We rode in the ring today (and I was chastised for not dragging it, but... it ain't my tractor, though I didn't want to make excuses). Chris let me warm her up on a loopy rein but then had me pick up a bit more contact, which she accepted well. Then he would ask me to do things we haven't worked on, like trot lengthenings (NAILED. IT.), sitting trot (confusing to her, because she wasn't sure if we were supposed to walk or not, and I have GOT to work on my sitting trot on Duchess), and four-loop serpentines (great when turning left, a little divey when turning right). She was just so, so, so good. Everything I asked her, she was down for trying and worked to figure out. We haven't worked on trot lengthenings at all, but she got what I wanted right away. She cantered to the left pretty well, and Chris said my position was "very correct," which was nice to hear! We tried cantering to the right later, and she fell out of it pretty soon. Clearly, this is her less-balanced direction.
Chris wanted to focus on making the ride positive and rhythmic, and he said he loves serpentines because they include a bunch of different elements, like turns, straight lines, and direction changes. While we were working on some ring figures, like the serpentines and figure-8s, he dropped some rails and standards over the fence into the ring, and the WonderMare didn't bat an eye. She is so good. I love having a non-spooky horse. First, he set up a single rail on the ground between two standards. She definitely peeked hard at it the first time, but stepped over it well. She did it even better the second time, so then he added another rail. I posted through twice to work on keeping the rhythm, and then he asked me to go through in two point a couple times. She was like, "Shall I canter away, then?" the first time, and the second time she realized she didn't have to do that at all. Smartey!
Then he put one rail in a cup, and she was like, "hmmm, better slow down," but she jumped it! Second time, she just stepped over it. She wasn't going to any extra effort, that's for sure!
And then.... A REAL LIVE CROSS-RAIL!!
|My little girl's first jump!|
I am so proud of her. She didn't rush at it, she just asked, "How do I do that?" and took some time to figure it out. I never thought jumping a tiny little x would be so exhilarating, but it was Lex's first jump in what I hope is a long and happy career.
After the lesson, I told Chris that I wasn't expecting to get that far today, and he said, "I kept looking for signs of resistance from her, but I didn't see any!"
I'm so proud of her, I could cry.
Tomorrow we'll probably just do some relaxing stuff because she worked really hard today. Chris (and his wife, who came along, and who is just a lovely person and a very knowledgeable horsewoman) really liked Lex. Who wouldn't?
After I turned her out, she did a lovely job getting herself all covered in sand. I'd given her a bath this morning so I'm glad she waited to do this until after the lesson!
I'm completely worn out so I'm going to go collapse in a happy heap. Anyone else remember their first jump on their horse?