Mo and I had our first jump school of the year on Friday, and it really could not have gone better.
It started out great before he even saw the tack, because he walked right up to me in the field and stood to be haltered. For Mr. Head Shy, this is news. I knocked the worst of the dirt off (oh, Virginia spring, how muddy you are) and headed up to the ring. By the time M got up there, we had a good trot going. Just like last lesson, she was thrilled with his trot work. As I continued warming up using some of our exercises from the last lesson, she set up some cross rails--two regular cross rails, two cross rail oxers, a skinny cross rail, and then she just put rails beside the liverpool. She had me walk across the liverpool a couple times (no problem, this horse does not give two shits about the liverpool) and then trot his first cross rail of the year.
He was PERFECT.
I'm going to give myself a little credit here: last fall when we were jumping him, I would sometimes get a little nervous (not fearful, just like, "don't fuck up your baby horse" nerves). But on Friday I was like "oh whatever he's the perfect creature" and we just trotted around all over the ring all chill. Even the skinny was no big deal--once he got his eye on it, he was like "cool guys" and hopped right on over. I stayed calm, he stayed calm, yay for everyone being calm.
As we trotted over stuff, if he landed cantering, M had me school the canter and then go find a jump out of it. Because both Mo and I were thinking more about jumping than cantering, the canter was really great. Far from perfect, certainly not in any kind of frame, but I could steer, and that is good news.
After we had a couple good jumps over everything each way, M popped all the cross rails up to verticals or oxers (except the skinny and the liverpool). We trotted one jump and then cantered everything once each way. I just found the next jump from whatever lead he landed on, there was always something there. I'm sad that I don't have any pictures of the jumping, but I got some of the jumps themselves (surreptitiously, while M was schooling a client horse and the client/friend was standing there watching).
|Wee baby verticals, but my horse does not care what's under them.|
|He doesn't care about the scary rocks next to the jumps either.|
|It's only like 2' but I'm so proud of him that it might as well be 4'.|
I wrote a goals post two months ago, and I think we're getting there. We ditched lunging last week, and after this jump school, we decided it was time to hang up the standing martingale. It could come back, or a running (I hate running martingales, for what they do to the rubber on the reins if nothing else). The canter is coming along, especially in the steering department.
I know horses who won't go near these things.
|An oxer with a dragon-hiding rock next to it.|
Upcoming: Our jump school recap from today, my insane but really fun weekend, and Red and Sugar updates (short version: I adore them both).