The weather’s finally changing and we’ve moved into the indoor school to avoid the rain.
On the upside, it’s great not to get wet, but on the downside, other people have the same idea, which means having to share space with others and this is restrictive.
This week, I’ve downsized from enormous, long legged sweety, Harry (he’s on loan and his loaner wanted to ride him) to “little”, gorgeous Tosca.
The Offspring has been riding the opinionated Snowy, who hates every other equine. Even, calm, peaceable Tosca has not escaped Snowy’s dislike, which translates itself into aggressive body language (ears back, eyes rolling) if any horse gets “too close”.
However, there’s one thing that both girls (Tosca and Snowy) love. Poles. Because poles might mean jumping.
I’m a fair weather jumper. Generally, I do this across the summer, out in the fields. Tosca absolutely loves it. The combination of grass under her hooves and a jump in her sights, acts like a turbocharger and her excitement is palpable. I don’t jump much because my many and varied past accidents have left me with a well developed desire for self preservation – if I fall off now, I’ll just break.
The Offspring has been dying to try and jump something, so the poles have come out. Basic work first, just cantering through poles on the floor for me and trotting through for my daughter.
Our first attempt at this immediately highlighted problems.
For me? With my dystonia syptoms misbehaving, my head has been cranked around to the left and so riding on the right rein left me asking “What poles?”. Once I’d worked out where they were, we were fine. Just needed to make sure I could regulate our speed.
For the Offspring? Control. Once through the poles, Snowy was overjoyed. On the second attempt, a couple of sneaky canter strides appeared … and a cut corner. Third attempt? Flying, but straighter. In fairness, I think the Offspring did a good job in trying to cope with doing something new and the irascible Snowy, but more work is clearly required.
We finished up with a tiny cross-pole, on a circle.
This fence may be physically small, but it represents a giant victory for the partially crippled mother and the wild child.
Both of us threw caution to the winds, wound up our canters and flew over.