I was pumped to see we’d been moved up to a ‘big kid’ lesson this weekend on the schedule – by which I mean, riding with my friend Lindsey who spent last season consistently at BN. Archie has been going awesome and I’ve been leaving the barn thrilled, so this felt like an accomplishment with some of our winter work paying off.
Sure enough, it did. Saturday was sunny, 70 degrees, so basically my perfect day and Archie was freaking ON IT the entire lesson. In front of my leg, bending, I’d basically think something and he was right there with me and totally game. It was easily the best lesson we’ve ever had. An aside, when you’re 15.1h and have short legs and still improving doing the actual strides is… hard. We’re pros at the add. And the double add (raise your hand if you’ve put 4 in a 2 stride HI HELLO WHATS UP).
But Saturday everything was coming up awesome, so when we landed off a vertical, he was in front of my leg, I asked for more and he gave it to me, I was like, “Oh hell yeah, we’re gonna actually do one in the one stride!” We landed off the vertical, I pushed a little past the distance, let my shoulders get in front of me and Archie took a peek, my balance went wonky and he turned away… and I landed on the standard. Damnit.
I was dizzy, but otherwise fine, but nobody was gung ho on letting me get back on, so luckily Lindsey hopped on him and took him around a few fences to finish. He came through that one stride and BLASTED off the ground. My fall was just a mistake – he wasn’t bad, it wasn’t dirty, none of the above. Mostly I was mad that such an awesome lesson and course finished like THAT.
I opted to join a Sunday lesson too; normally I wouldn’t jump both days, but I knew for my own mental state I needed to get back on and jump around vs sitting for a week before my next lesson. Of course, it went from 70 and sunny on Saturday to 40, overcast and so windy they had to hold some of the standards up… super pleasant Sunday.
We started with circling over two verticals and then progressively added in to do a full course . Wouldn’t you know, this horse stepped up like nothing had happened at all the previous day and popped around in the horrendous wind like a seasoned little dude. He had every right to be ~sPiCy~, but seriously just took care of me. Including where we tripped a stride out from a vertical, he had every right to slam on the brakes, but I floated the reins and he hopped over like a freaking short stirrup pony.
I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how proud I am of Archie the past few weeks, but damn. This horse is not the same horse who stepped off the trailer in August, wide eyed and distrustful. Our slow and steady has started to pay off and he’s downright fun these days. I’m excited to hopefully get out and show this year, but honestly, it would be a bonus, not the goal. He’s a little quirky, a lot goofy and he’s turning into the horse I saw peeks of on that video seven months ago. My trainer has even remarked how different he is and the fact that I’m riding him like a completely different horse too. Some of that is trust bank, some of that is a relationship we’ve built and some is Archie stepping up to be the horse I knew he could be.
It’s back up to 60 and sunny today (seriously THIS STATE WTF INDIANA) and should hang out here the rest of the week, so he’ll get today off, we’ll have our regular Tuesday dressage lesson and hopefully some fun hacking the rest of the week. Spring is here and the party pony is coming out of hibernation.