Sometimes the best things in life are completely unexpected. And sometimes, the unexpected isn’t really unexpected. It’s premeditated by an enabler. Yup, I’m talking about Luc’s owner and my sister, Jen, again. She is definitely an enabler when it comes to my riding. Not only is she the one who finally convinced me to get back into it, she’s also the one who pushes me (in a good way) into testing my boundaries in the saddle. It’s thanks to her that I cantered for the first time, rode without stirrups, rode bareback, took Luc out on the trails and jumped. And jumped, and jumped and jumped. I think she likes it even more than I do!
This week I hadn’t really come to the barn with a plan in mind. But Jen sure had. After tacking Luc up and getting all warmed up (did I mention it was freezing cold again?), she had me do some pole work. We cantered down the line – a bounce to a one stride to a one stride to a bounce. Luc was nice and relaxed the first time. The second time he was a lot more forward. I’m pretty sure he has started to associate doing poles with eventually jumping – his favorite activity.
We did the pole line a few more times in each direction, and then Jen talked me into putting up a small vertical in the middle of the line. Luc and I soared down the line, which was set a little tight on purpose. I did manage to get his pace corrected before we barrelled right through the fence. Heading toward home proved to be a little more challenging, and for a split second I thought we were going to bounce the first one stride. The next time around in that direction I chanted easy, easy, easy the entire time and things worked out a little better.
I was ready to call it a day. Luc had been good, with just one random spook the entire ride, but Jen had other plans. She’s decided I need to work on oxers, so down went the vertical and up went a small oxer. Luc jumped it amazingly! I on the other hand am completely not used to him actually using his butt to power over the fences, and nearly got launched out of the tack. The second time around I was ready for the bigger bascule and managed not to get so dislodged. We went through the line a few more times before my task master told me I could quit. I have to say, I owe her a huge debt of thanks for always pushing me. It was an unexpectedly enjoyable ride!
So here’s to all the good enablers! For pushing us past out limits, for helping us experience new things, and for making life a little more unexpected and a whole lot more enjoyable!