Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lesson #126: Invincibility Star

Since I took Thursday off, I decided to move my lesson earlier in the day after I picked up my new Tipperary vest. The weather and temperature were amazing and the skies clear and blue. I took the scenic route from King City to Hillsburgh and enjoyed some of my favourite parts, ranging from the incredible country estates to the hilltop view approaching Caledon.

Vast expanses of countryside green: my favourite stop point

As I was approaching the stable, my heart skipped a few beats as I thought: "... I'm wearing my flip flops... did I bring my boots?" I reach back and immediately feel nothing--I had forgotten my boots!!! I was so upset that I caught myself let out a scream. My heart sank but I was so close that I knew I didn't have another chance to turn back... I was stuck. My only option was to ask and see what might happen.

G arrives and I share my lapse in memory and she helpfully offers her street shoes to at least be able to get tacked up. We search various boxes as well but no luck. We both decide it best to leave that in the hands of Sheri (and fate, to a degree) when she would arrive. I got Ariel put together and in strolled Sheri with her own boots in hand! Thank heavens!!

In addition to G, J was riding Texas in the lesson and we worked on a jumping lesson. My flat work was fabulous because I took control of Ariel, rode each stride and we were bending in the corners and she wasn't giving me much lip. It's like in a video game when your character powers up, and like any other video game, your character is going to take several punches or even lose a life.

As we complete our warm up and the many bending and circles and changes in direction, Sheri puts up the first X jump at approximately 2'6". I wouldn't say this was easy but I was able to get through it okay. My "power up bar" is still full at this point. She eventually adds the second bounce and we take turns. It's my turn and as I'm approaching, I feel myself tipping forward instead of moving into the 2 point and then disaster strikes, I topple over onto Ariel's neck as we get over the first jump and my power bar is quickly being depleted as I am draped over Ariel's neck and she continues to pick us both us and get over both jumps. It is a miserable experience to have your whole face and front being jostled up and down on the horse's crest.

But I have a moment of realization in my body that my legs are still in a good place and I pull myself back together and am able to get back upright just as we are coming out of the second bounce and heading towards "home".

Power Up!

While I was more or less physically fine, I felt pretty bad about myself. I was glad that Ariel didn't drop my butt over the bounce and committed to carrying me over with her. It was enough for me to take it down a notch and just reexamine what might have gone awry. I blame my poor form over the jump to be my primary issue, among others. But I'll be sure to work on a better 2-point.

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