The One where I Actually Go Over a Jump

So last night was my last private lesson with my current instructor and it was fun! I left on a total high, it might have been the sunshine, it might have been the jumping, it might have been the beautiful sunset or the great canter I got but it was a really nice way to end part of my journey with my instructor – I still have Sunday’s lesson but that will be different I am sure.

So I was given MJ (you may remember him from the Riding and Road Safety), I had been told I would get him as he is great for beginner’s jumping – a real confidence giver. However, when I learnt I was getting him I watched a video of him jumping with one of the helpers on Sunday – wow! In at canter and flying over the jumps…hmmmm – I needed my confidence hat on 🙂 In an attempt to remind me that I had actually jumped a horse before, in fact did a whole damn holiday weekend doing it, I watched the videos that were taken that weekend. It kind of helped, it reminded me that I do overcome my fears and push myself. Bring it on! Well bring on a tiny jump please, let’s not go daft!

MJ doesn’t care for the school so you have to keep him busy, lots of walking around and over the poles not really bothering about being out into the corners. He is hard work, he finds it tricky and therefore likes to just stop and stand. It was a workout chasing him around just to keep him moving, my instructor got a workout too – at one point she did chase us about the school (that would have made a good video). I gave him lots of praise when he did something correctly. We did lots of pole work, walking up over 3 poles, turns and tight turns over single poles on a diagonal line – we weren’t great at getting in the centre of the poles although we improved on each go. We warmed up in trot over the poles as well but we did slow back to walk a few times. Then time to canter, with all the problems getting a good working trot I did think this was going to be an issue and that we would have a slow laboured canter around the school before transitioning back to trot at the first sign of a corner.

Weellll…I was right on one of those thoughts. It was tough to get him into canter but once we were in we were flying, I got taken by surprised and forgot to do my breathing or even my proper sitting to the canter! But he was so responsive that I pretty much thought ooh this is a bit quick and he went back to a good trot, I did get a bit unbalanced as well as I hadn’t expected that enthusiastic a canter. After that excitement I clearly got over confident and decided to randomly jump a drainage ditch only joking, it was actually that I was so busy trying to put MJ into canter that we strayed dangerously close to the drainage ditch and he decided that we may as well jump the ditch then canter at the next corner. It was pretty amusing, oddly enough I, actually dare I say, it enjoyed it! Plus it is good to know I am balanced most of the time 🙂

After that my instructor guilt tripped me into going over the jump, I am so pleased that she did though. I was reticent due to his fast canter as I thought I wouldn’t be able to slow him or control him into the jumps. Actually though it seemed as though MJ realised I was nervous and didn’t try to break into canter once. Instead to help me keep him in check we did a wee course where I stayed in rising trot only moving to jump position when I was approaching a pole or the jump – and do you know what it was great fun! I did it a few times adding in a third pole with turns and a little more steering. I actually enjoyed it all but ssshh don’t tell anyone – I need to check my enthusiasm for Sunday 😉

Thanks so much to my instructor, she has always been able to push me when I need it but equally understanding of my nerves. She is going to be a hard act to follow. A wonderful Wednesday night.


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