So, last night's lesson started out pretty normal. We started warming up a bit before Jessica got there and when she did, she unloaded and set up our brand new set of four actual proper jumps that me and another boarder went in on. She ended up setting them up to look something like this:
And then she first had us start by doing some nice trotting on a long reing around the ring which Kieran did really nicely and relaxed and still pushing with his hind end, etc. Then, to wake the horses up, she had us hand gallop one at a time around the ring each direction. Allison (the other boarder) went first and then it was me and Kieran's turn.
Completely uneventful going to the right, but then we went around to the left and, uh. Well. See, I was using a new girth that was a bit longer (but without any elastic!) than my usual girth. And I apparently didn't tighten it up enough. And I must have put too much weight in my outside stirrup as we came around the turn at the top of the ring.
So we're going around and I'm thinking about how much fun this is and then, "...why is Kieran tilting to the side? No, he's straight....-OH CRAP I'M FALLING!" And you know, I roached his mane so I had nothing to grab on to and the saddle was literally hanging off his side and just...off I went. Mostly hit hip and knee first, but also managed to smack the side of my face and head a bit on the ground so already ordered a new helmet, just to be safe. And also, apparently, managed to smack the heel of my opposite foot somehow too because it's actually the part of me that's most sore today, I don't even get how that works.
So, slowly got up, and we retrieved Kieran (he'd run away to the other end of the ring to stop and have some crisis eating to make himself feel better, hah), fixed the saddle, and then Jessica made me go take a little walk to get my gatorade and have a drink and wait for the shaking to stop before she let me get back on. That done, we did and then we had to trot in big circles around the circle of jumps and then when he felt relaxed again and not just running off at the trot, did some nice cantering in the same circle.
All settled again, Jessica explained that the rest of the lesson would be about using the jumps she'd set up to make fairly sharp 'rollback' kind of turns around and that we could do it at the trot unless our horses felt like they could do a nice, relaxed and together canter, no barrelling around.
At this point, I honestly don't remember all the various little patterns she made us do. Started out with just popping over two at a time, and then she slowly added the rest in (and keep in mind, they weren't any taller than 18" verticals).
By the end of it, we did this pattern last:
My thing to work with Kieran on was keeping a nice, easy, forward canter and really thinking about where I was going so Kieran knew where we were heading and could set himself up for it. Our last go-round was really beautiful, we were both ready and he gave my a great loop from that bottom jump to the corner one and just...
Seriously, this horse makes me so freaking happy. :)
4 days ago