This post’s cliché title brought on by my thighs and calves, which are somewhat unhappy with me after my attempted jump school this weekend.
But first, let’s recap. The last time I actually jumped was February 11th in the winter clinic at the Carolina Horse Park. The last time I kind-of-attempted-jumping was March 16, in which my calendar entry for that day (anyone else keep a ‘diary’ of their horse’s activities?) says “Foster jump no good”. And I remember that ride- it was the day after I scratched the CT due to his bad attitude and likely ulcers, and I wanted to try jumping just itty bitty things to see if even that would improve his attitude. News flash: it didn’t. We couldn’t jump a 2′ vertical on a 30 meter circle successfully.
So almost two months later, and a crap ton of gastrogard, we tried jumping again.
I was a bit schizophrenic setting up the arena, as I knew I wanted to keep it small but couldn’t decided how small to go. So I left the cross rail intact, made a somewhat soft angled two-stride line out of two 2′ (2’3″?) verticals. There was a one stride to a two stride made up of 2’6″ verticals in the arena that I left up, but it walked long, so I was a bit skeptical of it but left it up for kicks anyway.
For whatever reason, it took me about 15 minutes of walking around in my jump saddle before I felt comfortable enough to get going. Let me tell you, after being a DQ for the last few months, those stirrups felt really damn short. I also really feel like I (or my saddle, but it’s probably just me) slide left far too easily. I got over it though, and focused on weighting my right heel, warmed up, and took the cross rail.
Well, I won’t go into a ton of detail, but he was great. (Me- not so much, yikes where is my leg?) From the X we made a figure 8 over the small verticals before taking the angled line, which rode like a dream. Will definitely make be making the angle more severe for next time. After that I added in the 2’6″ brick wall fence, and really felt Foster bloom- he lifts his tail, he canter becomes active, and you can just tell he’s enjoying himself. We did that a few more times and then added in the 2 strides to another 2’6″ vertical, which as predicted rode so long that I didn’t bother with it again.
After about 20 minutes of actual work, Foster was puffing, I looked like a tomato, and on top of that was actually getting a bit light headed from the exertion and the heat. Called it a day and gave the pony lots of praise and attention for being happy and not killing me.
The jumping session really cemented how much he has changed thanks to the Gastrogard, but also served as a reminder of how much we (I) have to go to get back into shape!