Lesson Report 2/4 – Amanda on Mini Me

Mini Me again today! I think we got on a lot better this week than we did last week.

Today was course day! This is my first full course since starting back up with riding. It’s only been about two months, with some weeks off, but M and I have both already noticed how much stronger I’m getting.

I am sick today (I have some sort of cold/sinus infection/general head-based NQR-ness) but I’m skipping next week’s ride to spend time with a friend who’ll be in town, so I definitely had to get out. Thank you Sudafed and Tylenol for helping me power through, and thank you to my body’s inability to feel bad when sitting on a horse.

Our ride was on the shorter side today, but I don’t have a problem with that. I got to practice my two-point (all the way around the arena without falling over! Yay for the small victories!) and some more no-stirrups posting trot. Alas, I did not find any way to really practice that at home – but I was able to handle it for a little bit longer. We also did some sitting trot work. M talked to me about keeping my knee against the saddle and how that affects my angles, and about how, because I’m so tall and lanky, I don’t need to ‘pose’ on horseback. We also talked about maybe having me compete in the adult eq, provided we could find the right horse. I am all for that, budget providing. I love anything that involves Looking Pretty (why do you think I continue to love hunters despite hating the predominant culture?).

Then it was on to jumping! Today’s post comes with a picture of the ring so y’all can actually see what the jumps look like:

20150204_162329

We started off just trotting the purple fence in either direction, then the outside line in four. M told me the course before we started jumping and told me I could choose one fence to practice on before trying it. I chose the grey plank you can see way in the back – it was the first element of a bending line and a bit of a funny turn. Then it was on to the course!

course4feb

Rollbacks galore! The first ride through, we jumped into the first line REALLY long, which obviously affected the rest of the course. Jumps 3 and 5 were okay, but we got very deep to the first jump in the bending line and I didn’t ride the final turn well at all, so even though the jump and distance and so on were fine, Mini pulled me over, I got too far to the right. and I knocked down the standard with my foot. Oops!

The second ride through, now that I’d figured out how the course rode, was much better! The outside line was perfect, my rollbacks were nice and balanced, and although we still got a little bit deep to fence 5, it was a much more manageable deep. And best of all – I stayed up and collected through the final turn and jumped the actual center of the final fence! Good job responding to criticism, self. After that, we were both happy, so we went ahead and quit.

Getting off the horse was not so fun – pretty much the moment my feet hit the ground, my body remembered that it’s supposed to be sick, and I pretty much collapsed into a chair as soon as Mini was away. That said, I was really pleased with this week’s lesson! A lot of good things happened.

Things to work on for next time:

  • Not letting muscles get weak after some time off.
  • POSTING. WITHOUT. STIRRUPS. I’m going to try something with one of those giant exercise balls.

In other news, I have a job interview tomorrow! Wish me luck~

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