So, I hauled down to the horse park to meet Jane for a lesson with Ms
Rain. This will be her third jumping lesson this year, and it is about
a month since our last lesson due to buying the new truck and having
to get the hitch installed, Jersey Fresh eating Jane's time, and then
my trip to Ireland.
I started out with longeing Rain in the jumper ring; it's hard to see
around it because it has woods and a hill on one side, woods at the
end, a bank rising up on the other long side, and then the end of the
ring is nice and open into the show grounds area with the booths and
tents and such. She could hear mowing and other work going on, but not
see the people, which was cause for concern. Also there were Booger
Monsters all along the bank side of the fence (jump components not
being used). This was also tragic.
When Jane was done with her first person I went ahead and climbed on
up. Rain was still a little looky but we got over it OK for a nice,
quiet flat schooling with lots of figures and working on just being
steady. Then it was a little breath catch and on to jumping.
We began with just a series of trot poles on a short diagonal from the
bank side to the woods side; she was not particularly interested and
just danced through. Next up, a couple passes over a cross rail in the
same series, which she also did not find exciting. Kicked it up to a
vertical, and she trotted in sweetly, landed in a quiet canter.
Jane and I had a discussion about how when she is this relaxed neither
of us can tell that she has locked onto the fence and plans to address
it as a question. It makes it difficult because I don't want to chase
her to it and make it a big deal, but I don't want her to go dribbling
over it in a messy heap, either.
Next we did the vertical, around the short end by the woods, and down
the side to do a long diagonal approach to a gate. She gave the gate
and the poles piled under it a look, and I added a tiny amount of
support leg, and she came down and over it in a nice rhythm. Then we
did the same beginning, but came around the gate side short end to
come up over a flower box on the long side; that was a challenge
because the dressage ring pieces are all stacked at the woods edge
beyond the fence of the ring and the gate to it is open and she is
approaching with this giant white stack of stuff there in her eyeline.
The flower box she could not have cared less about, so she popped
nicely over it when she got to it at any rate.
Then we made the first diagonal an in and out, which she sorted out
quickly, landed in canter and kept it around and down over the gate,
asked if she wanted to canter the flower box but she was too busy
worrying about the white stuff at the woods edge so dropped back to a
nice, engaged trot over that. We did it one more time and added coming
down the opposite long side over a red brick wall, which we trotted on
purpose since it was a new thing. She was just lovely, although still
not ready to canter at the white stuff. Since she was perfectly fine
about the fence I was happy to let her choose what felt comfortable to
her. She had a really interesting distance to the gate on that last
one, too, but solved it by opening up her last stride and taking it in
a slightly long but comfortable style.
So it was a pleasing morning!
The Mare's Nest