Saturday, September 3, 2022

Lesson time

JT and I regrouped post-not moving up to 1m. We decided she would take Ben around his first couple of training level events and then I'd take the reins back. Just so when he asks "Will I, won't I?" the answer is a definite YES. The first show they're doing together is going to be at Majestic in a week. 

She was going to jump school him on Monday, but she threw her neck out that morning, so asked if I had brought riding gear. Something in my head had told me to, so I did have my own stuff with me. The lesson overall went super well. Early on he opted out of the second jump in the one stride. I pulled him to the side because he was definitely going to crash the second jump with his NOPE. JT then said that we were going to do the one stride the rest of the lesson. I got reprimanded once when I chased him the last three strides to the in and felt him almost stop because I had scared him by shoving him AT the jump. But other than that, it was great. She put it up and up and up and we kept going through it. She messaged me after that it had ended up at intermediate height. I thought my eyes were bugging out of my head at it the last few times through... 

The last couple of trips we did the one stride in the opposite direction and then turned through the two stride as well, also set SOLID. The first trip through in this direction, we got a tight spot to the in and I had to boot him in the middle. The next time though, he fought for getting out over the second jump without needing to be booted. 

JT said that is what we are trying to instill - the desire to FIGHT for the jump and FIGHT for getting it done. He's got talent enough to jump from not perfect spots, even at 1m, so I don't need to worry about getting it wrong and him not being able to do it. 

Friday she took him schooling at Majestic. It was SO FUN to watch! 

He's got the most earnest face!! <3 

They tackled the rest of the training level course that we didn't last time, including the up bank combo shown part of above. He was trying very, very hard the whole time. JT said we had maybe made our point about doing the dang thing and he was now trying to be the best boy, but with some anxiety about it. She did a lot of scratching his neck. One of the major (and many, LOL) differences with our riding was how quick she could flip between a DO IT NOW to good boy, you're fine, it's okay. This applied to half halting while galloping and going over fences. As an example, she halted him a couple of times from the gallop in warm up. As soon as he stopped it was reins loose, scratching neck. He tried to move without being asked, immediate woah, then as soon as feet stopped, immediate back to scratching neck. She repeated this four times without an ounce of impatience until he finally woahed and took a breath and could stand there. Same thing out over fences. If he looked hard, it was DO IT NOW! and then as soon as he responded "yes ma'am", it was GOOD BOY, well done! Timing man, it's hard. 

She said he was much better than when she was riding and jumping him right when he was coming back into work. I can feel it myself too, he's much straighter and we're getting the right, forward spot to jumps more and more often, but it was nice to hear that as well. 

I'm SO excited to be horse show mom on the 10th. I work till 2 am the night before; it is really just as well I won't need to be thinking and riding. I can (probably) manage to get him all tacked up properly without much sleep, but making riding decisions without much sleep? Not the best. 


  1. that's awesome that you were able to use the grids to get that Forward, Son! gear reinstalled!! good luck to the whole team this weekend at the show!!!

  2. That picture! Also the point on timing - so true.