Friday, January 2, 2009

Cross Country Lesson

Jack suprised me today by behaving nicely for the lesson today, even though he had the past couple of days off due to New Years. Sue, who helped me a lot with Red, was my instructor.We started off the lesson by doing lots of transitions. First it was 8 strides of trot, then halt and repeat. Then 4 strides of trot, 4 of walk. Then 8 of canter, 8 of walk etc. She wanted him to get much softer in his transitions and soon she had me try getting downward transitions by breathing out and not using the reins. It took him about a minute to grasp what I wanted but he was soon doing it perfectly. He is a very, very sensitive horse and responds beautifully to the lightest aids.

We started off small and went bigger. I had my faithful dad following me around with the camera and part way through the lesson my mum and "auntie" arrived to watch.

It seems that Jack hates having his head interferred with from about 5 strides out of the jump and 3 strides after. As soon as I let him have "his strides" and sung to both of us to keep an even rythm he jumped very nicely. No galloping away after the jumps and no head tossing.

Sue had us jump a ditch during the lesson. I've jumped a couple of ditches before when I was living in Taumarunui but I really don't know much about them. Jack refused the first time but on the second time he jumped it. Really, really big. Even though it was a massive jump I felt really secure and not at all un-balanced... Thank you Red! Sue told me to stay sitting up over the jump, that I don't need to lean forward for it. It looks like I didn't listen to her very well if the photos are any indication. (Click to see the bigger version)

Next it was onto the Water Jump. We all remember my unfortunate incident with the water last time. He jumped into the water like a star and would canter through the water as fast as he could. The cool water refreashed us both I think. One time when we jumped into the water he cantered straight towards a massive bank. I don't know what he wanted to do but I pushed him the other way at the last minute and my knee was almost taken out on a wooden post.

After schooling a few more jumps we stuck most of them together for a course. Jack was a star and jumped everything without looking twice.

I don't know if you noticed but I've got some mean man muscles coming through on my arms. Which shows especially on this photo. They are getting pretty big haha.

We finished off the lesson there since it was our first Cross Country Schooling together. I learnt a lot about Jack in this lesson. Sue really likes Jack which helps a lot. She says he has "unlimited potential" which is very encouraging.

There is an ODE on the 1st of February and I think I will compete at Pre-Training lesson. Hopefully I can fit one more Cross Country lesson in and then we should be good to go.


Beckz said...

You have definitely landed on your feet with jack, what a lovely horse.

Katie said...

Thank you! I think so too! I'm looking forward to doing great things with him.