Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To soar or be sore


I had my first lesson with Mary, the clinician, almost exactly one year ago. That lesson was on another horse, as Chai had ouchy feet. I did a flatwork lesson on Squall that weekend. A few months later Chai and I did a couple of lessons with Mary and then in the summer we were in the above picture with Mary coaching us. Early Spring Mary sent me over my first cross rail (small X shaped jump) it was my first JUMP in 15 or more years! Chai is bored with such little jumps and I think she wishes I could do more frequent trips to Mary's. She loves it!

Last summer at the end of June I had a silly accident where I injured my tailbone. I was off my horse completely for 2 months and then have only been hacking around since.

That brings us to this past weekend. Chai and I hitch a ride to Rosebud Ranch in Brookston, IN and take two lessons with Mary. Saturday we worked on our flatwork, Mary was happy with how our partnership (Chai and I) had grown, asking "you've had her two years right". I was happy she thought so, but it was ONE! Winter lessons are hard, since it is hard to stay in 'riding shape' when it is 0 degrees outside. I was very content with our progress.

I was a little worried about Sunday's lesson, since I hadn't jumped since the tailbone injury. We work for a few minutes on Chai being responsive and ready and my seat position. My calves were protesting the assault after the previous day's work. Mary started me over a set of ground poles and we worked through them a few times. Mary added one little crossrail, then another, then raised them, then another and so on. As an instructor, Mary watches your every move and puts you to work, she always keeps us safe, but pushes us a little further. I was very worried that I would have lost alot of ground while not jumping. However, all our little hacks have developed our teamwork. In the end Chai and I jumped higher together than ever. I felt really good about it, Chai was happy and while 2 foot jumps aren't much in comparison to what many do, it is soaring to me! My heart was soaring, my faith in my mare was soaring and boy are my legs sore!

The photo is at Flying Cross Farms last summer and we are probably jumping about 18". Chai yawns at the thought, but yet she does it so happily and she trusts me to get her TO the jump and I trust her to get us through the jump....then we Soar together!

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