Monday evening was my group jumping lesson and it started off a bit shakey. We have a new jump, red and black planks and the horses are terrified of it. One of my lesson buddies fell off when her pony spooked at the plank and hit her head so we had to stop the lesson and make sure she was ok. She was but my coach thought she should just watch for a while and let one of the older girls school her pony. I wussed out big time and told my coach I didn’t want to jump the planks. I hate doing this and normally she can talk me into doing anything but she thought maybe it was for the best that we all skipped the planks for the night (except for naughty pony. He got schooled over it by one of the brave juniors).
Terrifying planks aside we had a good lesson. We did a modified circle of death with cross-rails and then a gymnastic with 3 bounces. After that we did a solid wood vertical on the diagonal and you had to cut between 2 other jumps so the approach was a bit tricky. It was 2’3 and we nailed it. We got our lead every time except once and our change was clean.
Thursday was my private lesson and we did a quick flat work warm up with some flying changes across the diagonal. RB LOVES changes and after we did a couple he started popping them every stride. He had a dressage start so he knows tempi changes and my trainer said he looked like he was trying to do them. I was laughing so hard. He is just so funny when he thinks he knows what we are doing/going to do. We started off with a one stride gymnastic line with a cross-rail and 3 poles. We jumped it both ways and it was good. RB got a bit looky when we were going down it the first time so I had to over-ride it but my trainer was really happy because I didn’t back off when he did. That used to be one of my biggest issues. Yay for us! Then we did a 4 stride line. The first time in I was super crooked and had to pull out of the line. That was embarrassing but I rode it well the second time and even better the next few times. I’m really working on keeping the canter I need to find spots decently so we did a few single fences just really working on that. I’m really enjoying the private lessons.
Friday I schooled and RB was being a jerk. He was super looky at everything and we were riding in our smaller outdoor which is right next to his field. There is a line of trees that separates the ring from the field and any time he saw a horse through the trees he spooked. Now keep in mind that we ride here often and there are usually horses in the trees. So really not that earth shattering. There were birds in the water trough in the field and that was apparently terrifying too. I am breaking in new boots so I was in pain and cranky and couldn’t get my leg on as well as I would have liked to bend him away from the “scary stuff”. As if that wasn’t bad enough workers came to remove the manure pile so we had dump trucks and a front end loader driving back and forth at fairly excessive speeds in front of the ring. RB wasn’t really that concerned with that stuff, he was much more worried about his buddies in the trees but my nerves were on edge. I hate when I can’t get him to pay attention to me. I really feel like he just didn’t want to work so was spooking and I was only riding at maybe 75% capacity. Friggin boots. I waited until we had some decent canter and some nice trot and stopped. He was decently soft and listening at the end so I didn’t push my luck. I kind of wish I had pushed him a bit more but I was riding alone and I’m still not the bravest rider so I am proud that I did what I could.
Sunday we did some schooling over poles and RB was great. He loves poles and as soon as we started he was happy and forward. We did a couple pole lines and some single poles, focusing on getting the right canter. Nothing super exciting. RB was back to his regular fantastic self. One of the other boarders mares is in heat and I guess she decided RB was the man for her. She called to him over and over for the first 15 minutes of our ride. He looked at her but no reaction. Good boy! Mares be crazy. I actually used to lease her and she is a sweet mare but jeez girl, calm down. I rode 4 times this week and that’s my goal for June. In July and August I will likely get 5 rides in.