Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The moments that make all the struggles worth it

Unfortunately for Emma still being broken, I got to join in again on another P lesson this last Saturday. Prepare to be bombarded with pictures, Gifs and videos because it was one of the best rides I have ever had in my life. It was exactly what I needed. 
It is not nearly often enough you see me smile while I am riding,
but rounding the turn to the final jump I was grinning from ear to ear like a big kid. 
Right off the bat, Tillie was a bit more settled arriving this time. I really wanted to not deal with any of her "Up-ness" so was contemplating hand walking her up to the ring rather then ride the short hack to get there. Emma softly pushed me and said no, you need to ride and use the chance to keep working this out since its similar to how she gets at shows. 

Well ok then! And while she was still a bit jiggy and looking around...she was better then the first time so thats something!

Warming up, Tillie was a super star. She was light, responsive and just all around uncomplicated. So we went right into the lesson with a simple grid. I asked P if I needed to stop her at the end like last lesson and she simply said, well lets see how she is today:
One of our first times through really focusing on releasing.

 Freakishly quiet. Thats how she was...I breathed out and thought ok. That was nice but still prepared for her to build the longer we did this.

P adjusted the second jump to be an oxer and off we went through it again.

Tillie ate it up and was cool as a cucumber so P then put up the third and final fence:

At this point I am rolling with it and sloooowly start trusting her by letting my reins go slightly longer and on landing using next to no hand to circle and downward transition. My inner kid was singing and shouting to the rooftops how awesome this was. 

P raised the jumps one more time for our final time through notice my hands?!

BTW - Thanks to Emma for all the footage and driving me to this lesson :)

So moving on from the line, she had us trot an oxer by itself to test the rhythm and eventually turn it into the second jump of a line. I instantly go oh crap, this will result in excitement for sure....

UMMM my horse was like PSHHHH I got this while I'm over here like "equitation is for the birds"

Holy moly swinging leg batman! But isnt Tillie just the cutest!?
The canter approach still shot is much better!
My favorite still over this fence (during the course) since my equitation is decent and Tillies form is just adorable.
So P had us land from this and keep cantering to try again in canter since she stayed calm and in rhythm at the trot. 

Again, Tillie just blew it out of the water and knew her job. I was starting to get slightly freaked out. 

Next up, P made this into a 4 stride line. Our first time through we came in a bit tight and got 5 instead...

P was so wonderfully supportive of it because we added. For Tillie to have made that decision is HUGE since she tends to want to get flat and take the gappy distance. But, we needed to get more even striding through the line so around we came to try again.

We got the 4! I forgot to release a little bit more this time and P reminded me that its really needed for me to do this because Tillie likes to jump very tucked in up front rather then stretching over her back probably from how much I have held her. 

I love that P reassured me that its understandable as to why with her previous antics, but that maybe those were partially created from her mentally feeling a bit claustrophobic. 

In any case, my releasing more and allowing her to stretch HAS seemed to have been doing something wonderful for Tillie because we then put a course together that was quite intricate:


I know I take myself and riding way too seriously, but this ride I seriously had fun. Its extremely rare to see me smile under saddle, let alone do it in the middle of actual work but I was so over the moon excited! 

Just cause this one is cool - and I am releasing! 
I had a quiet but eager, willing and adjustable horse! It felt like all the tears, lack of confidence and hard work built up to this ride. Emma kept trying to tell me this is Tillie's new normal so I wouldnt be soooo freaked out. No I did not go home and take her temperature, though I did think about it...I decided I needed to bask in this one a little bit and just LOVE it. After all, this is what its supposed to be about...the trick is to have this same feeling even when it isnt so perfect. 

Look I can have a droopy rein!!! Notice Brita (a guest blogger of Emma) in the pink!? 


  1. Sometimes I think the horses just know that they need to give us a good ride. Awesome job all the hard work and frustrations are paying off!

  2. woooo hoo you guys looked SO GREAT out there!! like everything was just so easy and Tillie was just totally clicked into gear :D what an awesome ride!!

  3. You guys looked awesome! Love the smile too :D So happy to be catching on my blog reading and to hear how well you two are doing :)