I am so proud of myself. I've actually worked my horse 3 days in a row. Rode yesterday, and he was good. I actually rode with my friend Nicole as she worked one of Joyce's horses. We rode together in the ring. He was great! I half expected him to be fresh or get upset if Maize got within eyeshot of him, but he was completely unaffected by her. Worked really hard at asking him to come down on the bit and BEND, and he resisted my efforts at every opportunity. Luckily, he did listen every now and again, and I got a few trot sets that were really good. Had trouble yet again with the right lead. Once he got it, I kept him on it for an entire lap before walking. Left lead was quite good, and I even circled and kept him pretty well balanced through the whole thing. The jump was kind of sucky, though. He got a little antsy and really wanted to run through my aids and canter like a twit down to the jump. It took about 12 times of approaching it from different angles before he finally settled enough for me to quit. So, not a GREAT, brilliant day, but also not a frustrating one.
Today was hilarious, and I WISH I had taken a video camera, lol. I got the bright idea to go ahead and do a little free jumping session today. I wasn't sure how it would go, because when he shuts down and decides he doesn't want to do something, he WON'T. He's also not a super brave soul, and I worried that he would be spooky at the jump, or not move off the whip correctly. He was just GREAT! At first, he GALLOPED around like a crazy man, bucking and farting like a lunatic. That is actually unusual for him; I have to REALLY get onto him to get him to show a little spirit on the longe line. The jump I set for him was just a single, but it was an oxer, which I've never jumped him over before. It was just 2', not high, and I dropped opposite sides, making it into a teeny swedish oxer. It was SO funny. I was literally standing there with the whip pointing to the ground, laughing. He cantered around the corner on the left lead, neatly bypassing the jump. He then bucked his way through a flying change to the right lead, did a canter pivot worthy of a reining horse, then proceeded to lengthen his canter until he had a pretty decently huge stride right over the jump. I nearly fell over with glee; my horse jumps like a FREAK, YAY!! He was very impressed with that little swedish, and easily could have cleared 3' or higher with no problem:) He was ROUND, he was SQUARE, and he was BEAUTIFUL!!! Anyway, he repeated that all on his own about 5 times in a row. Finally, he seemed to lose some steam and stopped. I raised one of the poles to a straight bar, and had to use the whip to urge him over it. "AH" he said. "This is what I do all the time! No biggie." The straight bar side, he gave *just* enough effort to clear the poles. In fact, his back feet touched it. Let him jump it twice, then raised the other side so it was a simple, square oxer. Again, he was completely unimpressed, this time touching it with his front feet. Did it ONE more time, and he cleared it, but clearly that was *easy*, and he was tired. I let him be done. Dang, I was so psyched he jumps so darn cute. Once again, proud mama!!:):)