I jumped both Buddy and Zoe Wednesday. I realized that the Kevin Freeman clinic that I'm doing with Bud is just over two weeks away; and I don't feel ready. It's been pouring down rain for the past few days, so I set up a single fence in the indoor. Since I haven't jumped Bud in over a week I thought we would work on having a nice pace, rhythm, and straightness over the single.
I put Bud back in his normal standing martingale that I use when we jump. I didn't want to use the German over fences, even though I'm sure it would have been fine. After a light warm up we started trotting the little crossrail working on stopping on a straight line after. He was good, but really over bent left. We cantered it nicely a couple times, then I raised it to a vertical.
Since our indoor is so small, it takes a lot of work to keep Buddy collected and put together to jump. I was trying hard to sit down and keep my seat and leg on him to have a a nice forward canter to the fence. The first time thru after I raised it, he was strung out and got deep to the fence. He pulled the rail, but after that I really felt him start to sit back on his haunch and drive from behind. It felt great! It was like I finally had that nice canter that I could collect or extend as needed. We did the vertical about 4-5 times each direction then called it good.
With Zoe, I'm still working on getting her forward and into my hand. I've started doing some bending lines and serpentines at the trot to ask for flexion. Her canter is starting to smooth out, but I think it will always feel somewhat choppy, at least to me. I set the jump back down to an x and made sure we had a nice strong forward trot approaching it. She just trotted over it like no big deal. We did it a few times each way, and every time she just trotted over it. Good mare! I'm going to start lunging her over some little verticals at the canter this weekend to see how she does. Her owner told me that if I think Zoe's ready, that she would like me to take her in a couple trot-a-course classes at a show soon. Exciting!