how do you say no to that face?!|
Away we went!
The first few times I wasn't getting a great canter coming in, so instead of coming anyway (A mistake I do not make anymore! I CAN LEARN THINGS.) I circled until my canter was right. I was not, however, really feeling the rhythm or seeing distances, so I got left behind once or twice when Dino took off at a perfectly appropriate spot and I was left wondering if there was room for one more stride. Whoops.
I got myself mostly under control after that, but the simple figure 8 was taking its toll! Dino was having a bit of trouble gripping the hard, freshly-mowed ground, so when I wasn't super diligent about riding his hind end around the turns it really screwed us up, and I made the executive decision a few times to bypass the jump in favor of a more balanced, less slippy approach. Going to the right was MUCH easier than the lefthand approach, revealing a bit of lost strength in his right hind after his vacation.
While I did definitely accomplish what I set out to in this ride, I felt overall a bit discombobulated. My position didn't feel super tight, I wasn't releasing very well, and I didn't feel like the solid, take-the-fences-as-they-come rider I know is in there.
Dino was participating in the game, but overall felt hesitant to really give his all. That I'm definitely attributing to the not-very-grippy footing, since he's always been cautious about going hell-bent-for-leather on less than ideal ground.
Dino also developed the first spur rubs OF HIS LIFE after just the one ride, and the spots are TOTALLY BALD. Like not just a little hair rubbed off, but down to the skin. It makes me feel like a bad pony mom, but it's probably due to the fact that he's shedding out his summer coat right now, and he does tend to occasionally shed before there's any new coat underneath to replace what he's getting rid of.
I slathered him in MTG. Now he smells like bacon. I still feel bad about it.
Luckily for me, I have a lesson tomorrow! Time to banish this discombobulation.