Jump lesson success! You know how I was moaning about how boring I was finding flatwork yesterday? Well, I can tell you what the solution is: A good, solid jump lesson. It was not perfect- trust me my rides pretty much never are- but it felt so GOOD.
We first worked on a funny exercise, and I was kind of surprised at how hard I found it. My trainer had me knot the reins and lay them on Oats’ neck, and then, without using my reins or anything, I had to put my arms out to the side and work on folding and releasing- as if I was going over a jump. We trotted large around the arena on the track with no reins while I was working on this exercise.
It was tough! I felt like when I was releasing, I was going to eat mane. Land face-first on Oats’ neck haha. We then switched it to slightly easier- still no reins, but hands forward instead of to the side, as if I was giving an automatic release. And then finally the easiest–with reins, hands supported slightly on neck, giving an automatic release.
Oats was as good as gold! He was very content to just keep tooling around, happy as a clam.
Nicole said it was like Oats was one of those automatic ponies you put a quarter in. They keep going until the quarter runs out! hahaha. I said it was true–and the fact that Oats is so calm, steady and easy-going makes me very complacent… (this is not a good thing).
We then moved on to jumping, the small gymnastic exercise of last week: cross-rail to an oxer, and then on to a small course. With a twist- height instead of low-wide oxers!? We finished the gymnastic with the oxer at 2’6”- probably the highest oxer I have done for a little while, and a big X-rail, and the hay bales jump got to about 2’5” I think? And then the other jump was around 2’3” wtih a stretched- out groundrail to encourage Oats to take off a bit further–mimic the feeling of an oxer, without the angst of oxers, haha.
Some of it wasn’t pretty- a wicked right drift caught us out pretty much EVERY time on the haybales? I couldn’t figure out why we never got that one right on the first try. It was very subtle and kept catching me by surprise…But, when we looped back to it after the smaller 2’3” jump, Oats jumped it perfectly. So, there’s that.
But, overall I was very pleased with his jumping efforts, even though I accidentally spurred him pretty hard when we were getting started and boy, he wasn’t pleased with me, haha. Whoops, sorry OAty! He got his favourite treats – herbits- and they make his breath smell soooo good, like spearmint afterwards. A cutie!