So, after my last lesson I had a few days in which I would ride Macy on my own. The first day I brought her in from her paddock and she was absolutely bonkers. I could barely groom her, and when she cow kicked at me, I’d had it. I turned her out and made her gallop and gallop and gallop some more. I caught her and did some in hand ground work. She was super responsive and had settled down, but seeing as I was the only one at the barn, I decided to call Sarah and see if riding her would be a stupid move.
Sarah’s reply “Ride the f**k out of her.”
So I did. And she was foot perfect. I didn’t give her a chance to be naughty, and kept my entire ride concentrated on her. I didn’t get lazy and start daydreaming, and instead, focused on how I was going to ask for something and then asked correctly. We did leg yields and haunches in and some lovely canter work. It was totally a confidence building ride.
The following day I turned her out and ran her a bit but she wasn’t really interested so I did more in hand work and brought her in. She was lovely for trot sets. This is pretty mindless work, but since it was Macy I kept her round and tried to keep her straight. We did 30 minutes of trotting with maybe 1 minute of walking (mare did not want a break) and she was great for every minute of it.
So, because I was feeling good about where we were at, we decided that I would to jump Macy in my lesson. If I am going to have any sort of partnership with this mare I am going to have to be able to jump her.
Macy had no interest in running around so I brought her in and tacked her up. No draw reins, just her regular bridle and my jump saddle. Sarah warmed her up and gave me the biggest complement by telling me she felt good and that I had been riding her well. Yay!
She hopped over the jump a couple of times and just wanted me to see that Macy is a bit of a head tosser and she’s also a bit excitable after the jump. She lands and goes on for sure.
I hopped on her and got right to work. She was fabulous! We hopped over the jump the first time and when we landed she very slightly lunged forward, got all excited and tossed her head.
Sarah asked me to halt. Apparently Macy had done a flying lead change when we landed and Sarah didn’t want Macy doing changes right now as she isn’t strong enough to execute them well. So, we’d just land and halt. To be honest, I had no idea what was going on when I landed. It just felt a bit chaotic. Flying lead change? Yeah, I have limited experience with those… Glad to know that’s what was happening.
Second go around was amusing.
Macy MAY have jumped from the placing pole.
It looked like this:
Whoopsie. Good news was she cleared it, I stayed on, and for the rest of the lesson it looked more like this:
Since Macy is just coming back into work, and hasn’t jumped in a really long time, we kept the jumps low and the lesson short. But the great news is, I’m comfortable jumping her! The head tossing isn’t a huge deal, and I know once we string some jumps together I’ll have to get used to bringing her back and balancing her, but there wasn’t anything that unsettled me. Oh! And I can sit lightly before the jump, which is my happy place, but some horses don’t enjoy it. I’ll have to control my driving seat, but I was happy to find out Macy doesn’t scoot when I sit.
All in all it was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to jumping Macy again!