There's nothing like a few hours of riding to mellow me out and today I was ready for some Equestrian Therapy. Regular readers of my blog know I've had a rough couple of weeks what with my kitty dying. The new one I adopted came with a virus - not a serious one - but serious enough to set me back another $200 at the vet yesterday afternoon. By late today a nice ride had risen to the level of Necessity.
The last time I wrote about the horses was when Alex and I had the instructor out. We'd been working on our jumping and Alex's quarter pony, Oliver, had done much better than my Lumos.
Lumos is a Haflinger. He's built like a tank and while he has the ability to jump he has yet to refine it, and it's a challenge getting into a two-point (the position riders get in when a horse jumps) because he's so short and stout.
We both did much better today. Today he actually jumped. It wasn't consistent; he still plodded through several fences but if I cue him hard enough he tucks up pretty well.
Like all green hunters, Lumos has a tendency to over-jump and will go over a two-foot fence like it's much bigger. Or he'll just barely jump them. Experience will solve both those problems.
Oliver did that today, too, even though he was trained as a hunter and knows better. I love Alex's pony but he can be a little shit when he wants to be. He did the same thing today that he did when the instructor was here; even though he can jump he plowed through them with Alex several times because he thought he could get away with it.
So today - again - I got on him and made him do the course. He jumped this one so ridiculously big that he looks like he's rearing. It didn't help that Alex's stirrups were about four inches too short so whenever he came down I felt like I was going to get pitched off.
Eventually, though, he did like he was supposed to do. So next time he has no excuse to act like a complete jackass.
I ended the ride with a sense of accomplishment. Small gains, after all, are better than no gains at all. And for me any ride that doesn't end with me falling on my ass is a good one.
It's supposed to rain this weekend. Again. So our plans to ride Saturday will probably be scuttled. Hopefully it will be drive by Sunday. Alex and I are trying to vary our routine so next time we're not going to jump. Instead we're going to play some games that should be fun for both us and our ponies.
On a final note, you may notice that one of us isn't wearing her helmet. That would be the dumb one. Really, you should always, always, always wear a helmet when you ride. I usually do. Usually.