We don’t jump a lot, will literally only do it once a week, but its been a while since I last posted on this topic so I felt a need to update.
I had alluded in a previous post that he had been a bit ditchy. After a few more lessons, Margie gave me some more insight into the problem. One major problem is he has kid brain on and instead of looking forward, he’s not noticing the jump until a few strides before and either stopping, veering, or making just an awkward jump. Of course, its not his fault, its mine. I also am not focusing ahead, instead I am focusing on the back of his head, trying to keep him from getting into trouble. Of course, trying to keep him from trouble is what causes all the trouble.
Focusing on looking forward in my flat work, and of course with the help of my lessons, I am slowly getting my attention and his back. We have had a few very good rounds, and a few not so good ones (where I anticipate and turn in too early) but overall lots of progress. Much less refusing and instead of trying to run at/after the jumps, we have a nice canter circle instead. No more nerves!
We have been keeping up with the schoolies in our lessons, doing some turns that are quite difficult for his age and our experience (rollbacks in tight arena) and good height of about 2’6″ to 2’9″. Some with scary filler – a white box painted with dragons. Can’t wait until we get out in the outdoor sand ring and have a little more space to open up, but bring more challenges. If our small jumping experiences last year was any indication, I hope for an improvement… he seems to much prefer jumping outdoors than in.
Hes starting to look better when jumping too, finding form. He is still pretty irregular, sometimes knocking the jumps right over, sometimes clearing the standards. Always kicking his back feet up much higher than the front. Its cute and seems to amuse my lesson-mates (with both his appearance and the gasps that escape my mouth). We will get it eventually, lots of time and practice!