Tuesday, April 13, 2010

...and back in the saddle

Today I rode again for the first time since my Easter Day bareback ride. I had a session with my trainer, though I wasn't sure whether I was more excited to ride again, or to see Panama jump.

As it turned out, I rode and did a little of my first jumping. We walked over a low cross rail a number of times (no jumping required), and then jumped it perhaps a half a dozen times at a trot. He is very excited to be jumping, but even though he is fairly green at this himself, he is being amazingly patient with me.

I don't think I pulled on his face at all today, though I did have a hard time keeping forward — I wasn't getting slammed on the butt with the saddle or anything, but I was letting it make contact with my butt. My trainer said I'm expecting the landing too soon, and sitting back as a result. I also know that I'm getting nervous as we get up to the rail, and sitting back because I'm afraid of him stopping or putting his head down, and me going right over it!

The last time we jumped, she said I did much better, so we were able to end on a good note. My trainer did say, though, that I need to be sure to keep a little more leg on as we're getting up to the jump. I'm afraid he'll overreact to it, so I've been taking my legs off, and she said he needs a little bit more confidence and guidance from me — he's being a bit inconsistent, too, because I'm essentially making him do it all by himself.

Anyway, today was a really windy day so I didn't get to see Panama jump the course outside (where my trainer lunged him over the jumps on Friday). Instead I rode the entire time in the indoor. He was pretty good, despite the wind, but he was a bit spooky about a sliver of sunlight that came in the south-facing door and lengthened or shortened a bit at times — something was being blown across the crack in the door outside, I guess. The first time he saw it, he spun and bolted a few strides before I could pull him up. It was such a surreal experience — I stayed sitting back, kept my heels down (my trainer said), and talked to him like normal, even though the whole thing was a blur and my weight was thrown entirely into my right stirrup from the spin. I was just able to rock my weight back into position and pull him up. I have no idea how I did it, but my trainer says it goes to show how much I have improved — once upon a time, my weight would have just kept going to the right, and I would have ended up on the ground.

Hopefully on Friday I will have some pictures and video of him jumping the course outdoors — and perhaps a little of me learning to jump, too!



At April 13, 2010 at 9:48 PM, Blogger Sydney said...

Jumping is a ton of fun on the right horse with the right instructor.

At April 14, 2010 at 2:47 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Sydney, it seems like something both Panama and I are going to love -- once I get past my nervousness anyway! Luckily it's only my own hangups we need to get over, as he already loves it! :o)

At April 15, 2010 at 9:10 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I experienced my first jump by accident when I was trotting Lostine around the paddock thinking she'd step over a log, but she jumped it. The movement felt so natural that I tried it again and again on purpose. Just the other day I was eying my tires thinking I'd use them to set up a jump, if I can ever get a break from these weekend storms to ride. This weekend only has a 20% chance of precip, so if I can get over my illness, I might be able to ride.


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