A year ago today, my horse had been ridden in various pastures, had done 'mini' trail rides at the park next to Crazy Lady's farm, and had taken his first trip to Patchwork where he "jumped" a single crossrail (actually knocked down the pole).
Friday, I rode him in the ring, and cantered back and forth over 2'9 and 3' verticals like they were cavelletti's. He was just wonderful; so relaxed and "whatever" about our ride. I was very happy and proud of him. Experimenting with bits right now so that when he participates in the next IEA show the girls can stop him easily. I borrowed a Myler bit with a low port that I'll try on him tomorrow if it's not raining. I'm still looking for something he likes enough to go in quietly without cranking his neck sideways or opening and gaping his mouth. I'm convinced he can get there, I just have to find the 'magic key' ... or in this case, the 'magic bit'.
Next on the agenda (hopefully this week) is to build me a super scary jump to school him over. Blankets, flowers, brush, etc. The other jump is to tackle a 3' oxer. I've done one at 2'9, and he was easily over it. Didn't look/back off/etc. So ... if we're ever going to do the level 2 jumpers, I've got to canter down to a 'big one'. He'll be fine, I know it.
Looking forward to continuing our journey together this year. My "big" goal is the George Morris clinic next October at Black Jack Farm in Birmingham. There. I've put it out there in more ways than just words. Now I need to continue to lose weight and tone up, find a bit my horse is truly happy in, and conquer the height obstacles that are in my head. We'll get there.:)