Got it? I don’t. ūüôĀ





That was me riding down to each fence the other night during my lesson.¬† I couldn’t find a distance to save my life. Not even if I had a¬†GPS with stride-by-stride feedback.¬† Time after time I approached a fence, counting out loud like¬†some deranged¬†refugee from Sesame Street, only to take off from practically under the base or somewhere¬†three counties away.¬† It was not pretty, and the Sainted Mare was losing patience, as was my trainer.

The problem, according to my trainer, is the fact that I am trying to find a distance.¬† In doing so, I pull on the Sainted Mare’s face and disrupt her flow, and then we get all herky jerky and Up and Down and whatever distance I thought I saw is no longer there and then AAAAACCCKKKK!¬† CRAP!¬† BUGGER!¬† $!%#!!!!¬†¬†Sugar is either launching herself vertically in her best space shuttle impersonation or¬†hurling herself across space a la Carl Lewis in the long jump with me¬†clinging like a burr to her back.

My trainer implores me to forget about the distance, to get into my canter rhythm, balance her up about 6 strides out and then leave her alone. In other words, I should worry less about the distance and more about the rhythm and then, Voila! The distance will appear.  Easy Peasy.  Like magic.

So¬†I tried it.¬† Set off, got my canter, balanced her up, and “Let go and Let God,” so to speak.¬†¬†The Sainted Mare promptly grabbed the bit, took off and made a bid at the fence, deciding on a leap that would have put good ol’ Carl Lewis to shame.

The Carl Lewis Impersonation.

 Sigh.  Back to the drawing board.

So the next day, per my trainer’s suggestion, I worked on counting down to a small cross rail from 5,4, and 3 strides out.¬† I also worked on trotting in to a seven stride cross rail line and then cantering away, trying my best to stay still in my half seat and not to touch her face.

I learned two things.  1) I suck at counting.  2) I am very good at leaving my horse alone and finding distances to very small fences.

Are there any shows with¬†divisions called “Cross Rails for the Aged and Afraid?”¬† I think I’d have a shot in something like that.

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