However, the latter half of my staycation consisted of several consecutive days of no precip, light winds, and sunshine. A perfect combination to setup idea footing for jumping! And so, on the final evening of my staycation, I dusted off my jumping skillset and took Grif out for his favorite kind of fun.
We flatted for a good 20 minutes, added in some ground pole work, then cavaletti exercises, and finally popped over the 4 XC jumps I currently have setup in the field. (One is out of view of the camera.)
While rusty, there was SO much about this ride to feel good about. Grif has matured so much and I have a lot more trust in him these days than I once did so far as will-he-or-won't-he-jump. He was forward and our rhythm was smooth and comfortable. Honestly, prior to pulling out the camera, things felt the best I think they've EVER felt. But then of course, despite knowing the video would never have to be shared or saved, once I started filming things didn't feel quite as perfect.
Don't get me wrong, for not jumping with any kind of consistency for the better part of a year, there is SO much to be happy about. But all the same, I wish just once my nerves about being "watched" could be completely absent (though I must admit, those nerves are infinitely chiller than they once were - go me!) so I could have a visual of what that "perfect" feeling actually looked like. I'm just so curious!
The best takeaway from this jump school is that Grif and I both still have it. We may be rusty in areas, but the foundation we built over the past several years is still very much there. Our trust in one another has grown, too, and with that I'm really excited to see what we may accomplish later this year.
If I have my druthers, I'd really like to get out to two or three MDHT schooling trials at Loch Moy this year. That will certainly depend on time/finances though. However, making it to these events will depend greatly on finances and scheduling conflicts (of which I have many lol).
What I absolutely DO plan to do this spring, however, is to construct several more XC jumps on my property that aren't in the horses' pasture. I've got three or four designs in mind right now, and I have all the materials I need to construct them. It's really just a matter of finding the time to do the grunt work once the weather breaks. I reckon focusing on one jump every couple weeks will be more than doable though.
The project as a whole should be much simpler than building a barn was last year, haha! And the thrill of having my own little private XC course will be beyond awesome. As much as I wish for more snow to ski (we did have 4-6" dumped on us last night), this project certainly has me eager for spring weather more than ever. Ah well, I'll have to be patient.