January 24, 2012 6 Comments
Tonight’s ride took an unexpected departure – in more ways than one.
As we warmed up, I hopped up into two point and let Derby roll. He was clearly feeling good, going around at a spanking trot. For fun, I pointed him at a pole laying on the ground.
He jumped it. Seriously jumped it, as gathered himself and jumped it.
It has been three decades since I jumped.
He cantered off but came right back to me, as I exclaimed “Oh, my god, we jumped!” Liz was riding and concurred, adding that it was a proper jump, not a crowhop over the pole.
Christy walked back through the arena and I exclaimed (again) “We jumped! Christy, we jumped!”
“Let me see!” was her response. I demurred, then said, what the heck. We picked up the trot, I hopped back into two point, and aimed at the pole. As we approached, I (very unnecessarily) gave Derbs a little click.
Derby proceeded to LAUNCH himself over the pole. I felt his back round and then found myself popped out of the tack. Okay, holy crap, that’s what bascule feels like. Upon landing, Derby was a bit exuberant and got away from me. I wasn’t balanced, nor was he, and we didn’t make it around the turn. Or, more precisely, he made it, but I didn’t. I slithered off after riding a couple strides up on his neck. Happily, I was able to hop up laughing, and go fetch my horse.
To his credit, Derbs is not a fan of losing his rider. He stood, looking worried and doing that stressy, heavy, rapid breathing that horses do when they are worried. He balked at the mounting block, and was still visibly upset. I intended to get back on, but he looked like he might lose his marbles. We walked around for a while, until he regained his composure. By that time, however, my hind end was starting to tighten up. Yep. I landed on my butt again. Given the alternatives, that’s the spot I would have chosen.
After the fact, Christy and Liz told me they guesstimated the height of Derby’s jump approached 3 feet. Christy confirmed that he was really round. So, he’s a fancy jumper. That’s great. I might experiment with jumping again – when the weather is a lot warmer and maybe the horse will be more inclined to use an appropriate amount of effort to get over obstacles. And I’ll be a lot stronger in my two-point when that time comes, too.
For now, I’m just glad I got up laughing.