… because goals are hard to meet!
October’s goals, revisited:
1. Jump a 3′ course with NO CHIPS (I always manage to get one in, at least–must stop). Okay, this did happen. But I didn’t get it on film. And technically it happened in November, because Saturday was November 1, right? I really just need a chip-free entire lesson!
2. Jump a 3’3″ course with no chips (that follows, right?). Didn’t happen. I wouldn’t jump a full course on Eli at this height without my coach, and for about three Saturdays in a row I couldn’t get a lesson because of weather, a show, or whatever-type stuff. I am going to request a 3’3″ course during the lesson I have scheduled this Thursday.
3. Accomplish a not-too-embarrassing leg yield at the trot, and get it on film. Working on it. Making progress. Nothing worth filming yet, though. Incidentally, I do believe that a consequence of adding more lateral work to our flat work has been Eli having a much easier time with lead changes. I’m not really talking about the physical change itself, as there is really no reason physically that I know of that would keep him from doing them, especially because he does do them sometimes rather easily. I think he had a mental block about lead changes under saddle for a long time because I think he was expecting over-dramatic cues in the form of yanking the reins and getting the crap kicked out of him. The lateral work has helped him not only to accept leg pressure more gracefully, but I’m guessing he has a physical awareness of himself now that he didn’t before (zero scientific basis for asserting that). And he also has some confidence that his rider is not going to do anything over-dramatic to him. So maybe he’s finally learning that lead changes aren’t scary, they are just another thing to do under saddle and not a big deal? Okay, enough anthropomorphism for the day! I spend a crap ton of time thinking about how horses think, if that wasn’t obvious. But until horses talk, I’m only guessing here. And that was a major digression from “leg yield at the trot.”
5. Ride a lap without stirrups every ride this month. I probably manged to ride a lap without stirrups about twice a week. Also, I completely fell off the 2pointober wagon. Whoops.
No Stirrups November goals:
See above. Seriously, I’m going to just keep plugging away at the above five things for the rest of the year. I’m considering trying to find a little digital camcorder so that I don’t feel like a dork asking people to film me & Eli with my phone. Hello, Amazon Warehouse Deals. And no, I will not be taking my stirrups off my saddle for No Stirrups November, but I will try to drop them and trot around for a while every time I ride. Jumping Eli without stirrups seems like a phenomenally bad idea! (And also, I’m old. Stuff breaks easier. But for the record, I have jumped without stirrups before, and even jumped bareback a few times, so it’s not like I’m missing out on the experience or anything. I’m perfectly happy now living vicariously through younger, stronger, braver, or stupider individuals.)