in books, horses, riding

you know when it’s totally your fault? or, things that can be made a bit better by pop music

photoNot that I’m claiming the weather is my fault (either way–it’s been cold, but at least sunny, for a bit now.  Although it appears to be heading towards cold and rainy again). Nope, today my fault was the riding. Specifically, the jumping.

I hadn’t really jumped in awhile, and I was starting to feel rusty, so I’ve been trying to schedule in some jumping lessons at the riding school.  The first few went okay.  The session with the grids went really well, and the second session with a sort of mini course went fine, but today I was riding a different horse and just…lost my ability to steer.

It’s so frustrating, because I know that I sometimes I just lose my ability to really jump well (mostly only in stadium, why I think it is so much more terrifying to jump the jumps that will actually collapse is beyond understanding), and today was one of those days. I am definitely out of shape, which was part of it; the horse I was on was definitely bigger moving than many I ride normally, and he could perhaps (for my sake at least) have used a bit that was a tiny bit firmer than the loose link snaffle he had on, but the issues we had were 100% my fault. I kept basically steering the poor horse around the jump.  Because I was focussing on us having a perfect approach, I got all worked up about not being exactly straight and forgot that the most important part about jumping is to actually, perhaps, jump.

Argh. I did fix it a tiny bit at the end.

So, I promise to do better next time. Luckily, I usually only ride like an idiot one lesson at a time, so here’s hoping I got that out of the way.

To make myself feel better, I blasted Lily Allen all the way home. With a slight foray into Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee”. Oh well, you have to find what works for you, right?

On the book front, I have been incredibly lucky lately.  I just read Andy Mulligan’s “Return to Ribblestrop” which is going immediately into my “love it and will love it forever” list.  A list I jealously guard, I must emphasize, but there is something about that book that just made it…pretty much perfect.  The setting is totally fun (crazy boarding school), the kids in the story act like kids (okay weird highly intelligent kids, but kids nonetheless), and the plot is both twisty and satisfying without feeling at all hokey or gimmicky.  And they have a school song! I’ve also gotten my hands on the next “Lex Trent” book, read that amazing biography of Stalin, (the writing is the amazing bit, Stalin is still awful), and just had a generally good run on reading lately.  I’m also looking forward to going down to London for a blogger’s event this week.

Of course, I’m still mostly focussed on how to ride better next time (I promise I’m trying to use my perfectionist tendencies for good this time!), but I’ve got the playlist on, so hopefully it all turns out alright.