February 21, 2009

Jumping session

I piked out of heading up to Wanganui today - the rain was leaving me very unmotivated and I wasn't keen on driving in those horrid conditions either. So to ensure I didn't waste the weekend I booked the arena today (for the only 2 sunny hours all day! what a score) and took Devon & Princess down to do a bit of jumping. Neo came to watch too. And Swifty came along to do photos.
Devon's flatwork was really quite nice in the arena. Nice tidy transitions and he wasn't spooking at anything (which I find lots of horses tend to the first time I take them down to the arena, as there is lots of spooky stuff hiding in the long grass at the sides).
Devon's owner had popped him over a few crossbars several months ago, but he hadn't done any jumping since then. He was a bit surprised when I trotted him into a crossbar but popped over kindly enough. He was good with the flowers too, didn't even look at them:
He was a bit looky with the picket fence, not stopping, but slowing up into it - so we had a few approaches to get him jumping out of his stride properly. He jumps a lot nicer when I can keep him in a consistent energetic canter right to takeoff, but I also know that he's just young and the muscles are only just building up - so it must be hard work for him sometimes.
I popped him over a few oxers, but realistically need to do more flatwork at home getting the bouncy canter sorted before we do more spreads. Oh, and he was great over the fake liverpool too! Didn't worry about it at all! What a doll.
Next it was Princess' turn. She is starting to soften a little at the walk, which I am stoked about! I also noticed her getting her tongue over the bit occasionally, which she hasn't done before. I'm not too worried by this, I think more than anything it shows that she is recognising the work I'm asking her to do.. I can fix the evasion or issues in time, but I need her to know what I'm asking of her first. She was so good in the arena too - not a spook at all! And fine over a trot pole, then hilarious over a crossbar. She trotted through it half a dozen times before we finally got liftoff! So funny.
Once she worked out the idea of 'jump' she pottered over some of the tiny fences in the arena really kindly. As she is still not really in a contact at the trot and canter I had to really focus on using my legs and seat as much as possible to keep her straight into the fences, as she can get a bit wobbly. But overall she was really good.
I even took her over the little liverpool which she was fine with! Although she isn't really ready to do too much jumping yet, I think it will be a good way to help her build some muscle and I will try to start incorporating some raised poles into her flatwork at home.
Neo seemed to enjoy the day out - he gets a bit upset when the truck goes somewhere without him. And everyone loaded and travelled well - even Devon who used to sweat a bit in the truck is now happy as in there and comes off the other end with no sweat and ears pricked.