On Tuesday this week I fully intended to go up to the outdoor dressage ring and do some of my dressage “homework” before my coach Belinda Trussell came back from horse shows at Saugerties NY and Devon PA.
But then I changed my mind.
It was a beautiful sunny fall day and I decided to do something completely different! So we went up to the big grass field and I shortened my stirrups. Then we trotted around the field and then onto the semicircular loop trail that goes through the forest and comes back out to the grass field. Then we did it at the canter. Then I looked at a small trail that leads off the grass field and up a hill. There is a tree down across the trail. I new that Lynsey Rowan had jumped Biasini over this while I had been away recently. We walked up to it and I noticed it had a small branch a couple of feet in front of the fallen tree trunk. “Well,” I said to myself ” we can’t come up to this and then break to trot and get messed up with the branch and make a complete pigs ear of the whole thing. I will need to ride him up to this and have him stand back and clear the branch and the tree trunk.” I didn’t need to be a cross country eventing genius to know what was needed.
What was I thinking? More than 50 years ago I did eventing and was sailing around cross country courses without a care in the world. Well,I did come off a few times, got knocked out once and mashed my knee up another time when a horse and I both fell going down a bank. But all that was a thousand years ago. I now have two replaced hips and I’m 68 years old and I’m a dressage rider. And then I said:
“To hell with it! The sun is out. I’m living for today.”
I turned Biasini and returned to the grass field, picked up the canter and cantered round the forest loop picking up speed as we came up the hill, went for a hand gallop across the field, then took him back for two strides, up the small trail, 3….2….1 and WHEEEE…..he flew over the jump and cantered on up the hill. He did it perfectly! I let out a loud “Wooo Hoooo?” I patted him with both hands as we cantered up to the top of the hill. When we got to the top I stopped him and gave him a big pat and thanked him. He had given me a wonderful gift.
He had taken me back to being a teenager and it felt absolutely brilliant!
I know I will not do more jumping. Discretion is the greater part of valor after all. But I will certainly do more gallops! I would also like to add that when I had my dressage lesson the next day both of us did rather well!