First off, I didn't die.
The more I try to get back into fighting shape, the more things go on my "Must Do Without Dying" list. I do have one. Really, I do. One that's been lingering is jumping. I mean. What?! I used to jump ALL the time and was actually pretty boss at it. My trainers in high school were great about telling me to just get my ass over things and be done with it.
Gotta love eventers!
Problem was, I am now acutely aware of how much guts and glory training I had. I understand strides but would be hard pressed to hit them exactly. I have a vague idea of how big a jump is (this one is bigger than that one!) and a laundry list of other things I never was taught/bothered to learn properly. Natural talent gets you far as a fit youngster but once your body has been pilaged by pregnancy and injury, natural talent seems like the enemy.
Aww, you can do it!
So logically I began the process. While my background seems wild and wooly, we were definitely NOT the kids jumping anything and everything just to do it. No, it was always in lessons, clinics, or schooling days and NEVER unsupervised. As someone that is on her own with her horses, this is a terrifying concept now.
Thinking back on my past, I decided to contact someone that I'd loved to train with before: Ruth Sawin. Pine Hill was my favorite place to be during a trying teenage period and in some ways I feel like I'm going to Graceland when I'm there. I contacted Ruth. Surely she was too busy to babysit some crazy 34 year old out of shape has been. She'd never email me back.
But she did. Immediately.
The surge of relief and horror flew over me. This was going to happen! Wait, this was going to happen!?!?! Oh crap.
The day came and it was brutally cold. I could back out... NO! I needed to do this. If I was rubbish then I could simply bail and do reining where I keep my feet on a ground. In the back of my mind I knew that was not the right path, so I loaded up Katy (the trustworthy one) like a weenie and made the drive I will know by heart until I die.
I think when we arrived it was nipping at about 30 degrees F. In Texas, that's cold. And naturally there was a wind. My mare was good - until I went to get on her. Awesomepants. I took a breath and just jumped on her. She was uptight. I was going to die. Moving her on and focusing on work I found that we could walk, trot, canter and not die. Going good so far. I could call it quits and be happy probably.
Then Ruth showed up. I was nervous, excited, happy, and frozen. My butt.literally.was.frozen. She was kind and had nice things to say about my Craigslist Special horse. I was relieved and informed her that my goal was to simply jump something. Anything. A 6" crossrail would suffice. They have those, right? I have no idea.
The lesson went fine and I was relieved to find out that while I was out of shape, I wasn't going to die. Jumping was a bit like riding a bike and that brought some confidence. Ruth kindly let us go play over some logs - LOGS!- on cross country and we trotted through the water. And over the bridge. And yes, through the woods. The jumps were tiny but I remembered now why I loved eventing.
She also pointed out that my 40 year old Stubben Sieg from Germany was not the best option for my butt. Ruth probably said this much more eloquently but that was the gist of it. More on that later... but for now:
Sold. And not dead. Victory is mine!