I'm convinced that sometime in the last week some one stole Buddy and replaced him with another horse that looks identical but is forward, light, and responds to aides! Buddy was awesome in our lesson yesterday. We started by trotting in and trotting out of a line with two tiny verticals. Normally he couldn't care less about trot fences, so I wasn't expecting it to be a hard exercise. Well, he jumped the first very well and so strong down the line we had to circle so I could get him to trot. Same thing the second time thru, only I was able to halt him a stride away from the second fence, then back him up and trot it. By the third time he figured out what we wanted and we had a nice line.
From there we did a small, single oxer on the outside. He started out a little behind my leg, and we got a couple iffy spots to it. After one lap around the ring at a hand gallop, he was much more adjustable and we nailed it. We took at walk break at this point while Jen adjusted some of the fence heights and made the oxer bigger and into a Swedish.
Jen gave me a little course to do, starting with the line we warmed up with. She said "it's an easy four." Well, nobody told Buddy that and we zoomed up the line in about 3.25 strides. At the second stide I thought "Oh shit" and started praying. I thought we were crashing thru the second fence for sure, but he somehow got his feet under him and made it over. We went to do it a couple more times, and he was so strong I had to hold him all the way down the line but we got the four. When did my horse suddenly have big boy strides?
During another walk break Jen and I talked about how that now that the fences are going up (we were doing 2'6"-2'9"), and he has to use his body correctly, that he's opening up his stride and really jumping with a lot more scope. The down side, is he gets tired quicker and we can't do as many jumps per lesson. We ended up doing only about 45 mins, but it was productive.
We went back to do the rest of the course Jen set, minus the line, so we could work on some of the turns. It was a single diagonal plank fence, to the outside oxer, to another single diagonal with the new box under it, then a quick right hand rollback to another diagonal. There were a couple times he wanted to get quick and lean thru the turns so we circled, but over all he was great. When I asked him to move up, he did, and even though we had to circle he came away better balanced and packaged. We had one fence that he was sitting on his hind end to so much, that I felt like I was riding Phoenix. Buddy tend to be down hill, but yesterday his front end was so lifted and up. I'm not exactly sure how to ride it yet, but I like it!
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