Since my little guy is starting school this week, my plan is to show up and ride nice and early every day week! I've already got a tentative week's schedule planned out for my little muffin; tomorrow will be a no stirrups day for me.
Friday, I had a great day. I'd assumed that since it had poured at my house Thurs night, it also would have rained at Joyce's, and the ring would be soft enough to jump in fairly guilt free ... I was wrong:( It was as dry and as hard as ever. The good news is Cowboy Wayne stopped in and gave his opinion that maybe we'd have sand in about a month:) I'm just praying this is true.
Despite the hard footing, I decided to do a tiny bit of jumping anyway; he had on his Thinline pad and his T-boots, and the surface was a little bit loose. I set up the blue barrel all by itself on one long side with guide poles propped up on it, the 3 cavs on the other long side, a 2'6 vertical on one diagonal, and a 2'9 swedish oxer on the other diagonal. I had 3 poles on the vert arranged in a fan pattern (to give him something different to look at). I was equipped with no spurs, no stick, but a neck strap. It's funny; I haven't REALLY jumped him since we went xc schooling at Calimar because of the footing, so the 2 center jumps looked huge. Warmed up VERY well on the flat, doing some TOTF, some leg yielding, some prompt canter transitions. Made sure I kept my leg on and supporting the whole time, and made sure that even though I was asking him to stretch into the bit, my forearms were soft and quiet the whole time.
Did a quick runthrough of BN test B, and it was tons better than the other day. He felt very nice. Trotted back and forth through the cavs again as a warmup, halting on a straight line. Added more leg to my halt so he kept his head up and didn't try to yank the reins through my fingers. Trotted into the blue barrel with my shoulders back, leg on, left hand on the neckstrap, and READY to kick him over it. Uh, he could have cared less! Hopped right over, no problem. Next step will be to do it without the guide poles:) Started a course beginning with the right outside (barrel), inside, outside, inside. Did pretty well with distances; grabbed the strap coming into oxer since it got bigger and bigger the closer we got to it; he was SO perfect over it. Jumped the snot out of it, but he felt really nice. Reversed it and started with the left outside, and again, was ok on my distances. Ran him a little bit at the barrel because we were coming in long. Kept cantering, and came down to the vert one more time. OF COURSE knocked it down because I ran completely through the distance. Continued to the oxer one more time, and we nailed it beautifully. Finished over the cavs one more time, trotting in, so I could do that halt without being yanked down. He did it super, so we quit there.
Stirrupless tomorrow; I may set a few poles to work on lengthening and collecting the trot and canter. No rain, so the ring will be hard again, but again, I'll have his T-boots on to absorb as much shock as possible. Hoping to beg the cowboy to drag the ring this week.