I don’t usually jump Eli two consecutive days unless showing is involved. (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not our program.) But every once in a while I do, and this past weekend was one of those times because of rain in the near future. I am trying to think ahead a little, because we have a show in March and, if the rest of February is rainy, I would like not quite so much rust to shake off.
We had a lesson Saturday, and were joined by a local trainer and her student to ride with my trainer, because fun, duh! A little more than usual was going on in both arenas, but Eli had no issues with it to start out with. He warmed up well and had a few really nice jumps. And then something pretty much just set him off. I am not sure what it was, but my guess is another horse came up and was being longed in the other ring and my horse is a dumbass about longeing, both himself and if seeing other horses doing it. We decided the best solution would be to head back down to the barn and “reset” Eli’s brain. I went down there for 5 minutes, offered him water and loosened his girth, and walked him back up to the ring and stood there with him on the ground until the offending whatever no longer bothered Eli. I adjusted our tack, got back on, cantered a lap each way, and jumped a few more jumps. We got to a tight spot at the skinny grey oxer, but otherwise everything rode easily. So we called it a day. Basically, our lesson just had a brief intermission.
With impending rain in the forecast, I got out to the barn earlier than usual Sunday morning and it was already bustling. I decided I had better jump Eli a little bit more this day, and he did not disappoint. He both saved my ass once and gave incredible efforts after. I tried to kill us at that skinny grey oxer because I saw the gap and did not give a corresponding ride. Wishing is not the same as more leg. Eli, ever patient with me at this point, chipped and jumped anyway. I felt really bad! Everything rode fine otherwise and I took the oxer two more times from much cozier distances and Eli even cracked his back over it a little bit and I could see his knees up to his nose in my peripheral vision (yes, I need to stop ducking).
It may or may not rain, but Eli gets today off regardless. I don’t always ride him at my best, but he can apparently take a joke now and packs me around with requisite sass for a little jumper. It’s as if he’s okay with me screwing up every so often as along as I ride decent the rest of the time. This horse makes me feel so lucky sometimes, even if his temperament is not for everyone. I wish I had film of Saturday and Sunday, but I had forgot to stick my little Cube+ back in my riding back pack. So you get random screenshots and pictures decorating this post instead.