Monday, January 11, 2016

Is it possible this is our new normal?

There are something about my Saturday jump lessons with P that really seem to make me "centered." Anyone following me at this point can tell I am a ball of just heightened nervousness of OMG my horse is injured or OMG my horse is nuts or OMG my horse cant do this....and it goes on. So basically just a lot of self doubt and doubt in Tillie.

Which isnt really fair to either of us.

Hows THIS trot for ability?! side note: excuse my where's waldo shirt :) Its warm! 
I noticed after only having 1 P lesson in the last month, I was starting to be like the pysh patient losing their minds from lack of seeing their therapist. Not to mention, work has been quite crazy so keeping to riding 4 -days a week has been tough. I did manage to ride 3 days this week so that close right!?

Luckily Tillie hasnt seemed to miss a beat minus the one really crummy ride I blogged about last week. Which is quite surprising since she typically requires full work to stay sane.
I LOVE Tillie's expression here - shes like " I got this"
Saturday morning comes around and Im like a big kid on Christmas - Soooo anxious to get loaded up to go except our lesson wasnt until late afternoon/early evening. **waiting sucks**

Loading Tillie, I was trying to put to practice the self loading session we did with Emma...Tillie has seemed to develop a nasty habit of going crooked now and swinging her butt away from me anticipating the whip. I even reintroduced it to her and rubbed it on her showing her it was fine, but she REALLY gets squirmy with it. As soon as I put it away she goes right on just fine. 

So homework for me - practice this loading thing a bit more. 

Oh hey uphill canter! I think Tillie looks like a fancy upper level horse here! 
We get there and hack out to find puppies/dogs everywhere! Tillie was realllly not sure about them, but I was able to keep her focused and as I started warming up felt this incredible just peace. 
You know when things just go silent and its this quiet, steady feeling of just being in the moment on the same page? I havent felt that ever on a horse. But our warm up I felt this...I said bend left or right she said ok and had these incredible uphill gaits. I felt at first like she wasnt moving forward enough, but watching back I think it just felt that way because she was balanced and where she needed to be where I am usually used to feeling her pulling herself around by her front end. 

It was a bit warmer out so I attribute her quietness to that partially...but it still weirds me out when things feel this nice. Emma always reminds me as of late that this IS our new normal. I just havent gotten used to it yet! Tillie did throw in a teeeeenie sass fit after one fence when I half halted going into the turn and she got a bit offended like I KNOOOWWW I was doing it already mom!!

This lesson we had a much larger group then normal so we didnt get to do as much...but with Tillie and I havent jumped in a while, it was probably for the best. What worked well for it, was it kept things REALLY chill and low key - and Tillie ate all her breakfast Sunday AM!

Anyway, P had us warm up over some ground poles and then some small fences set as a one stride line. I needed to be reminded to release a bit more rather then plant...that is one hard habit to break! we can start encouraging Tillie to stretch and jump better with her shoulders.

Then we got to business and P had us run through this twsity turning course that was really fun! The first time we ran through was ok...Tillie was a bit flat but was listening and stayed in a nice rhythm. 

The second run through didnt feel that great to me, but P didnt ask us to re-do anything which normally she will if she feels its necessary. Not sure what it was about it (not just the rail cuz I know rails happen), but I just didnt like it...

P was ready to call it a day and, as always, asked if anyone wanted to run through it one more time. Usually I say no so I dont push too hard...especially when Tillie is being so quiet. BUT shes been quiet jumping lately and its time to start expecting more...but I asked if we could. 

I am really glad we did because it felt pretty good and P had raised the monsters inc jump to 3ft for another rider and left it for when we ran through. I honestly didnt realize/or think to question that height since height **usually** doesnt bother me, but I did hear the fellow barn mates asking, are they jumping THAT?

Yes, yes we did! 

Tillie sailed over it no problem! I loved Emma's WOOO upon landing and you could feel Tillie hear that, and just get this vibe through her body like lets do this. The angle the video was shot makes it look smaller...but P said it was 3ft... 

All in all, I wasnt super thrilled with the lesson at first. Mostly because I still am dwelling on the fact my horse doesnt jump "well" yet. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that our goal has been getting quiet first since that was a challenge - and I think we are there! The fact Tillie could open and compress her canter and adjust without sass is HUGE. 

So I am thrilled and just hope to keep the momentum going! P even suggested trying her back in the snaffle jumping! WOOO!!! 


  1. You guys look good. I love how nothing is a big deal and everything is pretty steady. She kind of reminds me of Pongo with the way she almost ducks her head (that may or may not make sense...)

  2. wooo! and yay for quiet horses!!!!!