In case anyone was wondering, this is what a 1.60m maxed out oxer looks like when it's sitting in your home arena. #hi
When Equestrian at Hart and L over at Viva Carlos decided to put on Twopointober, I was excited. Then I ended up horse showing three weeks in a row, and missed the cutoff to get in my baseline time. Nonetheless, it's all about self improvement and not winning shiny prizes (so I keep telling myself...) so I'm doing Twopointober on my own terms!
My original baseline time was 6min28sec, and I could probably have held it a bit longer, but my back was not a happy camper. I was surprised to find that I was actually *sore* the next day from just that amount of two point! It definitely drove the point (har) home that I needed to do some work.
I timed myself at the warm-up on one of the horses I rode today, the super fun young jumper I talked about a little in my last post, and let him meander around at walk and trot. I pushed it pretty far this time, and basically only sat down when my back was burning. My legs were kinda fine, but the back... not so much.
My hands are not actually on the neck, I SWEAR.
Close to a two minute improvement in a week, which I'm fairly happy with, particularly since I haven't exactly been practicing beyond regular lessons and riding and a bit of no stirrup work. Though now, a few hours after, whew - I can feel it! It's interesting, because very few things make me feel very sore in my inner thighs these days unless I do, like, two horses without stirrups, but this got me. And my back, though it feels like it got run over by a truck, also feels oddly relaxed, where it usually just hurts. My legs themselves feel like I just did a decent round of squats. Hot bath, here I come.
In other news, I had a lesson yesterday with Trainer which was middling at best. We did more work with extension, medium, collection and I think I am really getting the hang of it. I am, of course, exceptionally lucky that I get to practice on quite a few horses, which makes a difference. Trainer went one step further this time and had me practice collection on the way to a fence - like I had to add the stride in, every time. Which was HARD. I went to my usual habits when jumping which is the "get it done and don't die" approach; unfortunately not the goal of the exercise! I tend to do a lot of give and take when I want my horse to collect on the way to a jump, and learning to keep that very strong connection backed up by a *lot* of leg was tough. By the end, both Riley and I were tired, and I really hope my eye is not permanently fixed to the short one now! I'm not sure exactly how much we got accomplished, other than reinforcing the idea of collection and extension. Trainer rambled on a little later about the importance of repetition, and I guess he's right. I think I got really spoiled last week with working with this new concept and was totally excited to learn something else life-changing, but realistically, we should all probably practice this first.