Technically I had a lesson and jumped both horses last week, just one lesson was abruptly cut short. Peebs has been s l o w l y transitioning onto his summer paddock with more grass, and has had a bit of the fresh grass crazies last week. So before my lesson on Wednesday I lunged. He had a couple good sized bucks to let loose, but looked fine otherwise.
We warmed up on the flat, felt fine. Trotted two crossrails to warm up, felt fine. Landed after the third crossrail and came back to the trot for a few strides before walking. Trainer told me to pick up the trot again and let him go on loose rein. Not fine. It was slight, but Peebs had a head bob. Changed directions, and yep, lame. Not drastically, but lame. Trainer came over and pulled off his open front boot (but not his bell boot) and didn't feel or see anything on the leg. Picked up his foot, and nothing. So we ended the lesson and I went to cold hose and wrap my pony.
|Our first jump together
Before cold hosing, I pulled Peebs' bell boots (he normally lives in them) and what do you know? On the inside of his right front pastern (the lame leg) he had a small, fresh scrape. My working theory is that somehow while jumping the third crossrail he whacked himself through the bell boot hard enough to cut himself. I did cold hose, wash the scrape and put ointment on it, plus gave him a gram of bute just in case. He got Thursday and Friday off, lunged sound on Saturday and felt fine for a light hack yesterday. Fingers crossed it doesn't rain like it's supposed to this afternoon and I can jump him and hopefully do more than three crossrails.
I had my lesson on Cinder on Friday, and as I was walking to warm up Trainer A asked how I felt about jumping her that day. I told her I felt great about it, provided I didn't make her go lame a la Peebs. In our flat work A had me think about channeling my inner DQ and ride Cinder a little more "collected" for a few strides, before softening and letting her go more huntery. We also started doing some baby leg yields in the trot. I was able to get her more put together in the canter than I was last week.
When we moved on to jumping, A told me to just trot around and pick up fences as I felt comfortable. Cinder jumps way rounder over crossrails than Peebs does, and it took a little bit to find my balance with her and not get left behind. But as much as she tends to jump up over the fences, she lands quietly and continues on like nothing happened. Totally not phased at all by the fences or me flopping around up on her. At one point after a few fences A asked if I wanted to canter something, and then laughed at the look of horror I gave her. But I pulled up my big girl breeches and cantered the outside line like she told me to do.
Cinder has a really nice natural rhythm that made finding the distance easy. Like I could sit up, keep my leg on and it was there. She's a bit like riding a drunken sailor down the line, but even knowing the second distance was going to be a little long, I just kept my leg on and trusted her. She's so much fun, can't wait to jump her again!