AND NOT TO BREAK A FALL, EITHER It looked to be one of those days that would find us all lashed into the indoor— low, low cloud, high, high winds. Somehow, by the time we’d gotten up the mountain, all seemed, if not calm, then contained.

Only three of us in the lesson. Outstanding. We went outside. Feh. Rebel piles on even more layers of balk when we’re outside.

We managed. There was the usual argument about the canter, but once we got going, they were good ones: I’m beginning to feel some depth of seat, length of leg, am rockin’ that pelvis. So, good.

Even better was that all three of us love to jump, and Emma set up a mini-course for us today that required us to really pay attention.

I know you’re always supposed to pay attention, but in a big ride, with only one fence, both horse and rider can start to mentally wander.

Not today.

There was a fence, crosspoles, low, and a pole on the ground two strides beyond that. Another small jump was set up roughly perpendicular to the first fence and the pole; we would land in the space between that fence and that pole.

We took the first fence in trot. Upon landing, we were to pick up canter, get a line in to the second fence, return to the trot, jump, pick up canter, and rejoin the ride.

Awesome! It is so easy to get Reb to canter when we’ve both got something else on our minds. My leg went back with authority upon landing, and he leapt into the transition. I sat securely as I had to start focusing on the return to trot, on the approach, on the fence.

And then Emma added a third fence to take in canter. We had a refusal, as an argument erupted between Rebel and I as to the order of the jumps— he was pretty interested in the new obstacles and wanted to go for it immediately. Peeved, he slowed down and stopped at the second fence. Ah, well.

It was so satisfying— it felt like real work. And it was hard work, a good workout, my plaits were wet down to the elastics from the exertion.

More of this, please!

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