There has been talk around the stables that they might be setting up some jumps around the fields meaning we might get a wee bit of cross country on the go – it is very exciting. I was gutted not to do the proper cross country course at AnnaHarvey last year (oh well I just need to go again :)) but having one in my back garden – ace! Plus I do need to work on my jumping.
Anyway, we had a lovely hack last Sunday. Cold but dry with a great long canter in the middle. I originally had Jm (the white Highland speed demon I have spoken about before) but swapped to Td as I wasn’t feeling too great and I like too have all my faculties when riding Jm. Td was brilliant as ever and the canter was lovely, except we had to hold back a little B and Am were spraying mud at us! But do you know in the intervening time I have gotten annoyed with myself for swapping – why did I do this? I should have ridden Jm anyway instead of treating him differently from the other horses. So I am making a decision – whoever I am given I will take!
However, on Sunday Jm did decide to stand in a bush and rub his tummy using the branches and foliage – it was very funny! My mate who swapped with me was not amused- the rest of us were.
On Wednesday night I had a private lesson with good old school master Mr B. As he is a good steady horse and it was horrific weather here on Wednesday night I was given him so I could just work on my position. To that end we did a lot of no stirrup work, again doing canter work without stirrups – my legs ached the next day. With Mr B it is all about getting him to enjoy it and then you have a brilliant lesson. It took me most of the lesson but I got the correct bends in the end and then when we did the 2nd lot of canter work, he felt much freer and like he was truly enjoying himself. As he is often used for people’s first canters you really have to let him know he can open up but once he does he flies – I was meant to pull him up after twelve strides of canter but he just felt so good we did a circuit of the school – my instructor just laughed and agreed that he was having fun so that was fine.
I think I am also finally starting to grasp the softening my hands but bending my elbows aspect and feeling when the horse softens to me. I have to also say by concentrating on my breathing in the canter I am now starting to get a better seat, that’s probably down to me being more relaxed. I believe I am improving on using my body to control the horse more for example the springing forward in trot and circling using my body not my reins.
Another useful lesson although I never know if it all feels great at the time and I think I understand it only for me to get on the next time and forget it all – oh well. I made a lot of fuss over Mr B as he had done well including being totally nonplussed when his hi-vis rain sheet got caught by the wind and started to rise up behind us like a ghost – Mr B just rolled his eyes and let me fix the girth without moving a step. Mr B, calm and collected as always.
So it is almost that time of year again. How is this for an awesome Christmas jumper by the brand Howies!
However, in keeping with the sustainable fashion ideas (even though I would wear that jumper all year round) this one would be good too, also by the brand Howies but slightly less festive themed.
And of course not forgetting People Tree’s amazing Peter Jensen jumper that I have been coveting for months – Santa if you are reading this 🙂
So how about you guys, will anyone else be hoping for a festive jumper under their Christmas tree?