Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jumpin' Joey!

My riding lesson this past Wednesday was great! My trainer gave me some good exercises to work on. I'm particularly happy he gave me one to do to work on getting flying lead changes involving cantering over a ground pole.

The jumping we did was great, Joey is better over a bigger jump. I had a feeling he was bored with all the little cross rails we've been playing with. We started over a single 18" straight rail with a ground pole one stride out and that worked up to a 4-stride 2' line. Joey did so well!

Joey was so unfettered as we worked on all this that my trainer had to ask, "um, is he always like this, quiet?" So I laughed and said, "um, yes, that's why you wanted me to have him!"

Then my trainer set up a long approach X-oxer at about 2'6" with orange traffic pylons in front of it. I looked at him like, "you're kidding, right?" I hadn't jumped anything bigger than a little X-rail in a good year.

I was told to stop whining, that based on my level of riding experience I needed to knock it off and canter to this fence NOW.

So off we went, Joey cantered right up and over, he never even looked at the jump. In fact, he seemed happy to cruise right up to it, he liked the bigger fence! Now it was a little clunky, my take off was kind of long and not well thought out but pony was game and went for the distance.

We rode it again a few more times, worked on my approach and release (Joey needs a very generous release because he stretches his neck way down to his knees as he jumps) and by about the 4th time we nailed it!

My trainer asked me to switch his bit to a rubber snaffle. I laughed and told him I already tried that and he'd chomped a chunk out of it. So we agreed on trying a Happy Mouth bit because Joey is so calm, we want him to have as little mouth pressure as possible so as not to interfere with his forward roll to the fences.

So I'm motivated! Looking forward to next week's challenge. Just hope with the weather we're having this weekend that the indoor isn't too crowded for me to at least work on the lead change exercise.


Miranda said...

I feel like our trainers would get along. Mine often tells me to man up. Congrats on your big jump (:

Jean said...

Joey sounds like an absolute angel and exactly the kind of horse I'd like too! I am so happy for you to have found him.

Quiet over the fences is so important to creating confidence. When a horse goes like that, you know he is sure of himself and that just makes you react accordingly. What a wonderful combination.

Kudos to your trainer for encouraging you. You are on your way to more than meeting those New Year goals you set up!