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Once again, I walked into a jump lesson feeling totally dumpy. Stress and hormones were taking their toll, and as I warmed up, I felt like my body was loose and unwieldy. Why couldn’t I sit in the saddle or put my leg on right or do anything right? The world may never know.

As usual, I debated about telling my trainer (can we just call her Mandy now?) that I wanted to keep it easy and simple and whatever. Also as usual, I didn’t. I took the hour of time to lay myself at her feet and let her do what she thought was best. Sometimes, that is oddly therapeutic.

I finally managed to jump the middle πŸ˜‰

Our first exercise was a classic… but something that I realized I had never done with May. We trotted into a 4 stride line. Halted, and then cantered out over a low, wide oxer. It got… better… but we never really nailed it. May think that whole idea is dumb. We should just jump the thing and then the other thing, no stopping needed. She did, however, jump the stuff out of the oxer EVERY TIME. Seriously, this is probably the best thing we have ever done to help strengthen her back end.

Since it was so hot (mid 80s with humidity and no breeze, yuck), we didn’t want to push things too much, so after doing the line exercise a few times, we moved onto a course.

Almost asked Mandy to make this one smaller/narrower…

The course was a short approach to the pink vertical, bending right to the oxer, loop left over the corner fence, long approach to another wide oxer, right turn over the plank vertical, then a long approach to the triple bar. I do not doubt that the reason both approached to the long oxer were off the left lead is because I tend to let May fade right on that lead.

This time though, I didn’t! For years, we have worked on getting the right balance and rhythm. Now? We are adding the straightness, and it is clearly making ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

I honestly got a bit lost going to the first jump, so I just put my leg on and got her straight. She jumped it great but a bit big… and I panicked and cut my turn to the oxer. It kind of surprised her, but she jumped the snot out of it.


The left turn to the corner was great. We got a bit close, but I would rather do that then take a flyer to a corner. I kind of just let her coast around until we made the turn to the red black and white oxer. I really pushed her off my inside leg. While she was surprised by the slightly bigger height of it and tapped the rail, she landed on the right lead. Yay!

Almost asked Mandy to make this one smaller/narrower…

I should’ve kept her moving through the corner but didn’t, so we had a bit of a long spot to the plank. The nice thing about the plank is it looks a bit more solid, so she jumped it night. Then the triple bar. Mandy specifically told me to just keep my leg on to it and DON’T PULL. So I didn’t I got her straight off my leg, kept my leg on, and she jumped it great!

So was it hoof perfect? Nope, but it was the best I have ridden a course on the first try in a LONG TIME… like maybe ever. And, it’s a long way from this Way Back Wednesday Post!

Since it was so good, we decided to just end on that. No point in making a pony tired when she just laid down a trip like that!

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  1. martidoll123

    YES let’s just call her Mandy thank you! PS Just think May is so cheap compared to you going to therapy so there you go! πŸ™‚ Glad you had a good ride after a shit day!! May is simply the best (and those jumps make me want to puke). Also very little mare head shake! πŸ™‚

    1. Emily

      Who says I don’t need therapy too? πŸ˜‰ She really is the best. I totally surprised her with that first oxer and she was just like “oop, ok then!”

  2. emma

    i love those low wide oxer exercises!! used to do a ton of stuff like that with Izzy during the dan days, tho now that i think about it, we haven’t really don’t any of that with charlie. hm, good food for thought! anyway glad the lesson was such a pickmeup

    1. Emily

      You need to do more jumping, right? Hehehe I think it’s so good for them because it really gets them to use their bodies.

      1. emma

        omg YES! i had been thinking about just integrating more of those simple pole – vertical – pole type exercises during our solo schools, sorta just working on flatwork-but-with-jumps. but now that you mention it, maybe that’s actually the perfect formula for the oxer too?? my hope is that the placing poles will help mitigate the need for a jump crew for charlie and his #sluglyfe style…. maybe?

        1. Emily

          I use those pole, vertical, pole exercises a lot. Definitely a favorite!

  3. Carly

    I love those little tucked knees!

    1. Emily

      πŸ˜‰ She knows how to play up the cute factor. If I could get a lead change on her, I would be tempted to do a couple of hunter classes on her.

  4. Stacie Seidman

    May is the cutest! Eros and I worked on a similar exercise this weekend too. We had to canter into a 3 stride and halt. We didn’t have to canter out though, luckily, cause that’s not a lot of room!
    You guys look great!

    1. Emily

      The canter out was SUPER fun, but she definitely cracked my back a few times haha.

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ Btw – the world needs more cute Eros videos

      1. Stacie Seidman

        I agree! Hopefully I’ll remember to ask someone this weekend to video!

        1. Emily

          you need a soloshot or something haha

          1. Stacie Seidman

            I actually have one! I just haven’t used it yet…. But I’m hoping to remember to charge it, so i can figure it out this weekend.

  5. the_everything_pony

    You two look so awesome! Really rocking and rolling around there. I love when all the pieces start to come together! Yay!!

    1. Emily

      Thank you! I feel like we went through years of things being “ok” and now they are turning into “really good”. <3

  6. Liz

    Hell yeah! Look at you two. It sounds like things are really settling into place for you both. =)

    1. Emily

      Thank you! At the end of the course I was like, we did it?? … Yeah we did it! haha May was like “duh mom”

  7. Britt

    You guys look great!!! You need to do a comparison to an early video of you guys- y’all have worked hard and come a long way!

    1. Emily

      Thank you! I should really do a play by play. I have so much old media haha

  8. L. Williams

    You guys are on such a positive roll this year!

    1. Emily

      Thank you! Just wish we could get out there and put it to the test.

  9. Alex

    It’s nice to give up control for a bit and just follow directions from someone you trust isn’t it? Lovely course there, even with the little blips. You guys were really moving forward so nicely.

    1. Emily

      Thank you! My biggest issue as the jumps get bigger is micromanaging. I am really trying to give that up in favor of maintaining the line, balance, straightness, and rhythm. So far, it seems to be working!

  10. rooth

    I do the absolute same thing in the beginning of my lessons too. Y’all are fantastic and she’s even cute in the first video πŸ™‚

    1. Emily

      I think we all need trainers that we trust to just make us “get on with it” πŸ™‚

  11. KC Scott

    Yaaassss! You guys look amazing!!

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