Last Tuesday was the most successful day of jumping we’ve had yet. I’m just so pleased. Anne set up three jumps on a serpentine for us- the first was a set of standards with three poles set carefully on the standards’ bases (we don’t have any jump cups), the second was hay bales, and the third a legitimate crossrail propped up by two muck buckets (sometimes you have to get creative). I’m lucky the outdoor arena is so big; it really facilities great jumping exercises! Gina was a doll over all of the jumps- there was a strange moment over the hay where I just couldn’t get her attention and she decided it was a good idea to start pooping one stride out. It was an awkward jump, but I was extremely pleased she took it at all! This was the horse that wouldn’t jump anything two months ago, and now she’s taking fences even when she’s in a less-than-idea spot! Hooray! The best part: at no point did I feel like peeing myself! Progress.
After our third round of the serpentine, G started to feel a little tense. She was sucking back and doing this weird, pogo-stick sort of canter. Anne encouraged me to let her hand gallop around the arena without taking any jumps, and I tried. Gina had apparently had enough for one day and refused to canter or gallop on, deciding instead to do weird stuff like dive through corners and look at the sky.
Anne stopped us and had me pick up a collected canter. We continued with several minutes of canter work, doing a lot of transitions. Gina chilled out and did a nice job of holding herself together during the exercises. I was really pleased with how she came back so quickly after jump work. Lots of horses I’ve ridden just sort of those their minds and get super excited over fences- not my sensible girl!
This Tuesday included a bit of jumping. G and I set out at the crack of dawn (6:30 AM) for some gallop sets in the hay field. After warming up, we did three gallop sets of 5 minutes each. She felt strong and solid, despite swapping leads every two or three minutes. I think she’s figured out how to avoid getting too tired during these activities. Clever mare. We finished up with three jumps over the little log fence, which went beautifully. She didn’t hesitate at all and I felt very good about our ride.
So has Princess G gotten over her thing with jumps? Maybe. I’m planning to get some jump cups soon so we can put a real stadium fence up and see what happens. And of course, cross-country schooling is something I’d like to do soon. But for now, I’m going to take these successes and run.