Summer is officially here. Barns are open to riding again but the heat has been oppressive. If I’m not working it’s often far too hot to ride my boys. I often get on for about 20 minutes and I have a strict rule that I won’t jump my boys more than once per week..
For a while now I have been painfully aware of my weak and unstable lower leg. I have been reading about how to fix it and actively trying. Let me say this… knowing what to do and translating it to making your body ACTUALLY do it is difficult.
Back in June, Tiger and I attended a jumping clinic. I didn’t do my best riding but he was a fantastic boy. My lower leg was very unstable during the clinic and I felt very unbalanced.
During my rides at home I practice.
I also take lessons every Tuesday and I practice.
And then I practice some more
Some days are better than others.
Some days I have improved greatly and others not so much. In time, as long as I keep working at it I am confident that my lower leg position will become more muscle memory and I won’t need to think about it so much.
Tiger and I then attended a cross country clinic earlier this month. We don’t have any photos but we learned a lot. I worked on the fact that I am a very busy and over-manage everything. My main goal during this clinic was to do less with my body and hands. After two hours Tiger and I had conquered roll tops, benches, logs, and water complexes. We began the day as an arguing couple; he was irritated by how busy I was on his mouth. By the end I became more quiet (always going to be a work in progress) and we were riding like a team; we having a lot of fun. I can recall cantering through the water complex and turning left to a couple of jumps. After the last jump we galloped away and though we had a bit more speed than needed Tiger and I were BOTH smiling.
I am doing my best to find time keeping my boys in shape. Thankfully they stay in good condition being turned out 24/7 but I still work on getting them active at least once per week during this hot weather. My schedule of 12 hour (14-25 if you include driving) overnight shifts is not conducive to a daytime riding schedule.
Aside from riding my own horses I take lessons with my trainer. I have a strong belief that riding many horses contributes to making a better rider. Every horse has something special to offer and we can all learn something from riding each different horse. At my trainer’s I have the ability to work on my skills with other horses; plus it’s pretty nice to ride in a flat sandy arena every now and then. At home I ride on my back lawn. It’s not perfectly flat so I’m always staying tight to keep myself balanced. Staying balanced in a flat sandy arena is much easier.
We’ve also had some chances to get out of the arena. My trainer will bring several of her students for trail rides where we get to get out of the arena and spend more time with the horses. The scenery is beautiful and it’s great for everyone involved; the horses in particular love the opportunity to get out of the ring and do something different.
How is your riding going this year?
What are some areas you’d like to improve?