It's been a bit rainy here this week but the sun has came out in time for more lessons with Jonna.

We have been losing a bit of self carriage jumping recently and I wanted to practice jumping some fill so I went armed with this and let Jonna know. Saturday we just worked on self carriage and it was a really interesting lesson.

Jonna had two trot poles set in front of a jump, and he wanted me to test Henrys responsive ness by doing a course, then bringing him to the trot poles. It would really test if Henry was listening because he needed to come right back to me to get it right.

We started out trotting the poles to a cross rail. Jonna wanted us to get as deep as possible and not help him out too much and the first few times were ok, I just needed to stay with Henry a bit more. Jonna made the jump into an upright and we came through again, and this time it was more obvious I was just slightly behind the movement. Jonna had me come through once more, slowing the trot even more and making sure I stayed with Henry. We got it right so Jonna had me canter, then trot once Henry lined the jump up and test the down aid. We nailed it so we moved onto a course.

Jonna had a two stride double, a skinny and an oxer set up on the arena with lots of changes of rein. First up Jonna sent us down the double on the right rein to the skinny. We did the double and Jonna immediately pulled us up because Henry accelerated just slightly between the jumps. Jonna wanted me to get Henry deep to the jumps,  and ride like I wanted Henry to have the rail. If he ran through the double, I had to halt then come and do it again.

With this in mind we represented and Henry was much steadier between the jumps and popped  neatly over the skinny.We did it again, adding in an oxer off the left rein after the skinny. This was all ok, Jonna was pleased with the ride I gave Henry and when we come and trotted through the trot poles and little jump, Henry came right back to me with no issues but focussed too much on the top rail and blundered through the poles so we came and did it again. Henry was more mindful the second time around.  Jonna noted that I was a bit slow to sit up in the double and wanted me to react faster with my body. When we repeated the exercise I was mindful of not staying forward after we landed and that adjustment was enough for Henry to stay steady in the 2 stride line.

We reversed the course, starting with the trot poles. I nailed that exercise, the oxer and the skinny in the opposite direction but Henry caught me out coming into the double, taking off half a stride out and leaving me behind. He didn't rush though and when we repeated it I got him deep to the fence and he jumped through nicely.

The jumps all went up and we changed the course a bit, still starting with the trot poles. It was fairly smooth over all the only comment Jonna had was I needed to be faster to react to make adjustments. It was something I was aware of while I was riding and the comment Jonna made matched what I had been thinking myself which was really good! I needed to rebalance a bit quicker after the jumps.

Jonna made the oxer jumping out of the double higher at the back and we took out the trot poles, just leaving the upright. Jonna wanted to try and make Henry accelerate in the double and explained to me he wanted me to make my adjustments to Henrys pace much faster, getting in and out with the aide quickly and then leaving Henry to do his job. We nailed it, Henry was awesome through everything and Jonna only had a minor comment about me being a bit slow to readjust my pace.

We then focused on just the double because Henry was drifting left through the line, despite me trying to correct it. Jonna watched me go through a few times and noted that Henry drifted tot he skinny as well. Jonna had me use indirect rein to ensure Henry was straight as we came in, and things went better. The consensus is that Henry is weaker on the right and compensated over the larger jumps by drifting left to give himself more space and using the left lead to give him power. To fix this we need to strengthen the right by cantering and jumping off the right rein a whole lot more.

It was a great lesson, and even better, none of the jumps looked or felt big. I was very excited for our next lesson on Sunday!


  1. Henry looks so so so good <3 i feel like those extra giant tall standards almost make the jumps look smaller than they actually are -- almost haha. they're getting bigger and bigger and Henry seems to love them!

    1. I've never thought about the height of the standards, thats the height they all seem to be! I think I'd second guess myself if they were shorter and we were getting near the top. Henry is certainly enjoying himself, and I think he will like it even more when I get him stronger!


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