This is an artist’s rendition of me jumping Lizzie yesterday:

Small fence, about a foot high…and she just flies over it. She absolutely loves jumping. The problem is, her enthusiasm exceeds my ability to stay with her. She’s a fairly large, powerful horse, and she jumps with a lot of power, really rounding and tucking her legs up underneath her, which is good. But it feels like such a huge movement that I feel like a Thelwell cartoon, where the little kid is airborne about three feet above the saddle. The last jump we did (I’d been cautiously trotting the jumps), she broke into a canter before, stood back and just flew over it. Thank god she stayed straight upon landing, because from where I was perched over her shoulder, if she’d veered at all, I’d have been jumped off. She was calm (didn’t tear off after the fences or anything) but so excited and happy I hated to call it a day…but I was going to end up on the ground sooner or later, and after my long-term phobia about jumping that wouldn’t be a good thing. :(

I was talking to one of my sisters on the phone last night, and we were laughing about the difference between being a kid and being a cautious adult: we used to stack haybales in the pasture and jump them bareback, barefoot, and without helmets. (I don’t even think I owned a helmet until my mid-twenties – people just didn’t wear them then.) We had no fear. And now I jump with a helmet, a body protector, and my cellphone in case I come off, snap my spine and have to call for help. lol…totally pathetic.

So, no more jumping until I can do it in a lesson, with someone to set up a grid and help Lizzie to concentrate, rather than just enjoying the “wheeee” factor of single fences. :)

8 thoughts on “Jumping”

  1. I remember riding my bike down busy country roads, city streets and so on without a helmet.. today its like a comedy trying to find a bike helmet that fits….

  2. Yeah, I never even thought to wear a helmet until I started exercising horses for a steeplechase guy and got my caliente. Now I won’t mount without one, after all of the near misses I’ve had, I’m not pushing my luck.

  3. I couldn’t ride now without one, even just flatwork. But we never would have considered it at the time…most of my old (non-show) riding pics are helmetless.

  4. Cute picture! :) It’s great to hear her getting excited about something. Just try and hold on! Don’t want you coming off from that height!


  5. dryadmeagenn

    Yep, I used to love to jump bareback…no helmet or anything…just wearing a bathing suit top and jeans or shorts (summer in Florida, skin washes easier than clothing for horse sweat/dirt/hair). Often I didn’t even bother with a bridle, but just used the halter and a lead rope or two. I still hate wearing a helmet, but understand the reasons for wearing them when jumping and do so. However, I also don’t like to jump solid things such as large trees or stone fences. I like jumps that come apart if they get hit without hurting horse or rider. Foam bricks, etc….it can LOOK as solid as anything, so long as it’s not really. :)

  6. Yes, those were the days. I always wear a helmet now, even though we fell off tons of times and no one ever got hurt. :)

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