Once again, Audio and I did big kid stuff. Of course, everything is small to Audio… He’s done grand prix jumping for years. So this stuff is nothing for him. It’s so reassuring to have a partner so confident because I’m not the most confident jumper in the world. He takes such good care of me, no matter how I see or don’t see a distance and forget to make a decision.
Our flat work began solo, which I really enjoy. It gives me a chance to kind of feel out my body and know what I need to expect out of myself that day. The ring was set up with two lines of grids and some various singles, so there was lots of room to work on the rail and quarter line. We did a lap of walking warm up, which I spent in two point. Like I told Megan, I’m punishing myself for being fat because I’m really displeased with the way I look right now. Then we did some trotting circles. Because there was so much room to work, my mind jumped to the idea of serpentines. I LOVE serpentines. They are a fantastic exercise for straightness and turns. I also discovered that my idea of a marching trot and an actual marching trot are very different. We cantered a little bit to keep him from getting bored. When Megan joined us in the arena, I proudly reported that I was doing serpentines. She loved the idea and had me work some more. This is when I discovered that, no, my trot was not actually going anywhere. With a lot more leg, I actually got a nice working trot out of him, though I never achieved the extended trot that Megan wanted to see out of us.
We warmed up on a single with the intent of working on landing the lead or at the very least improving my timing of his flying changes. Right to left was great! We had a nice distance and I had my body set right so that he was able to change in the air. Left to right was a very different story. Because I couldn’t shift my weight out of his way, we struggled time and again. After the third failed attempt, Megan had me rollback immediately after the jump as though I were going to canter down the long side of the arena. That did the trick. So the next time, we returned to the figure-8 pattern and though I did not have enough pace, Audio was able to change for me. The weakness in my leg comes back to haunt me later in this lesson.
It’s grid week at Shamrock Manor. Our grid was pretty basic: trot-in one stride, two stride, one stride. Megan had me alternate directions for approach and exit. If I came in from the left, exit to the right. If I came in from the right, exit to the left. Big surprise that I did much better exiting right. Our first pass through, the jumps were verticals. Then we moved up to oxers. I’m really growing up, guys. By the end of the lesson, Megan had the back oxer up to 2’9″, maybe 3′. We couldn’t find the tape measure to check. It’s the biggest I’ve jumped in years. Not too shabby for coming back from an injury! Rest assured, Megan caught it all on film, expletives included. Audio felt like he launched off the ground like a rocket, but it really wasn’t that bad. I just tend to be a bit dramatic.
So I got a tape measure and measured the distance from the middle of my pelvis to the floor: 35″. I JUMPED 3′. HOLY COW. I LOVE AUDIO SO MUCH.