Monday, February 13, 2012

Jumping for Joy!

I'm up to 8 followers! Woot! Bastian's fan club is growing ;P

First off, I want to whine. I am miserable. I started out last week with an ear ache, went to the doctor and he gave me horse-sized antibiotics. I was doing kinda okay until yesterday and I think that my 5 minute coughing fit whilst I was riding did me in. I took lots of cold/flue meds Thursday night and woke up feeling horrible. Whenever I started to talk, coughing ensued. Painful coughing. I almost couldn't talk to the person we call when we have to call off work, there was a lot of coughing and I got worried they might hang up. . I've spent pretty much the whole weekend on my couch under my electric blanket with a TK kitty on my lap and a Doodle by my side. Aside from the sick part,not such a bad way to spend the weekend. I am officially on the mend and looking forward to riding tomorrow after work.

Whining done. Moving onto the good stuff. I had a great lesson on Wednesday. Kristin and I are really starting to figure out exactly what makes my jumping tick and what throws me for a major loop.

Second, if you haven't already read it, go check out the Riders4Helmets website ( Bastian and I are featured in one of their stories :)

Since the show I've been true to my no-stirrup exile. The first day of no-stirrup work I did 30 minutes without stirrups, posting trot, two point and canter. However, by the end of the ride while I was super ouchy and exhausted, Bastian wasn't even close to being a little tired. So I made a slight adjustment. My warm up is now done without stirrups so 15-20 minutes then I ride the rest of the time with my stirrups, this way I at least get him worked too. So a bit of a compromise, but still getting the job done.

Its great because when I do have my stirrups now, I know that I'm in the right spot if my inner thighs hurt, that is how I know I am engaging the right muscles. lol This is what I need to be doing in order to be successful. Unlike the majority of other riders, I can't compensate with my lower leg, I don't have any strength there and I have very little stability there, especially in half seat. I can "cheat" a little riding dressage because I'm "sitting" in the saddle so I don't have to worry about my lower leg. That is why I my only really good jumps are the first 5-8, after that I just can't keep myself up in halfseat and I get left behind. This affects soooooo much!

When I get behind the motion, I ride backwards, say whoa, and I cannot see my spots. Then we jump all wonky and I'll hit my boy in the back over the jump and on the landing, not to mention that I majorly slip my reins so as not to hit him in the mouth which then becomes a safety issue because I'm not in 'control' of my horse (not that he does anything.... but still its not a good habit to get into!). I also have a super hard time keeping my left leg on my horse over the fences. It will actually pop off several inches from his side, its kinda weird. We're just now addressing this oddness and figuring out a way to try and keep my left leg on because when he's being squirrely he'll duck left and he'll land left and well no wonder if I don't have my leg on on that side.

Magically, when I am with the motion and up where I need to be, we have been magically hitting our spots. Its amaze-za-zing! It was so great to unlock another piece of the jumping puzzle in my lesson. I may have to extend my no-stirrup ruling a bit longer into March, I've only got two months until Winona and I want to rock it, so I've got to be stronger.

I didn't ride on Saturday because I felt so icky, but I did ride on Sunday with some others at the barn. We had Jackie Smith of Stone Gate Farm come to the barn and do some awesome thinking exercises with us and our horses. We were jumping fences with points and arms and we jumped a skinny! (we had never done a skinny before in our lives, not to mention that it was skinny with a black plastic pole and not a normal white pole-he never batted an eyelash!) He was hesitant about jumping over the block at the point of the fence, he was just like, "ah, there is all this other jump here, why must we jump it here?" But then he got it. It was a very educational session. I've really got to be more precise with him and make quicker decisions. And when I was with him, god was it lovely, when I wasn't with him, it wasn't very fact it wasn't a bit pretty. You'll have to cut me a little slack because I was pretty sick and foggy so Bastian and I weren't exactly meshing.

I sent in applications to ride at Equine Affaire with either Peter Leone or Scott DeHelian, so keep your fingers and toes crossed that I get accepted. It would be such a great educational opportunity for us and would definitely help with getting us more experience. If Bastian can behave at Equine Affaire, we can handle the event world. LOL Here is our application video

And don't forget: Go vote for Bastian as the coolest horse in the world! We really need the votes, we're in 4th place! You can also vote for my entry in the "Best Breeds" contest. All proceeds will go towards funding Bastian via paying off my debt (much of which was incurred during my "down" time after I broke my back, I didn't have a job for two years) Here are the links:

Coolest Horse Video:

Best Breed Video:

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