Not so secretly it was nice to have 3 days with nothing on the calendar (aside from the barn) and I relished the chance to get errands done, tack cleaned and some couch time in.
Saturday I had a great school on Prairie over some jumps. I don't remember what we did to warm up, but we ended with a 15 minutes (!?) canter set figure-eighting over two jumps using the whole outdoor.
My thoughts from that little exercise are this:
- omg ow my legs.
- Prair is getting her changes without freaking out (most of the time)
- omg ow my calves
- I felt comfortable asking her to take the long spot and she didn't freak out.
- omg ow everything.
- settling into a rhythm and just and cantering and jumping and cantering and jumping is really, really fun. (i sorta miss xc)
It was a super fabulous ride. Afterward I walked the mare around the property on a loose rein and reveled in her laziness and cooperation.
When I got home I streamed some of the Devon show and had fun watching the Junior Jumper something. I don't spend a ton of time watching the Jumper ring but it astounds me how much ugly riding there is. And not in terms of perfect Eq, but just ugly riding. It's like the more athletic a horse is, the less trained it appears to be and the more erratic/terrifying some of the rounds are.
Exhibit A was watching the jump off where o3 of the 5 riders eliminated themselves, 2 of them by falling off in between jumps. How does that happen?
|(The Boy watched NASCAR while I watched ponies. Worked well since the commentary was drivel for both)|
I meant to take a picture to document said feat, but I forgot.
S and I have been talking about putting Prair back in a snaffle to see how she is, but I haven't bothered changing bits on her brown bridle yet. Black Dressage saddle made it easy to grab a black dressage bridle which was still outfitted with the Boucher, so I went with that.
Prair warmed up fabulously. If anything, all the two-point and jumping has really gotten my calf on Prairie (and my knee off), which translated really nicely to my longer stirrup length. Between the deeper seat on the Hastilow and a tighter leg, I actually enjoyed my sitting trot work and felt more effective in it for the first time in a while.
I sorta just doodled around the whole ride, meaning that I didn't really do anything over and over again but just kept changing it up and playing. I did want to concentrate on our lengthening/collecting in both the trot and canter so there was lots of that, but mixed in with lots of walk or halt transitions.
Prair was a little strong/stiff to begin with, but by the end we were doing three loop serpentines with simple changes through the walk, zig zag leg yields and even a few flying changes all without her trying to invert or throw a fit. It felt pretty glorious at moments.
I finished with some trot lengthenings and after the first few rushy-downhill attempts I really sat up, half halted the mare nearly to a stop then felt her lift her shoulder and fly. It was fun. It was short since we were in the teeny tiny indoor, but it was fun.
I called it a day at that, brought a very impatient Gus in from out of the rain and tucked everyone in with their dinners.
I was home in time to stream the Pony Jumper Classic and day dream about a barn full of feisty jumper ponies.
I also decided that I should really attempt a combined test or two with Prairie some time. I mean. She can jump 3' no prob, and should nail a Novice level test... why not! I just need to find one that we can actually get to...