Hippoi Athanatoi

My Fingers Do Not Taste Like Chicken

Last week was a theory lesson, plus I couldn’t make it to the stables anyway since no one was around to give me a lift. So, it has been a long two weeks, and the last few days I have been seriously depressed. Not just because of the missed lesson, I imagine, but it sure didn’t help. Given that, I was really looking forward to today’s class. Unfortunately, the rearrangements of the various groups on Tuesdays has meant that we now have some people in our group that used to be in a dressage-only group. One of them was feeling very nervous about jumping, and of course the instructor ended up putting her on Murphy. Argh!

I mean, I don’t begrudge anyone who is nervous a calm horse, because I know the feeling, but the jumping lessons have been the only lessons I have been more or less certain to get Murphy for. Now, she’ll likely get him for the rest of the semester for the jumping, so I really have to hope I get him for more dressage lessons instead. I got Gamir today, and he’s likely to be the one I’ll get for jumping classes if she continues on Murphy, and that’s not a bad deal at all—as long as I still get to ride Murphy regularly.

Of course, if I do get ride Gamir more, I need to remember to be more careful with him. His behaviour when he’s groomed and tacked has worsened lately, and today he almost got my hand when I slipped off the halter to get ready to bridle him. I am used to his kicking when he’s groomed or saddled, but he’s definitely started biting more, and that’s annoying. Especially since he can’t be turned around and tied up since he’ll kick his water cup down. Overall, though, I managed pretty well, and down in the arena I made sure to get someone to hold him as I tightened the girth and mounted up. After that, he’s pretty much a kitten. Well, he decided that bucking was a good idea when moving into a trot, but he gets those ideas now and then. Usually just once per class, though.

The class itself was pretty basic, both to acclimatize the new people and because we’re so darn many now. I really, really hope that we see some movement over the next few months, because right now there’s too many of us and I don’t feel the classes get intensive enough. I also feel as if I am at a sensitive stage, with my focus on trying to improve my seat and all, and I really need quite a bit of instructor input. Today, I got very little, though of course jumping Gamir is kind of like cheating.

Then again, the exercise (riding a figure-of-eight with a jump position along the centre line, at the point of changeover) was to focus on the path and the pace and let the horse do the rest, which he naturally did admirably well. I tried to remember to keep still and in balance, and overall I did pretty well. On one occasion I jumped a bit ahead of him, but then I just let him have the reins and stayed still over him as he jumped at the correct spot, so I sorted it out pretty well. With a horse like him a more challenging task would have been nice, though, since he provides the perfect opportunity for me to practice more complex stuff, like distances, tricky paths, etc. He’s so amazingly easy to place just where you want him and, unless he gets really geared up, he responds so beautifully to all your aids.

I think it may have been a side-effect of how down I’ve felt the last week, but much of the class sort of flew by. I couldn’t really focus on specific things much at all, it was just so nice to be on a horse again.

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