Cutie pie honey bunch!
Tuesday, Jingle and I, (and Mac and Brigitte!), tried something new - English!
I've ridden "English" before, a horse I used to ride - Harry, was ridden English, but that was a long time ago, and I think I was generally riding Western in an English saddle more than anything. A couple girls at the barn said they'd lend us their tack and give us a jumping lesson, so we went for it!
It was actually super fun - as you guys know, i've been taking it pretty slow with 'ol Jingle Jangle. He was feeling pretty fresh, giving it his all at the extended trot, at one point one of my "coaches" said "Well.. Jingle doesn't really need to be pushed up anymore than he is", haha, nope.. he never does.
After our warmup they asked us to canter-up... on our right lead... my stomach twisted a bit. Here I was, in this teeny tiny saddle, and I haven't really cantered my horse in three weeks and our right lead is not our best... ugh. But, hey!, this is for fun - what could happen, I had my helmet on. Low and behold - my horse surprised me, sure it wasn't the nicest, softest, slowest canter but he also wasn't galloping like a mad man around the arena AND he consistently picked up his lead - even when he dropped into a trot. Proud of my crazy horse.
They had set up some ground-poles to help us with our "stride", over one ground poles, one stride, over the next. They said that Jingle was doing really well, awesome.. because I was pretty much along for the ride just trying to figure out my position and what not. I worked on holding him steady, and he seemed to figure it out.
Then after some of that, we jumped a little line at the trot! It was just one little cross rail, two ground poles, and a second cross rail. The first time Jingle completely balked, which really surprised me, generally he pops over every little thing I point him towards, but the girls mentioned that the standards and the complete set up is a whole lot different than a log on a trail, or a cavaletti on the rail. I let him go around and they told me that they'd rather me walk calmly and centered over everything then let him deek out, because if I let him do that, he might one day do that on a course at the canter.. and nobody wants that.
Sitting a little western in this one... haha.
So, round two, calm and centered I worked on getting him straight and nicely through the line... the first crossrail he over-jumped and I was pleased that I actually stayed in my itty bitty english saddle. From then on in, he went over the jumps and I just had to work on keeping my legs on him, and getting him straight. Also, I was being reminded to keep my reins short... I kept thinking, "this short?! really?! no, this is SO short?!" Alright Louisa, welcome to English. So I worked on shortening my reins but also staying off his face. He pretty regularly knocked down the last crossrail, but he's figuring this out and so was I - we were having fun, that's all that matters!
We had a lot of fun, and I was pretty proud of him. He looks pretty cute in English tack if I do say so myself! I woke up this morning with little bruises on my shins where my cowboy boots have dug in - huh - would ya look at that. Anyways, it was an awesome night, everyone was just having fun and being positive, and Jingle was really listening to me. We had a couple teeny tiny pissy hiccups along the way, but we got through them all pretty pleasantly. Good Boy!
Afterwards Brigitte and I were feeling a little hungry... so we headed to our favourite late-night Denny's and consumed, respectively, a grand slam (bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, 4 pancakes), eggs benny and then shared onion rings, fries and mozza sticks, 4 different types of dips and then each had a drink and a milkshake... felt a bit sick afterwards, I will admit.