Another week and another jumping lesson with the big lad 😊
Not a great start initially as on arriving he was immediately tense, he spotted some horses grazing in the fields by the riding school next door and started calling, then he spotted the busy car boot sale a few fields away and became even more tense argh! I got him to the arena and walked him in hand for five minutes where he was quite flighty and spooked continually focusing on the car boot sale, but braved it and got aboard. Both my instructor and I agreed we would see how he behaved but if he was too distracted we would stop and rearrange as he is the type of horse who when struggling to focus and being very wound up can get dangerous.
With that in mind, I made myself relax and on warming him up, was chatting complete nonsense to him to get him listening and focusing on me. Well I’m pleased to say it worked! He definitely trusts me more now, and within 10 mins I had him working nicely (this would have been a different story 2 years ago). We decided to try the grid work initially starting with a small cross pole and 3 poles up to a tiny straight bar. He did this well, so after a couple of goes my instructor would change it slightly – amending the height of each jump alternatively so it never looked the same. It was our first time doing grid work as our arena at home is too small to do it properly, so I was pleased we were able to try it and that he did so well. We maintained a lovely rhythm and canter through the poles and jumped well and to my amazement I didn’t notice the fence at the end gradually being raised! It went from a straight bar to an oxer and next thing I knew we had done it several times in a lovely rhythm with no rushing or panicking - my instructor also confessed it was a meter! It was the highest fence we had jumped and not once did either of us panic! I am so pleased and it is such an accomplishment for us, we will definitely be incorporating grid work in to more lessons as he definitely benefited from it.
Looking forward to the show next weekend - hopefully the training will help us get a clear and maybe a frilly!
Autumns been practising her bends and flatwork by using side reins which she’s getting better with now and seem to be helping her! Aria - well madam is still being herself but is schooling well just dreading when the spring grass makes a full appearance!