March 17, 2013

Jumping, jumping, jumping!

I have been jumping Rose the past few rides now and I couldn't be happier with how she is progressing. Taking baby steps really pays off sometimes (well, most of the time actually). After jumping three days in a row last week, I gave her Saturday off and then we were back at it tonight. Given that we spend most of our time on flat work and the jumps are tiny and we are only trotting them, I don't think that I'm asking too much of her to jump a few days a week, and right now I just want to get her over the "hump" and back into the right frame of mind with the jumps. In addition, she will be turning six this year so I think that her joints can handle the regular work at this point. That's important because, it is that regular work that seems to be paying off. If I were only jumping her once a week, it would have taken me all month to get where we have in less than one week! At any rate, here is what we jumped tonight:

Gymnastic exercise: a 2' ex with trot poles.
As I said, it is a tiny jump. Since Rose did so well on Friday, we started off with the ex up rather than beginning with ground poles as before. However, I still asked her to walk over the jump first. Low and behold she actually walked over it! No trying to rush and jump it at all. I was very happy with her. I was able to walk her up to it, halt her anywhere before the jump, once or twice, and then ask her to continue on and hop over it. She was completely compliant and definitely understood her job. Once I was completely satisfied with her execution of the jump at the walk, we worked at the same exercise at the trot. Again, I randomly threw in halts before and after the jump, preventing her from anticipating what was coming. After a couple excellent jumps at the trot we called it a day. This is the first time since I started her back over fences last week that she hasn't attempted any evasive maneuvers to avoid jumping. I was very happy with her performance and can't wait to continue working on her jumping later this week.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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