The pony and I had another lesson last night. We were able to get going and warm up a bit before, and I was pleasantly surprised with how soft she was being, especially with two days off under her belt. She got a little worked up about a scary extra jump standard at one end of the ring, but by the time we were cantering it was old news.
My focus for the night was being soft with my hands, and more objective about my body. AKA, stop yanking on her face. Once she figured out that I would soften and follow her front end, she really gave me some nice canter work. Not consistently yet, but I can feel it coming along.
We moved straight into jumping, with the focus being on setting the pace and setting her up for success. Although I can count the number of times she’s stopped at a jump on one hand, sometimes she will throw herself over, land in a heap and actually stop moving.
I’ve had to learn to land and urge her forward, letting her know she’s fine and has to keep going. Last week she tricked me and walked after a scary oxer, before I was able to pull myself off of her neck and get her going. This week I was more prepared. However, can’t say that pony doesn’t have good breaks.
After the first few jumps, we moved into what I called a ‘tour de arena’ because we jumped around pretty much everything. We had a baby horse moment on her first bending line (WHERE ARE WE GOING?!) and some happy mare moments after the first oxer, but nothing crazy. I was so proud of my girl, and how confident and brave she’s been lately. My new favorite thing though is that O is starting to ‘lock on’ to jumps. When we round the corner, or turn towards the jump, she pricks her ears forward and zones in on the jump. It’s adorable.
I stuffed her full of treats post-ride and wallowed all over her with pets and hugs. She ate it up.