Thursday, February 2, 2017

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The last few weeks had been going so wonderfully, I suppose I was due for a bad ride.  It started off pretty good.  We did a short warmup and some flatwork, then moved to our warmup fence, which was a little crossrail.  We jumped the crossrail from both directions, first from a trot then a canter.  Then my trainer turned it into a little vertical.  It was on the quarterline about halfway down the long side, and we were to jump in from the right lead and go around the end of the arena and loop around to jump a one stride combo on the diagonal.  Both of the jumps in the combo were crossrails, not very high but the sides were a little steep to entice me to jump the line straight (still not my strong suit).  I am still a little intimidated by combos.

The first time through we were a little long on the first jump, but okay on the combo.  The second time through the first jump felt really good, and we made it through the combo okay.  We added a third fence, the little brush box down the other side of the arena with plenty of time to adjust but it was on an angle so my trainer told me to be sure I got him in straight.  The first jump and combo felt really good, but I did not get the angle to the jump right and we made it over but it was messy and then I just fell apart and reverted back to all my old bad habits.

Another rider came into the arena, and for some reason that just made me really nervous and self-conscious.  Coming to the combo I was not straight and took my leg off.  Cupid went over the first jump, and we were pointed straight at the standard of the second fence.  I'm not even sure what I was thinking, if I was trying to get him over or out but Cupid somehow jumped over the second jump, all the way up on the highest part of the crossrail, and I shakily brought him to a stop.  Then all I could do was lean down and hug his neck and thank him for trying so hard, and getting us out safely.  But I felt so bad, I knew I let him down.  My trainer said that is the good thing about thoroughbreds, most of them will always try to make the jump.

My confidence was shot after that.  My trainer guided us through some flatwork exercises so I can regain my composure a little, then dropped the first jump and combo into very tiny little crossrails so we can end on a somewhat good note.

I was very discouraged after that lesson.  I felt bad about myself that I couldn't do better; all I need to do is sit up and support Cupid with my leg but I failed.  It just felt like I spend so much time and money pursuing this sport, I should be better by now!  And poor, sweet Cupid deserves better, he is still learning himself!

After that horrendous ride Cupid and I had an appointment with the vet.  I decided since he seems to have more frequent that average problems relating to his front feet (soreness and/or abscesses; or looks like abscess but clears up pretty quickly without any sign) that it might be worthwhile to get his feet x-rayed.  To rule out other possible causes of pain, though I wasn't expecting it but just for peace of mind.  And also to have as a base line for for the future.
Cupid was very good about standing still on a block, and patient in the cross ties.  He seems to really like his vet.  The vet took several shots of each foot and we viewed them on the screen.  He said overall everything looks very normal.  He said he would talk to our shoer about some very minor adjustments, but nothing to be concerned about.  He also recommended trying iodine or product to toughen Cupid's soles a little.  I was glad everything is okay.

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