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I’m still not sure what was going on with us on Friday.  Cally seemed groggy but reactive and not herself, and then I came home that night and got SICK.  Saturday I didn’t move except from bed to couch, and I don’t think I actually kept any food contained in my digestive system.  Sunday I seemed to be containing a bit of tea and two plain waffles, so I decided to head out to the barn and see what was up with my horse.

It was windy, and the jousting folks were there, and I had practically zero muscle power.  So of course I decided to get on and see how she felt.  And she was completely fabulous.  Not groggy or weird or reactive, didn’t bat an eye at wind or strange horses in the other ring, even popped over a few little fences like no big deal.  So whatever was up on Friday, seemed to be fixed.  The trip out to the barn fixed me, though, and I spend the rest of the day crashed on the couch again, but I did manage to actually eat some chicken noodle soup, so yay for food.

Naturally, this made a lesson on Monday morning seem like the perfect idea.  Except that was like the only day that worked for the week, because the rain is returning, plus I’ve got the HVAC guy working on my air conditioner (that I may never need because summer is never coming…) so, Monday it was.  I considered just asking Holly to ride her, but I’d managed to eat breakfast and was feeling OK if a bit tired, and decided to see how it went.  Holly took it pretty easy on me, and we didn’t do a lot of flatwork to warm up, just some basic circles and bending, then some canter poles.  By that point I was kind of panting and asked to walk, and caught my breath while Holly set some stuff.

Maybe my feeling a little weaker than normal helped remind me to sit up and back, because I pretty much did that and steered, and basically left Cally alone to do her job, which I think she appreciated.  We also added a standing martingale, which I think helped in the corners a bit, as she couldn’t get quite so strong and pull me through them.  I may start using one more when we jump, as she seemed to know it was there and not engage it, and just kept herself a bit steadier through the end and the long gallops to singles.

Once we actually started jumping, I was feeling pretty good, and Holly kept things pretty simple to start, and pretty small all lesson, and I just concentrated on sitting up to the fence.  It seemed to work out pretty well.

Obviously not all the distances were perfect, but none of them were gasp-worthy terrible, which warming up is what I was worried the whole lesson was going to feel like.

The second course we did was tougher. And I was having trouble with keeping leg on out of the corners, so we actually got a bit of an off distance to the two, but it still felt like a solid course, and we got the tougher bending line perfectly fine.

Maybe my best take away from this, besides the value of Sitting Up, is the value of maybe backing off the management a little and just keeping us steady with my body, and letting Cally do her job. Because she’s feeling good and confident, has had some valuable schools and a show with Holly to give her a boost on that front and get her Knowing Her Job, and I have to be able to sit up, and ride like a hunter by allowing my horse to do it’s job without my fussing with her. Then it’s easier for both of us.

I think the next show we do, she definitely needs to go Jump Some Things.

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