Last night I had two lessons with Charlene, one on my boy and one on Cash. It’s amazing to me how much Will transforms and relaxes in that arena. Every time I have a lesson there he moves so nicely and he’s completely with me on everything. The atmosphere there is so great.
We didn’t really do anything in our lesson out of the normal. Started out working on three single jumps, which we handled nicely all around. Charlene commented on how much I’ve improved with supporting Willard all the way through jumps and not finding distances with my shoulders, but with my leg. Also how I’ve gotten much better at finding pace, not speed. Then we added a 4 stride line to our little course, and even the first time down to it we got the correct distance. Yay! We’re finally doing good!
After Willard, I hopped onto Cash. Her quiet demeanour was shown as she hardly even glanced at the new surroundings or the other horses in the arena. We walked trotted and cantered around a ring full of jumps (one 4’2″ fence set up in the middle of the ring which even Will looked at warily) with no issues, nice frame, and very very calm. Charlene kept saying ” oh she’s CUTE!”. We started with some poles on the ground for miss Cash to trot through. She’s never been worked over poles, but after a few circles through them she got the hang of picking her feet up quite well. It’s important to always start horses that have no jumping experience off with just basic poles. It teaches them to lift up their feet and gives them a sense of where their feet are.
Next Charlene set up a small X, which got progressively bigger. We discovered that Cash isn’t what you call a natural jumper, she isn’t “impressed” by little jumps. The first bit she literally just trotted over, like there was nothing under her. Charlene then made the X bigger and added a 9foot rail in front of the x, this encouraged her a little. But it wasn’t until we added a ground rail on the opposite side of the fence that she actually jumped over the jump. By adding that pole under the x on the far side, it caught her eye a little bit and by this time she had figured out how to lift her legs up in a jumping motion. Everything is about patience with young/inexperienced horses. If you don’t have patience, you shouldn’t be in the business of training horses. Some horses are quicker then others, and some are very stubborn. It’s all about reading what kind of horse you’re on and catering to how they are going to learn best. Each horse has a different learning style, just like we do. In the same way, each horse has something different to teach you. Riding different horses, especially when you’re learning to ride, is a valuable skill to develop. The best riders can get on any horse and go right into the show ring and compete successfully. Have confidence in your ability and your decisions, and the horse will have confidence in you.
That’s all I’ve got for today, specialist appt tomorrow. Wish me luck!