I fully admit that I'm the type of rider who doesn't jump or jump anything of height for a while and I get nervous. I KNOW that I've jumped higher, and that both my horse and I are capable of doing what's in front of us, but I still get worried. And lately, Peebs has been super charged when we've jumped and we've only been doing cross rails.
I had set up some trot and canter poles last week after the arena was dragged because I was too lazy to set jumps. Peebs was good warming up over the trot poles and single poles I had set out, but when we went to school the canter poles (a one to a one) he lost his little brain. Going left was fine, but going right he threw his head up and bolted down the line. We did a lot of transitions before attempting the line again. He was still strong, but listened. Not exactly a great confidence booster, but I was happy we ended on a good note.
|His little face 😍
So imagine my surprise when scrolling through Instagram on Sunday I saw a gymnastic exercise and immediately wanted to do it. My horse had just lost his mind doing poles, and here I am wanting to do a gymnastic? I set it up Sunday telling myself I could always break it back down and just do the trot poles to the first cross rail when I jumped on Monday. Which is what I did. He got a little excited the first time, but biffed the trot poles and seemed to realize his mistake. All the other times through the grid he was foot perfect.
I gradually built it up to trot poles, cross rail, one stride to a vertical, one stride to an oxer. Obviously nothing got big but as soon as I made the third fence an oxer I got super nervous. We had just done cross rail, vertical, vertical and it was perfect and I know making an oxer changes nothing but I still had a pit in my stomach. But Peebs does what he does best and took care of everything. He was quiet and calm coming in, hit each stride perfectly and was soft in my hand. It was the easiest thing. And best of all, it was fun! I hadn't realized how much I missed having a fun jump school till this ride. It was exactly what we needed! Now I just have to remember this feeling going forward. And probably set gymnastics more often.