While waiting for Dexter to recover from his abscess, I recently had a chance to borrow a wonderful horse for a lesson. Basil is an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred cross who competed in a long-format CCI* last year at the age of only 7. This particular one-star is a Preliminary-level event with steeplechase and roads & tracks before the cross-country course begins. According to his rider, he finished with tons of gas left in the tank!
At the end of the lesson, I asked my trainer how big the jump was – I just had to know! She measured and said it was 3’10”, which topped my old record (set many years ago in high school) of 3’9″. We were out at the barn the next day doing a photo shoot, so Lesley took this picture of me next to the jump, which was still up from the night before.
I would encourage any of you who have ever wanted to jump to give it a try. But always stick to the small stuff until you have a secure and independent position. Nothing will shake your confidence like over-facing yourself too soon, and having a bad stop and/or fall. A fall I took early on in my riding career took at least two years to recover from in terms of confidence – and it was entirely my fault, as I was jumping with a friend without my trainer present, and tried a jump it was probably obvious I shouldn’t have.
Do you like to jump? What are you working on now? Click “submit a comment” below and let us know!
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