The theme of my last two lessons has been bouncy. Both in the sense of keeping Cinder more packaged and bouncy in her gaits, and in that we jumped our first actual bounces.
The big h/j program at the barn uses their jumps in the arena, while most of A's are out in the XC field. So pretty much whatever the h/j trainer sets is what we jump inside. They get pissy if we move the jumps, or even change fence heights without resetting them sometimes. While I am allowed to jump outside of lessons, I usually don't because of this. If there's trot or canter poles set up I'll do those.
Last week they had reset the course and had a line of five bounces set up on one long side. They also had three sets of raised trot poles, a couple cavalleti and a couple single fences set up. I told A the bounces looked like fun, but Cinder had never done a bounce before. She's done one and two strides, and bounce poles, but not bounce jumps. A started taking the bounces down while I warmed up on the flat, having me incorporate the trot poles. The poles were set slightly short, and the goal was to keep Cinder more packaged then normal to make the poles work. Tracking left was pretty easy, but I had a much harder time tracking right. It doesn't help that Cinder doesn't care about hitting the poles so pretty much every time through she ticked a rail.
We started jumping by trotting the cavalleti, which were place on a short diagonal heading towards/away from the line of bounces on a bending line. We then picked up the line separately, which A had made just one bounce to start with. Cinder was pretty confused about what to do in the bounce and pretty much just trotted through it. The more times we went through the line, and I rode her a little more forward and confidently, she figured it out. A kept them small (see above) but added in the third cross rail. It was a fun lesson and I was glad I had the nerve to tackle the bounces.
|Went to a tack sale at a VERY FANCY BARN on Saturday and Ca-Pow was very friendly, even though he doesn't look like it this pic
The jumps hadn't moved by my Monday lesson, so we started again with the trot poles for our flat warm up and then A had me start figure eighting some of the single fences and cavalleti. Cinder looked hard at some ground rails before one of the fences and I accidentally caught her in the mouth, but god bless her she didn't care. I get worried that my mistakes are going to piss her off, or ruin her, but honestly this horse doesn't give a shit and doesn't know how to hold a grudge. I need to keep reminding myself of that.
|one of the stallions WT Leapfrog is so handsome
We then moved onto the line five bounces, which A had set tiny again. Coming in Cinder backed way off and seemed worried about all the poles. I didn't push her forward and we kinda stalled out over the third cross rail. A had me pull her out of the line and try again. This time I actually rode and kept my leg on, and while still a little nervous Cinder went through all five bounces. She then figured it out and the third time through was easy. We went through the line a couple time each way before calling it quits.