Friday, May 1, 2015

Christmas in May

Today is like Christmas in May.

Because I have a lesson. On a horse. My own horse. And it's jumping.

Mr. Moon, looking fabulous in the spring <3

Okay, let's be realistic. My jumping lesson today is likely to just be me going around the ring in a crappy version of 2-point, pretending to do long releases over poles on the ground. For an hour.

There likely will not be any actual jumps to speak of. I'll probably have a horrible cramp in my side from trying to pretend that I have core strength still. Moon will run about with his evil rabbit face the whole time and the coach will say "You're too hard with your hands" or something.

But that's okay. It's still like Christmas to me, even if there's no pony under the tree like I'd been begging Santa for year after year.

Life, to me anyway, is about big goals and the slow movement towards them.

I have been watching show jumping on CBC since I was a little girl. Even before we got the TV guide and I had to watch the end of the show jumping just to catch when the next one would be on. Placing my video tape in the VCR to record the jumping on a Saturday afternoon, and pretending in the yard that I was a pony jumping too.

I always thought "Someday, I'll jump a horse".

When I finally got riding lessons, I was so excited. "I'll jump soon!" I thought. I remember sitting in the viewing area because my dad was always late (probably because he knew how much I loved watching the other lessons), and asking mom's when their daughters started jumping.

That's how I learned NEVER ask a mother when her daughter started doing something. Apparently this question is rude, and will be answered with a rude snarl and "My daughter had an injury that set her back", or "We really didn't have the time to dedicate" or "The instructor really doesn't like her or she'd be further along". Something indicating her daughter would be at the Olympics by now if only given a chance.

From those rides, I eventually made it far enough to start doing little x-rails. And then on to a different barn that started me jumping actual jumps, in something that resembled a course. That was awesome. I can still remember the Arab Twi that I rode. I remember that it was spring when we started jumping, and the instructor told us that once the outdoor dried up, we'd get to spend the summer jumping outside. I was over the moon...

Until I realized that I wouldn't be there in the summer. I never got to ride in the summer, because I had a summer job, or vacation or my parents didn't want to drive me. We had other things to do.

I didn't jump again for a long time, until I started with Betty-Ann. She actually taught me to jump a horse, and we trained up one of her guys. That was awesome, but again, never really course work.

I did some solo jumping at H's when we moved there, and two shows. We did awful at both of them.

And that was the end of that.

I still to this day dream of riding a real course and pushing ourselves through it. I wonder how high Moon could jump, and if he actually loves it? Is it possible with help I could be a decent little jumper too? It's always felt like something I shouldn't be doing, and I was doing it anyway. "Jumping isn't something you do alone," my instructors have told me for years. "You need perfect flatwork before you can jump," I was told countless times. Every forum chastises you if you haven't had 15 years of solid flat work before you take your horse over a fence, and you better be able to survive George Morris' critique if you hope to have any acceptance in the jumping world.

So to this day, I'm still a very...self-defeating jumper. I just don't have much belief in us, despite the fact that I really enjoy it, I've done a 3' course and Moon has done at least 2'6"without either of us dying. We've even jumped bareback multiple times without me coming unglued.

But somehow, I still have a lack of faith.

And that's okay. Tonight we will start working towards being confident jumpers. My ultimate goal, would be to do a cross-country course by the time I'm 50 or so. And that seems pretty obtainable to me :)


In other news, the new horse Tiny Tim was moved into the paddock with Moon and Company, and they have all gotten along really well. Moon and Tim had a few discussions over who gets to keep the chick, but it was all pomp and circumstance.

I think they will wind up being good friends. Tim is the most laid back 6-year old horse I've ever met, and Moon seems to like that just fine. 

Moon is still looking pretty fit despite the easy winter he had. I seriously feel like he's learning to use the big ol'neck of his better. I was over the moon when we were able to ride around the arena beautifully despite the new mixing of horses, and even went on a lovely gallop down the side of the road.

Yes, we galloped down the side of the road.

Well, the first time more like the grassy ditch until he almost fell in a big hole. Nice Moon.

But we galloped down gravel. I REALLY think the farrier we've been using for the last 3 years has done wonderful things for him, and I believe he has harder, tougher feet than ever before. We'll know today how he's doing...

Other than that, our rides have been great. We got another ring ride in yesterday that was awesome, just really working on getting him to use his back and bend. I'm proud of him. I feel like he doesn't go around with his head in the sky anymore, and even though he'll probably always evil rabbit face, he isn't twisting his neck and head all funny on me anymore. Just a nice solid ride, and his trot as a result is totally sit-able. I mean, I can sit the whole way around the ring without any issue, which I love. I suck at posting.

So here's my boy post-ride yesterday. I love him. He does everything from pack 4-year olds around to gallop to hopefully jump. That's what I love in a good horse.

Moon, April 30th, 2015

What I love more is comparing him to the Moon I got, when he was a tubby little thing...

Moon, March 22, 2012
Moon, May 2012

Gotta love this face! April 2015
Color change since May 2012...

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