Making History.

I wonder if the sentimental value I place on this is going to matter to me in the future.  But for five years or so (I'm thinking longer), Archie was the only horse I jumped.  There were a couple of mares at the barn in Augusta that I would hop on, but once I made the purchase of him I only really rode other horses when he was injured or I was asked.  And we left that barn in August of 2010.  Prior to that purchase, though, I rode and jumped anything and everything, from the 17.3h Selle Francais who broke my heart, to the barely 15h Quarterhorse mare who broke the fence.

Poor Crayola.

Jumping is important to me.  I'm not necessarily good at it and some fences are frightening, but I have been jumping for as long as I have been riding.  It's part of who I am as an equestrian.  So with Archie's retirement from jumping, I sought out other options.  First, another boarder said that I could take her baby horse over a couple crossrails, but the day I pulled him from the pasture, he had a reasonably-sized and fresh wound.  Then, Big G's owner said I could jump him.  She does it regularly and he seems to really enjoy it.  But I'm not confident enough at the prospect of jumping a new horse (even though I ride him all the time) over a fence at a gait.  We could canter, but he's a freight train (we're working on it).

Maybe my first show on Teddy Bear?  Consistency is the name of my game.
Later on, with Teddy.  One of my all-time favorite photos.
Towards the end with Teddy.
So I got in touch with The Eventer (TE), who now runs a barn about an hour away, and scheduled a lesson.  Then I texted the Other TB Rider (OR), to see if she wanted to come.  She did and she wanted to lesson, too.  A little impromptu reunion, minus the three bay Thoroughbreds.

No lie, OR and I wore the same socks, completely unplanned.  
For the lesson, I rode an eventing pony turned lesson pony named Blackjack.  I know Blackjack knows his shit, because I've seen his owner gallop him over fences at Full Gallop (that one time, yeah).  He was a stinker on the ground (barn name:  Asshole), but comfortable in the saddle and responsive to my cues.  TE's fancy County saddle certainly didn't hurt.  Wants.  All the wants.

Lulling me into a false sense of security with his ombre bands and cute muzzle.

We started the lesson in a lower field and just figured out the ponies' buttons.  TE also had the most illuminating explanation for a half-halt that I've ever gotten (something to the effect of cuing with your legs and then scooping that energy with your abs, but better phrased and more effective).  Also, I'm a hunchback.  There's no reason for me to not work on that with my arthritic pony, since it doesn't ask much from him.

We finished the lesson in one of the top fields, where the jumps were.  We just went over and over a single crossrail turned into a vertical, until OR's hony pulled a shoe and we all got the munchies.  TE was quick to point out the things we both needed to work on (and that shit was almost identical, which means we suck together).  We both love to stand way too up in the saddle and I'm particularly fond of dropping all contact while simultaneously anticipating the fence.  T3 used to harp on me to squat the fences, but goddamn is that a hard thing to remember.  Says the woman who squats almost daily.
So here it is.  Making history.

After the lesson was Mexican, of course.  Then I went back to my barn and rode both Archie and Big G.  Busy, horse-filled day!  And, brace yourselves, my internet friends:  I have more shit to talk about this week, too.

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  1. Ooh, girl, you are looking fucking awesome!

  2. What a good boy. Looks like a fun lesson.

  3. wooo check you out! i'm glad you went for the lesson and had friends to ride with too!!!

  4. Yeah! Jump all the things! Ride all the stinker ponies! Love it.

  5. Mmmm Mexican - yay for jumping and catching up with friends. What a fun meet up ☺

  6. Woohoo for making history! So happy to hear you are jumping :)

  7. That slo mo tho!!! Gosh that looks like fun.

  8. I totally have those socks. They are awesome

  9. Sounds like fun! And I love your tiffany blue breeches!

  10. Retirement-from-jumping is HARD. I mean, I'm so glad I can still ride Pearl on the flat, but she loved to jump and there was... a lot of room for improvement, so I'm sad we never really were able to pursue a jumping career (read: get better at jumping). Glad you had a fun lesson!