Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jump it!!

So Moon and I are heading to our first JUMPING LESSON! Yes, it's still 3 days away. YES, I know. I'm 30 and OVER THE MOON (ha) about taking jumping lessons. This is something I've wanted to do for YEARS. Like since I was a little girl. I always thought I'd just study hard in my lessons, and progress from the dressage stuff over to the jumping.

I remember my really lame (looking back) lessons over cross rails. I remember that didn't last long before I wasn't in lessons again. New barn, more flat lessons. Couple of cross rails, maybe a tiny vertical. New barn. More flat lessons.

The first time I *really* jumped was at Misty River Ranch. I'm not sure why, but I had been placed in a group that wasn't my regular group for some reason. I normally rode with the "Adult Woman" riders, a random mix of 40-60 year old ladies who enjoyed Wednesday night lessons. I was an anomaly, but I always was at lessons. I was either too old for the kids, or too young for the adults. The riders my age were in these groups that they'd been riding in for years, and all far better riders than I. Welcome to my plight.

So for some strange reason, maybe it was a makeup lesson come to think of it....I was in this group of riders close in age to me (like 16 when I was 25) and they were having an outdoor lesson in the jumping ring. I was OVER THE MOON (ha), but also pretty damn sure I wasn't actually going to jump with these people. They'd probably make me ride beside them or something.

To my surprise, the coach told me to ride the course just like everyone else. A couple riders before me went and then it was my turn.

There was no skill here. It was like "Okay, just mimic everyone else and get through this without dying".

I remember faintly that the coach had lectured me on a few things...for certain, flying lead changes.

Wait. I have NEVER learned to do a flying lead change. EVER. How the hell I would be able to not only do multiple flying lead changes, but do them as I come over 3' jumps?

Did I mention they had 3' jumps out??

Oh yeah.

Surprisingly, I didn't die. I didn't fall off. I actually made it through the whole course, and I'm not even sure we took more than a single rail down.

That being said, I KNOW the coach was yelling at me about straight lines when coming off jumps. Apparently I would land and head straight to the next jump. Whoops :P

That ride still sticks with me to this day. Not that it was the best ride of my life, but it was the highest I had ever jumped a full course. And I made it through.

Now the following spring I met Moon, and sometime during that summer I started him over jumps. By the time we moved to Coach W's, we were popping over some slightly higher verticals, and I remember at least one spill over there.

At Hil's place the spring after, we kept trying to jump. I remember a few more tumbles, but never anything bad. Moon had never refused or balked or bolted on me. It was simply that I get ahead or behind the movement and wind up falling off of him as my balance is off.

But we managed to get in two jumping classes in our lives together. One fun show at a local barn where we didn't do particularly well, but we survived. I think we jumped the course 2 or 3 times. And then once at a show at Pine Ridge Equine Park, where Moon was terrified of the flower boxes under the jumps. Poor old man.

Again, I just felt like while Moon is a willing little jumper, my form is HORRIBLE and needs work. I need to learn distances and take-offs, and all the technical things that make a rider a good jumper. Who knows how high Mr. Moon can get if he has some decent riding on his back??

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