Our third jumping lesson with Richard was all about grids. I hadn't had the chance to get Katrina back in the jumping arena since last time because it's normally busy when I get to the yard so I knew she'd still be very wobbly. Richard put up three fences for us and I was amazed that he expected Katrina to manage. It was one jump, one stride to the second and then he made a bounce.!!! Richard was kind though and did let us trot over the poles on the ground a few times to start with.
Katrina was not at all sure first, I mean, they could be horse eating poles!!! You never know.... This was obviously her first grid and bounce with a rider, and the first couple of times she tried to run out after the first jump, simply because she was inexperienced and had no idea what she was doing! Bless her, I think all the poles confused her a little. To fix this I had to change my whip into my right hand which does feel funny because I'm left handed, keep her very straight and just give her a tap down her shoulder when she tried to run out through it AND make sure I was still asking with my legs. It only took a couple of tries before she figured it out. Then when we did get the hang of the first two fences, she'd do a huge cat leap over the last one out of the bounce which was unseating me and at one point I went halfway around the arena with no stirrups,!!! Some days I'm really glad I had masses of lunge lessons without stirrups, being able to balance without them has saved me so many times!!!
Towards the end though, she was really starting to get the hang of it and was beginning to pick her feet up quicker for the bounce and jumping it easily. Clearly that was far too easy in Richard's opinion, can't have it easy can we noooo, so he had us do it all again the other way. This way though Katrina had started to feel more confident. The fences weren't very big, but height wasn't the idea today, asking questions about how athletic she could be was and I think she did well. It was important for me to ride into all the fences because Kat didn't have the confidence to begin with and we really need her to be listening to me, I think when she does it regularly she'll really start to enjoy it because I can feel how she changes throughout a lesson, it's just a bit new to her for now.
Looking back in just 3 lessons she's learned to jump a little course with fillers, she's flown over spreads and started to maintain a rythm and learned today to be a little more athletic and to listen to me more. I'm really proud of her, she might sometimes for a moment say "I can't" but she never says "I won't" she's a really good girl.
Karla who was my partner this week was manging everything with ease, and jumped some really big fences! I was super impressed!!! For some reason Richard's lessons always feel way short because I'm having so much fun I never want them to end!! Big thanks to Karla for sharing the lesson with me, Mum for being (yet again) supportive and helpful in every way, and Richard for taking the time to teach me.
I also must thank my amazing supporters and sponsors Stone House Solutions and The Emporium at Wentworth. Your support means the world to me.