Jack ‘Em Up

Have I made it clear enough lately that I’m obsessed with my horse? I want to make sure you all know this. It’s extremely important.

I’m coming off my third lesson since getting back in the swing of things and it’s going AMAZINGLY. After managing to hang on over a simple 2’6″ course two weeks ago, I joined one of the bigger lessons and managed to grab mane over some more difficult 3’3″/1m courses. I was certainly sore the next day, but it actually went really smoothly and the height didn’t feel like a question mark at all. Francis started out with a much smaller stride than I’m used to so I had to get after him to open up, but once he realized he could gallop a bit he was lovely and adjustable and forward to the base.

I hopped back on for another lesson this past Sunday and I am just glowing about it. We kept the courses fairly simple – the ends of the ring were a bit deep from some recent rain – but the jumps were up around 1m and there were some useful questions about striding (long five away from home to a short four towards home was a great test of adjustability). And it all rode So. Stinkin’. Well. I felt like I could see the spot I wanted for every jump and then actually ride to that spot. This is a revelation.

Not a revelation: the pure obsession I have with this perfect animal

I always assumed that I just didn’t have a naturally good eye. This has always been one of my absolute biggest weaknesses and I have worked super hard over the years to build that skill set. Plot twist: trying to see a distance was never the problem. I actually have a decent eye. It was the adjustability and responsiveness that were missing to actually get us to the spot I saw. Now that we have that I feel like we have so many more options open to us. Frankie definitely still wants me to tell him where I want him, but he is so much faster to say “yes ma’am” and allow me to place him.

So now that we’re comfortably coursing at 1m again, we’re jacking the jumps up some more to test the waters at 1.10m-1.15m. We have a grid lesson planned for later this week to (1) give me a chance to re-acclimate to the motion of the bigger jumps without thinking about a course and (2) use some placement poles to encourage Frankie to jump a bit straighter over his body. I’m hoping that will come back to us pretty quickly; it’s been 2+ years since we’ve competed higher than 1m but we’ve built a TON of strength and ability in the meantime.

HUGE shoutout to my friend Aimee for sharing her amazing Meeko with me lately. His big gorgeous movement has been a major core workout for me and has helped so much in the process of getting back in shape!

We also have our show coming up this Saturday to knock the rust off around the 1m. It’s less than 10 minutes away from the barn and we’re popping in a couple open jumper classes in the afternoon, and I think it’s going to be a perfect way to see how we’re feeling before finalizing our plans for Piedmont.

I also did a bad thing and bought these. My trainer is amusedly resigned. I told her to blame Holly.


7 thoughts on “Jack ‘Em Up

  1. carey 08/31/2020 / 9:50 am

    !!! Fun jumps, fun stirrups! So glad you’re getting back in the groove with big jumps. The lorenzinis are awesome, I love mine, hope you love yours!


    • Olivia Pechstein 09/01/2020 / 8:03 am

      So far I really love them, I’m not super picky about stirrups but these are noticeably more secure!


  2. Stacie E Seidman 08/31/2020 / 10:11 am

    Woohoo!!! And YES about the eye thing… I feel the same. I find lately I can’t see the distances with miss Shiny, but the problem is that she’s gotten a little behind the leg and I have no adjustability. Ahhh… always stuff to work on!
    Do excited for you and Franky to get back out there!!!


    • Olivia Pechstein 09/01/2020 / 8:04 am

      I refuse to believe that Shiny is anything less than a perfect pony princess at all times ❤


  3. Holly 09/01/2020 / 7:13 am

    I will take this blame, it’s cool. Can’t wait to see Franks and you take on the big jompies!


  4. eventerinprogress 09/01/2020 / 7:47 pm

    Good luck and have fun! Also, loving the stirrups. I have the PEI version which, as far as I can tell, are exactly the same as the Lorenzini stirrups and I LOVE THEM


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