I had a conversation with another boarder at my barn the other night. She just turned 50 and got back into riding fairly recently. She jumps and wants to compete at the mini-prix level. It’s hard coming back into a sport after years off and as an older person. You feel like you’ve missed the boat when you see all the really young and really good riders out there. And we’re in the same situation when it comes to money…we don’t have any.
I was grumping about my lame horse, my lack of ability to get another horse if he’s not going to be able to jump, my serious lack of show experience. I realized I really don’t know what my goals are. I don’t really want to rider jumpers. I like hunters and equitation. I love the smooth elegant lines, the sharp clothes, the graceful jumps. I love the look of a big round hunt horse. I think I want to be good enough at what I do to teach beginners and intermediate riders. I’d like to be able to train a horse to compete at the B and C level shows. I don’t have any dreams of being a big name trainer. That makes me wonder how far I need to go with my showing. I don’t want to feel like a joke. I want to be good enough that other people will respect my experience. At any rate much more work is ahead of me and jumping still freaks me out a little. I probably need to get up to at least 4 feet to meet my goals. And I feel a little old to be starting all this now, which I’m sure irritates the woman I was talking to since I’m 15 years younger.
Jil was telling me that I just needed to get on a horse, a good horse and jump. Get used to it and go higher to desensitize myself. She’s right. That very night I got Miss December out. She’s ready to start some fences. Her canter is consistent and smooth. Her fitness level is increasing rapidly. Her lead changes have improved dramatically in the last week.
We started with a crossrail…just one. We trotted over it in circles 2-3 times each direction. Next we cantered. I raised the fence to a vertical. We did it again. I raised the vertical….we worked up to about 2’9. Jil was right. Bigger jumps are easier than small ones. December’s canter stayed smooth and consistent. Her distances were perfect and she’s pretty easy to keep straight in her lines.
I’m going to start taking her out to my trainer’s for some lessons. Guess it’s a good thing she’s back. I have something to show this year after all.
I've been playing around with Tax a bit. He doesn't seem to be in pain and moves better in a straight line then on the lunge line. Going to the left in a circle his back left leg seems to be sticking in the stifle and when I think back he's always been a bit stumbly back there so 99% sure I'm dealing with a stifle issue. The good news is that's probably fixable. I'll know more Saturday after Dr. Cutie comes out. (LOL...how embarrassed do you think he would be if he knew I called him that?) Anyone out there have any experiences with stifle issues or injections?
Charlie came back home yesterday. He had been at the trainer's and she was trying to sell him for me. I've decided to focus on H/J and due to a series of unfortunate personal events can't afford to show APHA so it doesn't make any sense to keep him. The trainer's show season starts this weekend and she won't be home to show him to clients. The market here is pretty bad and we're having trouble finding a serious buyer. He looks amazing. That woman can sure turn out a show horse. Now I'm on my own for selling him at least for the summer. She's going to advertise him at the shows but I'm going to have to be the one to do most of the work. I'm a bit nervous about this but I really can't do three horses right now.