We have had some very exciting rides lately! We have spent most of covid focusing on flatwork and have made some excellent inroads there but while I was jumping it wasn't heaps. I had been feeling like we needed a confidence boost jumping. Well, I needed a confidence boost at any rate.

Thursdays lesson Bec had a little course set up for us. We started out warming up over poles as usual and Henry was lovely and relaxed and stayed soft and round. It was easier as usual on the left rein but even the right rein wasn't too hard. We quickly moved on to a course, and started out jumping a single upright. I needed a nice upright, bouncy canter that was in front of my leg. It was important for me to get the canter right because I truely screwed things up when I didn't.
It's too dark to take photos, so enjoy unrelated pictures!

We gradually built up a course and it was obvious when I let the canter get flat. We would get a bad spot and Henry would have to climb over the jump. Ugh! However, when I had a good canter, the jumps flowed and we landed on the correct lead a lot more often. After a short course Bec and I had a chat and I told her about the homework I had done after our last lesson, to get Henry more supple and to be more demanding about landing on the correct  lead. I had practiced our flying changes and they weren't terrible but they certainly needed work.

Bec talked me through them, and straightness and self carriage were the key which basically what the aim is all the time. The exercise made me really maintain the contact with the outside rein, and we ended up having two brilliant, clean changes in both directions.

Once we got that sorted we kept on with the course, adding a triple line of oxer two strides to an upright, three strides to a second upright. That went well, but I needed to ride more forward and keep the canter nice and bouncy to help Henry out. We also added a skinny chevron which Henry bossed over. In fact he locked on and nailed it without much help from me, good pony!

We finished by jumping through a 5 stride curving line, starting on the right rein and changing to the left. This was very challenging and the first time through we got it done but it wasn't smooth and Henry didn't change leads. Second time was better but third time was the charm and we got the correct leads over both fences!

I still need to work on keeping Henry rounder and straight to the outside rein, plus keep working on faster reaction times, but my  position has improved, I didn't get told off for it once! 
The orange pony is enjoying a life of leisure!

I had a good chat to Bec during the lesson about what height to enter at Gidge. She said that we were more than ready for 80 and theres no point in going out at 65, it's just not big enough now! All the  lessons have also helped boost my confidence and 65 will be too easy!


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