Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jumping Lesson

Brego and I had a jumping lesson this morning and the goal was to work on small courses with turns and bending lines. The height of the fence is no problem for Brego, but being back and balanced enough to power through a corner without dislocating my shoulders is a feat yet to be mastered.

We ended up with a very successful lesson, culminating in a 5 fence course with two 180 degree turns and finishing over a 3' oxer. He even threw in some automatic changes, if I didn't lay on his neck too bad. The best part of the whole lesson was that Brego saved my bacon twice when I completely blew it for him (and he left the poles up). It's that kind of heart and kindness that makes me think Brego is a really special horse. As much as he is conformationally ill-suited to eventing and with as little jumping experience he has, he never gives up and takes good care of me.

My riding had improved since the last time I had jumped. My trained watched the videos I posted and had plenty of advice for me. But during the lesson today, I seemed to have fixed a lot of what was wrong. She even commented that as the ride got more complicated, I did even better. Something about forcing myself to be effective when a big, heavy, tired Percheron is barreling down towards a 3' oxer... There is definitely still something amiss with my right knee, but that's the knee that's been giving so much trouble recently. The x-rays came back clean and I ice it after every ride. So hopefully as the knee improves, my weird one-sided stiffness will work itself out as well.

So I think we're in good shape for the show in three weeks. The current plan is to get another dressage lesson next weekend and one more jumping lesson before we go to the show on September 14th. In the meantime, he gets some time off and hopefully a mini-camping trip for everyone's mental health. The heat and intensity of the workouts are too taxing for his current fitness level. I want him fresh and eager in three weeks, not burned out and sore.

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