Spring Break Part 1

 This will have to be a 3 parter, because I crammed as much as possible into the week.

Happy Horses in the Sun!!

First I want to talk about this absolute unit of a pony and how lucky I am.  

I got in for two lessons over break one on Wednesday and one on Sunday.  We had major ah-ha moments both lessons. First up Wednesday,  we got there early so we went for a hack around the property.  We walked the perimeter and crossed 2 ditches.  The ditch crossings were a little dodgy but we did not die.  

When we got back around to the ring we did a quick trot and canter then started jumping.  Nothing was set big, all right around 2' - 2'3", but we actually focused on course work.  We started through a small line that was a pole, 3 strides to a cross rail, 3 strides to a cavaletti.  It was originally set up to a forward horse 3 and it was just super awkward and we kept chipping in.  Then I wanted to jump the oxer before I lost my nerve and I pulled at the base and Uno stopped. So I can around in a trot and nailed it.  We spoke about why I was pulling and realized that I usually jump with a neck strap that I forgot.  I have gotten into the habit of picking up the neck strap in front of the jump, then pulling on that until I had weight in my hands. Without the neck strap, I was trying to get the same weight in the reins and just killing the canter.

So we spent the rest of the lesson focusing on establishing a good canter in front of the jump, then looping the reins and letting him decide from there what to do.  We worked our way through several courses like this and it was really flowing and smooth. A total win.

Then we came back on Sunday.  In part 2 I will talk about the massive garden project that was Friday and Saturday, but basically, I got on for my lesson and realized I have no strength.  So I passed him over to my trainer to jump around.  As she jumped I put the jumps up and Uno still just skipped around sweet as can be.  She complimented me a lot on how his flat work and balance have gotten better since she last rode him.  I was really surprised by how easily he was stepping over everything.  One thing I noticed is that Trainer was "riding like she wanted me to" and had very short reins while holding the neck strap the whole time.  The effect this had on Uno was huge.  He was able to be balanced and soft but with a long neck.  

She rode in a more forward rhythm and for the most part just jumped out of stride.  At the end, I got on for a quick course, and at first, I only planned to jump a few small things, but once I had the feel I just kept rolling.  It was the easiest jumping has ever felt.  At the end, I measured the bigger vertical we finished on and it was just under 2'9"!!!!   

I do not know what I did to deserve such a good pony, but he is a dream.


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