My Saturday morning started out innocently enough. I was going to stop by and watch my friend Claire in her jumping lesson down the street from Shiloh West before heading over for my lesson. Claire rides at an eventing barn and owns a super cute young thoroughbred named Louie.
I hadn't seen them go, just stopped out for introductions, and was excited to get some jumping footage for Claire. When I arrived the group had already finished flatwork and were under way with the jumping portion of the lesson- Claire and Louie executed an excellent first course!
The jumps went up and it was time for round two. Once again they were rolling smoothly along, laying out a beautiful course, that is, until they got to the last vertical (if anyone is actually brave enough to watch- the last vertical is coming up at 1:18. Another warning- I say a bad word at 1:20).
Louie had an indecisive moment- should he go long or add a stride, and didn't really do either. Instead he and Claire took a little tumble. Luckily both horse and rider are just fine. Loulou had a couple of scrapes on his front right but is trotting sound and Claire walked away without a scratch.
Honestly, seeing that fall set me back on my heels a bit. Even riding the most seasoned of horses (Polly), I have those "I don't see a distance OMG" moments with some regularity. And the correct response to those moments is to support and let the horse figure it out. How you do that "hey man (baby horse)- you figure it out" ride seems like almost an insurmountable challenge, when they may actually not know what to do themselves.
Which is why I need to go and canter my young horse around a course stat before my molehill becomes a mountain.
I'm super proud of Claire who popped up without shedding a tear (I might have cried a little bit) and is ready to get back in the saddle once Louie is feeling 100%. She's an inspiration to me!