Another jump lesson last night, and Oats was moving really nicely. He was a bit sluggish at the start, and our left-lead canter warming up was…less than enthusiastic, but I chalked that up to him being a bit stiff in the warm-up and we kept it slow and easy until he felt a bit better.
Then we moved on to a small gymnastic, trot-in, one-stride to a vertical and two (VERY) short strides to a vertical. It was funny, my trainer is like, the first one is a short one but the two-stride? It should be riding better than it is, why do I have to keep moving it in??? Oh well, I guess that was what we were working with yesterday…A very short two-strides it is!
Oats was not in the mood to reach. At all.
We worked through the grid, focused on correcting Oats’ severe right drift (and I fixed it, yess) and me bringing my shoulders back without pulling back on the reins on landing- not quite as successful.
The grid went up to 2’6”? I guess? And then we added in a small course, starting with the grid, to a trot fence (ha, Oats was so confused), to a small oxer, to a vertical, and back to the trot fence with a halt on the diagonal.
We did kind of fumble the oxer, he seemed surprised and stuttered on the approach, so we re-approached and nailed it!!! The vertical was similarly clumsy…Ah, well. The trot fences went great, though Oats was surprised to be trotting, haha.
The grid was awesome too.
I only did the course once- a part of me really wanted to do it again, but the more chicken part of me didn’t. And that part kind of won out…Small battles, I will try again next week and I will persevere! As it is, I do feel that my confidence, though very slow and incremental, is growing. My jump lessons are doing tiny jumps- nothing higher than 2’6” in a grid- but they are very smooth, very good and not so rocky. So, I am calling that a win!
I’m not quite feeling that ‘heart pounding, dread’ feeling that I normally get while riding, and I am able to be much more proactive about my body while I jump (shoulders tall, using my crop!! correcting straightness and pace instead of feeling helpless, like a passenger).
Plus, I typically HATE gridwork, with a burning passion, and guess what? I am not hating it right now (this may change next week but I am on an upwards trend for now).