The only way I can stand to be out at the barn right now is by getting there and on by 7 am. And even then it is still so humid. Why did I agree to move here?! Seattle has the best summers. They might only be two months but they are amazing. This… yeah, not so much. I’ve never done well in heat and humidity. Guess I’ll just have to suck it up though.
The jump arena was set for the walk/trot/12″ kids so I decided to take advantage of that and do a little “jump” school. I am using quotations because you know, 12″ is something Gus can walk over. I’m glad I made this change because working on dressage when there are lots of distractions is hard and gave me a chance to really work on our flexing but maintaining a path.
Once we were warmed up, I started trotting in a big circle over this mint house jump. It was set up in the middle of the arena so it made it very easy to do nice big circles and come at it very straight. Or, as straight as a nervous ottb who still don’t understand what a jump is can. We used it to help change bend and just did big figure eights.
I was really happy with how calm he stayed. Just a few weeks ago, poles on the ground in between standards (especially such scary standards) would of had him freaking out. But though he was weavy and needed some leg/whip encouragement to maintain temp the first few times, he did great. No trying to run off or escape. Gus just wanted to look. Same thing at the canter. After a few goes, he just treated it as another step and I started working on maintaining speed and pace on approach.
Since everything was going well, I decided to add in a second jump. A little x-rail was set up perfectly on the opposite side of my circle, so I went for it. Not a peak, not a hesitation. Just went right over. In fact, I thought he was going to lunge for it the first time and I got way ahead of him. Gus just calmly added and told me I was an idiot.
After a few good times over the little x-rail, we finished our ride in the dressage court where I rode through the two intro tests. They were both decent though I see some areas I’m going to have to work on this upcoming week.
But mostly I am so happy with the jump school. I have been making it my mission to pop him over something, even if just a little pole, every ride just so that it becomes less of a mystery. I think Gus is starting to understand what the point is. The best part is that even if he’s not sure about it, he listens and goes forward. I’ll make a little jumper out of him yet! We will just take it slow and one step at a time.