So I had ordered a bunch of stuff from Dover (not my preferred place but their socks were on major sale). Sunday I was finally able to unbox and take it all out to the horse.
Saturday was our jump lesson so Sunday I wanted to work on getting him just moving forward and easy. I got out later than I had intended due to not waking up till almost 9. It was already pretty hot out and Scarlet was feeling it. He was pretty sluggish the whole time.
There was a jumping lesson going on but they don’t mind if you ride in the arena at the same time. Scarlet liked having the company and I was able to watch the lesson. After we cantered, Scarlet started throwing his head about and trying to list toward the jumps. I think he was annoyed that other horses were jumping and he wasn’t.
Since it was so hot, I called it after just a bit more than our normal warmup. We had taken lots of walk breaks as well. He wasn’t sweating very badly due to that. After the ride, I let him out into one of the turn out arenas to roll while I cleaned up. He rolled and then looked around to see where I had gone. Instead of running around or talking to the horses near the arena, he decided to stare straight at me. Silly horse.
Sunday was also the first day I was able to try out my early birthday gift from my husband.
A Polar H10 chest strap heart rate monitor. It’s super zoomed in on the image so it looks much wider than it actually is. It’s about an inch wide.
I’d been contemplating getting a heart rate monitor of some sort for a while now. I’d done a ton of research on wrist vs chest and different brands. I wanted a way to track how much I was working while riding and the chest models ended up being the best option based on the research. The one concern I had was chaffing. It would be horrible to ride and then undo the strap and find out that you had huge rub marks on your ribs.
That definitely didn’t happen. The strap is really soft and fits me pretty snug. I know others have had issues with it. The H10 is their newest version (like came out a couple of weeks ago) and has a few new things that I liked. There are a bunch of little rubber dots along the strap to provide friction to hold it in place. The monitor itself also has the capacity to store a work out on it without being connected to the device. That appealed to me because I do not ride with my phone on me.
It kept track of my ride and I was able to see how hard I worked. I could track the trotting sets, cantering, and the walk breaks on the graph. I also was impressed by how often my heart rate stayed in the 70-80% range for working.
Monday was much cooler and oh so much nicer to ride in. I did a bunch of lateral work with Scarlet, trying to get him to really move off of my legs. We started with some turn on the forehands since his hind end tends to trail more on lateral work. I wanted him remembering that this means move your butt. He did pretty well during the walk lateral work. The trot work was harder but he still did it.
Then I decided that I should ride around a bit in my shortened jumping stirrups since I did not feel as stable as I should during the jumping lesson. I tried to hold my two point at the trot and omg it was hard. Trot two points are just way harder than at the canter. Scarlet was really annoyed with me because my weight kept shifting back and forth and I was too busy holding onto mane and trying to balance to actually steer and ride. He put up with it which got him a lot of pats. This is definitely high on my need to work on list. I’m going to make an effort to do more flat work in the jumping stirrups and ride my two-point as often as I can manage in order to work on those muscles.
Most of the jumps in the arena had been raised to over two feet for another lesson but there were a cross rail and a line that were still at heights that we could manage. The line was super small but had a cross rail and a little gate. It looks solid to me and just kinda freaks me out so I had never jumped Scarlet over any of those. I weaved him into the line at a trot and we hopped over the little cross rail and the stand alone cross rail a few times. Then I decided I needed to pull my big girl pants up and turned him to take the full line. We trotted in and trotted up to the gate. Scarlet hopped over it like no big deal so I took the whole line at a canter and then called it good.
Let me tell you, my heart kinda raced as we approached the gate but I told myself that I trust Scarlet to get over jumps, even without me. He isn’t a dirty stopper or a horse that likes to run out. The height was totally within our reach to jump. And he did it. Trusting my horse totally helped. And I definitely got a thrill out of tackling something that was making me uneasy. Now, Scarlet and I can do almost all the jumps that are normally set up in the arena. Go us.
I also wore my monitor for that ride and jumping put me up into the 90-100% level of work. Woot! I’m definitely loving using this monitor and will continue to track my work with it.