I had two great rides this weekend, one early Saturday morning and one early Sunday morning. I rode Baron on Saturday and wanted to work on some things before I had a lesson on Sunday. We jumped crossrails and focused on a straight approach and making it all the way to the rail after the jump (not cutting in and making it hard to approach the next jump). Baron did great! We only worked for about 25 minutes because he was doing so well and I didn’t want to drill him. During last week’s lesson I was oversteering, so this time I made sure to use as little rein as possible to move him around. He really is responsive, just a little squeeze on the reins and he moves. We had straight approaches and I was able to keep him straight to the rail before starting the next turn. I was so happy that we were finally jumping!
On Sunday I had a lesson but couldn’t ride Baron because his hip is out and he needs to get adjusted. My barn manager asked me not to ride him until he sees the chiro. I rode a super cute dapple grey named John. He is littler than Baron but has a big, springy trot and is a lot of fun to ride. He’s very workmanlike, as George Morris would say. The lesson was fantastic from beginning to end.
Mary told me that whoever owned John before he came to Blue Skies had a lot of fear about jumping. Because of that, he’s a little nervous and needs a lot of leg to give him confidence before the jump. He was really good for me to ride because I had to keep my lower leg on him and it made me concentrate on what my legs were doing. Everything came together really well and at the end Mary raised the crossrail up to a vertical. It was only about a foot and a half, but still, it was a vertical! It’s what I consider a “real” jump.
The funny thing is, now that I’m starting to learn how to jump, I’m realizing it’s really all about the flatwork. What happens in the air is a split second that is determined by what we did on the ground. The three years of flat work with Baron isn’t seeming like such a waste of time anymore!