I hadn’t had a lesson in so long. Hadn’t jumped a course in so long. Definitely had moments of shaking off the rust. But oh my god it was so much fun to jump around again! Eli’s steering went out a few times but otherwise he ate up the ground and cantered right over everything so easily. And there is photographic evidence! All photography credits to Brianna Mason.
Whenever I have a jumping lesson on Eli, I tend to keep the warm up very easy and very simple. If I’ve done my homework during the week, I don’t need to drill him on flat work beforehand–I like to let him stretch and relax.
You’ll notice a theme in these pictures pretty quickly: I have absolutely no control over whatever the hell my left hand/elbow/arm is doing. I really need to work on that!
At least my right hand looks kind of normal. And Eli is on cruise control. I warmed up over a small vertical back and forth a couple of times at the trot and then at the canter. My trainer started us over the inside lines.
The first time I cantered up to the first vertical, I had too much step, we flew over the vertical, and Eli was like, “wheeeeeee!” and I was like “whoa,” so I turned him out of the line (makes me cringe to write it) and cantered back around to it with a little less energy. He still flew out of the line over the oxer, and my trainer asked if I wanted to longe him, but I said no, I’ll just go with it and cantered through the next inside line. I think Eli was really just rusty and excited to be jumping because we hadn’t cantered a course in who knows how long.
He settled in enough after a couple times through the inside lines. I honestly can’t remember the order of jumps in the first course we did, but I do remember we had to jump an x-oxer on the outside, and through a triple with 2 super short strides in between each element on the other outside. I remember this vividly because …
… Eli peeked at the x-oxer just a little. So much scope he’s minty fresh? X-oxers eat ponies? Well, we landed and I kind of started snickering and couldn’t stop, but I had to collect Eli for the triple, which fortunately I had enough time to do, and we made it through that just fine. My trainer and I had a good laugh about the x-oxer and Brianna did indeed get the shot.
After the course, I could hear my trainer yelling, “that looked like so much fun!” We had a little love fest fawning over Eli and how he got every lead and jumped everything great and how I love my horse so so much, happy Valentine’s Day to me.
But seriously, my left elbow.
How do I fix it??? I’m thinking about jumping one-handed over a cross-rail and touching my left elbow to my left hip every time. At least Eli puts up with it and doesn’t seem to notice, but I am sure he’s having to compensate somewhere for it and that is not fair to him.
Eli got Sunday off, and I got to eat lunch and dinner at two really great restaurants in two different cities. Family lunch at Paesano’s in San Antonio, and dinner with good friends at 2nd Bar & Kitchen in Austin. We even ate outside for dinner, it was so pleasant out. Eli gets Monday off, too, but I groomed him at least. The weather is just gross again now.