Easy breezy

Our first lessons with Jonna for the year are done and it was a big weekend. Our rides lately have been average, I think I am too in my own head and I have been unable to accurately judge where things are at, so I was hopeful my lessons would help restore my faith in myself a bit.

We show jumped on Saturday and I knew I wanted to continue to work on Henry getting comfortable with jumping fill. This is our weakest area at the moment, everything else seems to be ok but fill changes in a course erodes his confidence.

We started out jumping to plain uprights on the arena. This was easy and boring so Jonna dictated his small army to set a few extra jumps up and decorated the existing jumps so everything was different.

We cantered into one of the original uprights that had since been decorated with a fill Henry has jumped before, and Henry stopped. Perfect. I know we usually don’t want our horses to stop but it highlighted the problem and gave us something to work with. I backed Henry up a few strides then trotted into the jump and he hopped right over.

We then came over it again and he didn’t care about it, so we continued around to a very skinny upright. Again, he stopped so I did the same thing and he jumped over it the second time. I could feel Henry grow in confidence after that, and he jumped everything first time, even when the jumps were changed.

Jonna wanted me to ride to each fence, but if Henry was going to stop, let him stop and make the mistake. I wasn’t to change my ride and anticipate the stop. This was hard, especially to the skinny fences, because Henry was very wobbly and I could feel him trying to work out if he should jump it or not.

The solid fill on one jump was replaced with a fabric fill that waved gently in the breeze. As we came around the corner, it moved quite a bit so I pulled Henry up and let him look. When it has stopped moving he jumped it with no dramas, so I parked him in front of the jump and waited for the wind to pick up and blow it around. Henry was nervous about it moving a lot, but stood still and bravely sniffed it.

We moved on to some other jumps and I waited to jump the fabric until it was blowing around a lot. Henry got in deep and jumped confidently and we were all pretty happy with that.

Jonna said that because Henry only stopped twice, his confidence with jump fill is nearly there. If he stopped more, or stopped when jumps were changed multiple times, we would have a lot more work to do but the issue we have now is only minor.

I was really happy with the lesson, I felt like we progressed with this issue, and I could feel Henrys confidence growing. Plus he was rock steady to each fence and my position felt great.


  1. Lol I like the play on the word “breezy”.... Charlie hasn’t seen many of those fabric fill jumps either but he definitely eyeballs them haha. Henry is looking good!

    1. Henry was so unconvinced about it waving at him! He's a good boy though

  2. I am breezy (TM Monica on Friends) if you didnt watch go watch that snip now :) HAHAHHA....
    That fabric jump Remus would be in Australia probably by the time he stopped shying at it. What a good boy Henry is and he does look GREAT!

    1. Oh poor Remus, life is just too scary. I'l have to go and watch that clip

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I feel like he has changed so much recently!


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