So, we went to this 'climbing club' yesterday. Of course the guy who works there had forgotten that we were coming so we waited in the rain (or packed ourselves in each others cars) in half an hour before getting to the real business. Luckily the climber-guy was very kind - as all of the swedes - and he promised us that we can come there on saturday and climb for free if we wanted to. Who would say no for such an opportunity?
The bouldering was kind of a new thing for me, even tho I've been climbing for several times in Finland. The difference is that while bouldering you won't use any kind of safety equipment and while climbing a "regular" wall you'll have this rope keeping you on the wall in case you lose your grip and start falling. The walls used in bouldering were of course a lot lower than the walls that people climb with ropes, but it was still pretty wild to jump from like seven meters on a soft mattress. I didn't have enough balls to jump from the highest point of the wall so I always had to climb downwards a few steps before letting go.
|I'm the plump one in blue, trying to figure out how to keep going upwards.|
|This picture wins them all! It's one of my classmates getting down from the wall.|
The other 'climbing' I kinda mentioned earlier was about jumping with Rubin, although the most recent 'jumping' we did was nothing near to climbing. We did this simple exercise with some ground poles and a tiny in-and-out combination on a bent track. The main point with this was to improve his balance, speed and coordination with a simultaneous goal to get him to jump a little bit better in the first place. Right now jumping with him is a prio-1 because he clearly needs some training in it.
The groundwork however went well, at least if compared to the latest lesson we completely screwed up. This time Rubin had no problem with jumping and he seemed to be kinda glad that we did something different. He is so eager to learn new things but sometimes his insecurity kicks in and there we are, standing in front of an obstacle size of an egg and wondering what the hell did we do wrong this time. But I'm not losing my hope with him, he just needs some more training as well as I need to get better as a rider.
I'm not saying our dilemmas are the result of poor riding, but I'm not saying I couldn't do anything better either. I would like to describe myself as a rider who is in a constant state of learning and getting better than before - there will never be a day when I'll say I've mastered all there is to master about riding. I can always have a better seat, softer hand, better control on my body and I can always learn something new about horses. It's so delightning to get better and see the results in the horses you're riding. I would never change it for anything!
Of course it won't always feel like I was getting any change towards a better-trained horse, but eventually the change will come. This is exactly what has happened with Grace; sometimes I feel like she still was the sluggish little mare I got four years ago, but then I remember how little we both could at that time and feel immediately very happy about all the progress we've got through together. I believe that Rubin will also become an excellent jumper as soon as we get more routine in it. We'll keep up the good work!