I got papi all dressed up in his jumping gear and headed out. Trainer A flagged us down and told me to head to the jumping field next to the Ritz. No one was turned out there and it was a gorgeous day, time to practice getting Theo over new fences. Mi papi got all perky thinking it was a trail ride, but wasn't too disappointed once he realized what the game plan was for the day.
Heading away from the rings?! OKAY!
We didn't do anything too dramatic or wild, we just got out in the field and practiced jumping on uneven footing over jumps he hasn't done yet. Log, little stone wall, skinny, even the very weathered roll top. The picture chops out the steep incline off to my right that we were cantering up and carefully trotting down. Maybe next season I'll have the guts to canter down.
So many jumps, so little time
That rolltop was a gut check for both of us. As a kid, my first pony always stopped at rolltops. I always consider them spooky. With the ripped fabric, Theo was pretty sure there were aliens living inside. But he jumped it on the first try, even if he pulled his favorite trick and tried to look between his knees on the way over. Nothing else even got a blink from him. His adrenaline was up and he was happily locking on to fences. We had to practice cantering around in a half seat since I haven't done that in a long time. It's a different set of muscles, and they're muscles I haven't been working recently. Theo was also a bit confused to have a whole set of aids disappear, but we were having fun, so whatever man!
As a side note, I popped on my new stirrup leathers and stirrups today (before I knew I was going cross country schooling). The leathers are a set of Prestige lined leathers I picked up for a song on Ebay to help keep the wear on the calfskin flaps to a minimum. I got child length. I'm not proud of that. My new stirrups are some composites I got from Smartpak. For $30, I figured I'd give them a whirl. It's not like I jump in the open or anything . . . .
Theo is the master of the man bun
After about five minutes, I completely forgot they were anything different. My ankles felt good, the bit of cushioning in the foot bed kept my ankles intact even when he popped a big effort over the rolltop, and it felt more stable than my more narrow, jointed stirrups that are now on my dressage saddle. I liked them. I didn't think I would. And my saddle is noticeably lighter. Trainer A is going to hop on and try them since she didn't like composite stirrups in the past. I had no trouble hanging on to them, so maybe she'll take a fancy to these. Can't beat the price and the black and blue colors are a bonus for me.
I'm going to forget how to be a DQ at this rate. Two cross country schools in a week? Crazy talk!