Eli and I were due for a fun lesson where everything mostly clicked. We got to jump some short courses and practice some questions I haven’t had to answer in a long time. (Or more like: give *hunter* answers to questions I wanted to answer with my jumper brain.)
Friday evening, I wound up cutting our ride short because the light was getting too low. There are arena lights, but they are getting rewired and only one was working. That wouldn’t really help Eli’s apprehensiveness at dusk so I dismounted. I wondered which Eli I would have on Saturday.
Early Saturday morning, Eli got a massage therapy session and some Quia-cal, then turnout. He was out when I got to the barn, just kind of snuffling the ground. I went up to the arena to watch lessons. My trainer *called* me a while later … I thought, oh crap, Eli injured himself! Nope, just started panicking in turnout and got himself all hot and blowing. I went down to the barn to cool him out — which took walking, a rinse, and drying in front of a fan — and let him chill out in his stall for a few minutes while I pulled my tack out.
At this point, I figured he might even be too tired for our lesson. He actually felt quite lovely under saddle and we did quite a few transitions as we warmed up: Eli seemed very focused and relaxed.
Once we started jumping, we just had a really fun lesson, practicing pieces of a course before stringing it all together in a couple different ways. I made A TON of mistakes. Eli saved my ass more than once. But overall, once we got to the complete courses themselves, none of the mistakes were major and Eli seemed so happy to be jumping around. He felt so rideable I think he must have been having fun with me … maybe while rolling his eyes a bit the few times I used his neck as a pillow in the air. (I really wish I had media for y’all!)
The red jumps were two consecutive easy 4s, the blue is the 2-stride, the pink bending line is an easy 6, and the white a Swedish.
I do still need to work on a couple things:
1. Use my right leg. Like. At all.
2. Do not slice the first fence of a bending line in the hunter ring. (Ha. Duh.)
Eli got another shampoo bath and I slathered poultice on all four of his legs. He has been on the HALO for about a month and a half now, and I’ve used the Quia-cal 3 times … would y’all be interested in more in-depth reviews? I am not sure we have enough experience with either just yet but I have been thinking about getting my thoughts so far on them down on paper.
Some storms came through Saturday evening, so riding on Sunday was out, but Eli got his mane shortened and a nice long walk/graze in the fields. And storms came through AGAIN Sunday evening, but I am hoping I can ride in the field after work before the sun goes down.