Little leaps of faith

Well its about time that Bentley start learning to jump again since his legs seem to be 100% again.

On Friday, we warmed up in the outdoor and then moved into the smaller indoor to try jumping a few small things.

Now, the upper indoor is very small, and we soon learned we cant get a canter around the corners in it.  Not what I wanted at all!  However, Bentley was responsive so we cantered down the “long” ends and trotted around the corners.  It all happened very fast but was good practise for our aids.  He was very good, so I had Lee lay out a ground pole on the long side for us to canter over.

We practised getting our spots over the ground pole, and moved it up to a tiny crossrail.  He cantered over it just fine and was listening to me making adjustments.  We turned it into a tiny vertical and again, he just picked up his feet over it without really jumping, but our distances were ok.

So we moved it up another 6″ (probably only 18″ or max 2″ by this point) and tried it again.  He did kind of jump it, but our distances got off.  It didn’t help that he started getting excited and would turn his head to the outside right before we would make the turn down toward the jump, making it difficult to get the correct lead.  A few fumbles resulted before the jump, breaking into a half trot or doing some weird steps (while ignoring my half halts)  We tried it 3 more times and by the 4th time he finally listened to my suggestions from above, and nicely corrected his canter stride, making a beautiful jump.  One more time, beautiful again!

I love when he figures out that working together is much better than against each other, he was so proud of himself after and walked around with his neck low and his chest puffed out.

I rewarded him by cooling out (however not a lot of cooling was necessary!) bareback.  We worked on leg yielding and he was great bareback!  Far better than under saddle.  I don’t know if its my fault or the equipment’s fault.  Unfortunately he has a super spiny back and I don’t think we will be working on that outside of the walk!

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