Rio and I haven’t had very many serious jump lessons since our show in early December. The holidays and weather always seem to slow things down a bit this time of year, so I was excited to really stretch our legs some on Saturday with a jump lesson. Rio has been consistently awesome in all of our rides, and he continued the streak on Saturday.
This post (and hopefully many more posts in the future!) will be media heavy due to the fact that trainer MM got an AWESOME Nikon camera!! Hip hip hooray!!! All photos this post are courtesy of MM, which is extra impressive when you realize she was also teaching a jump lesson with 2 riders.
Rio’s flatwork started out super relaxed. He feels SO GOOD after his bodywork session, and was moving very fluidly. His canter was “lopey” and smooth. Lopey in the hunter sense, not the western pleasure sense. I rarely have to worry about him falling on the forehand these days, he is 90% self-carrying. SUCH A GROWN HORSE I TELL YOU.
We did a super fun gymnastic line, ending with a good bit of height (3’3 ish). Rio has been really improving in his strength, which showed in our lesson. Where he used to get quick through lines, and jump more across, he is now staying a bit slower, backing off the jumps more, and doing a better job of rocking back before the fences. He is probably never going to be the scopiest jumper ever, but I’m crazy proud of his improvement lately.
One of the biggest improvements lately is both of our confidence levels. I think the Waco show really proved to me mentally that we CAN do this, and gave me a lot of needed confidence in both myself and in Rio. Yes, I am a wuss. Don’t judge me haha! Rio is a SAINT of a horse, and I am finally trusting him to the jumps, which is making a huge difference in our ride. I am pretty sure MM thinks I’ve been body snatched by aliens and replaced with a way calmer adult ammy LOL.
So ya, not much more to report! We are going to continue to work on strength and fitness, but I also want to take it slow and not take advantage of Rio’s willing nature. As much as I am itching to put the jumps up some and really see what he can do- we have plenty of time for that in the future. 2018 is sure looking bright so far!
Enjoy a deluge of adorable media below!
Shelley from Diary of a Hunter Princess, asked for a pic of Rio’s roach. Here ya go! We xrayed it during his PPE and it looks 100% fine so it didn’t factor into my decision to purchase/not purchase him.