And moments of "You little sh*t!" pretty much sums up my lesson yesterday. We warmed up trotting a couple x's, working on having him straight and asking for a the correct lead over the fence. Bud's not impressed by trot fences, so after jumping the first few he just started trotting over them. I started using my crop at the base of the fence, but even then he put minimal effort into it.
Jen had me do a figure 8 over two diagonal fences, again working on having him move forward to the fence. I had to nail Bud pretty good with my spur once as he tried to break to the trot in front of the gate. Once I had him convinced he could go forward, we had a pretty nice rhythm and were finding our distance well. We were still having some trouble with lead changes, and Jen told me to open my inside rein over the fence. It worked wonders! We did a little mini course with the two diagonal fences and an outside line (the one that gave us issues in our last lesson) and we nailed every lead! I still had to really ride him forward to every fence, as he wasn't going to give me a break.
After a walk break we started doing a bending line. It was a short approach on the right to a diagonal fence with a left bend to a vertical on the outside. Once again the dreaded right-to-left lead change was our nemesis. Buddy was convinced that is was easier to counter canter than switch his lead over the first fence. While we did the line a couple times in counter canter (and pretty nicely too), Jen really wanted me to get after him about the lead. She had me do a tight left roll back after the first fence to get him thinking left over the jump. It worked, but by then he was definitely tired. We tried again, and no left lead. I had him perfectly set up for the left lead, and stubborn jack*ss that he is still wouldn't give it to me. Eventually Jen had me trot the first fence and ask hard for the left lead then do the roll back on the landing. We got it twice in a row, then went on to do the line. We did it, and quit on that note.
Its funny how at the time I was so mad at him, and calling him bad names, but now looking back it was a great lesson. We didn't have any major issues till he got tired at the end and we were asking him to do something that's hard for him. I have to give Bud credit for that. We had some great fences, and I felt like we have defiantly made improvements from where we were last fall. I guess we just need to work on more bending lines!
There's a little hunter schooling show in three weeks that I think we'll go to. We'll do the 2'3" hunter/eq classes and maybe a flat class or two. It's on St. Patrick's Day, so I'm trying to think of something green to wear.