Spring lessons

It's been a bit quiet on the blog front recently but things have just been ticking along quietly. This weekend though we had two lessons with Jonna!

Saturday I had a show jumping lesson and I wanted to work on landing on the correct lead. This seems to be our one continuing weakness and I really wanted to nut it out with Jonna.

We started out by having our usual chat and Jonna wanted to know if Henry could walk to canter on both reins with very little flexion. We hadn't practiced that in a long time so I wasn't sure but I played around with it a bit in my warm and he can, but it needs work. We also made sure that he was sharp on the aids for indirect rein before we started jumping by trotting a small cross pole and Henry was very casual about it, more casual than he has ever been!
More casual than this!

There were just 2 jumps set up in the arena, an upright and a hogs back. Sometimes simple is all you need. Once we were warmed up, Jonna had us canter to each jump as straight as possible and not indicating which lead Henry should land on to see which lead he would default to. To the right he consistently landed correctly but to the left it would depend on his take off. He was straight coming in to each jump though so it was more weakness rather than anything else.

When we got a good spot jumping off the left rein he would land on the correct lead but if we got a little too deep or a bit far away (which was more likely) he would swap. He consistently nailed the lead when coming off the right rein though. We tried a shorter approach on the left rein and circling over both jumps to try and train the correct lead but as he got more tired he defaulted to the right lead more.
Andrew was show jumping so I have unrelated pics

Jonna said that we need to work on getting Henry stronger now but also start working him over grids to get him a bit tighter in his form. We were both so pleased with him as he was jumping in self carriage and the jumps were set at about 1m. It was so easy for him and he was so easy to ride! I felt like I should be doing more but really he is just at the point where I set him up and leave him alone other than minor adjustments like indicating what lead we should land on.

It was interesting that Henry just a few weeks ago preferred landing on the left lead so Jonna thinks once we get him strong we will have in in the bag. It’s a good indication that it’s not me causing the issue and it corresponds to other areas of our training.

It was amazing to see how much we had improved even in the last 3 weeks. Henry was confident and relaxed and I was making decisions early to jumps and really pushing for a more forward canter. I was so much better at staying with him too, even when he took a long spot. It really feels consolidated now and the bigger jumps were not at all intimidating. It’s amazing to think back about how far we have come in such a short space. All my lessons recently leave me so in love with my horse and the training process and I am enjoying every part of it so much.

It also struck me while I was cooling Henry down from this lesson that I really want to become a coach. It’s something I have done in the past and have considered but I wasn’t confident about coaching. Life has taught me a few things since then and I feel much more confident and I am going to do the qualification now. I really feel like I have things to teach and the knowledge base to pass it on to other riders.


  1. Oooohhhh good luck with the qualification!!

  2. aw there's something so rewarding about coaching - good luck with getting qualifications !


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