Jump-Jump Mule

My elbow has been getting progressively worse despite a lot of PT and other therapy. On Wednesday, I got x-rays which showed nothing and now I have to get an MRI. In complaining talking to my doctor, he said I could resume using my right arm while riding. It'll take whatever's wrong longer to heal, but since they're not even sure what's wrong with me, there's not much harm in using my arm. Especially if it's annoying me this much and cutting off my only consistent form of exercise.

So I put the mule's bridle on - let me tell you how happy she was about that - and took her up to the ring to do some dressage work. She was a absolutely full of it. We had to have quite a few discussions on halting and downward transitions before we could really get to work. There were some canter poles set up in the ring and every time I took her to them, she popped over them like they were jumps.

Today I put her jump tack on and had my husband set up two little jumps for us. We haven't jumped since October, so we kept the jumps low and only did them a few times. The mule was absolutely pumped.

Can't trot, must canter

One of the things I love about jumping with Nilla is that it's one of the few arena things she really likes doing. And since she is so terrible at cantering, it's a great way to get a lot of canter practice in with some enthusiasm on her part.

Of course,enthusiasm doesn't magically make her good at cantering so we had some flailing around turns and bursts into canter that more resembled bucking than a transition. There were a few times I had to skip the jump line and address some cantering behavior before going back to jumping. Nonetheless, she was great for the actual jumping.

She was calm and quite over the jumps with minimal attempts to hurl her head to the ground and pull me down/pull the reins out of my hands. I've developed such a defensive style of riding where I sit back much too early and too far since I'm convinced she's going to root after the jumps. Even though she's getting a lot better about it, it's hard for me to train myself out of it. Hopefully I can get us to a jumping trainer for some lessons this summer.

It was nice to just have a fun ride with Nilla. Given all the crap we've been through recently, I need to have some fun rides so that I actually want to keep her. I'm hoping to try the slant-load this weekend. Fingers-crossed.

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