Rio and I had our last jump lesson for a bit on Sunday. MM is headed to a 2 week show, so we will be taking it easy in her absence. I know 2 weeks may not sound long for some, just feels like forever to me since I am used to 2-3 lessons a week these days.
We rode in the “big” jump ring for the first time in ages. It has a full course, and jumps with more filler. I don’t really prefer the ride in it though because the footing isn’t usually worked as well, since not very many people use it. It was passable on Sunday though so we went ahead and took advantage for our jump lesson.
MM really had me focus on essentially doing nothing as soon as I saw the spot (usually about 3 strides out) and letting Rio figure it out to the jump. He is kind of used to me holding his hand, and keeping a light feel on the reins the whole way to the jumps, and being overly communicative about when I think he should jump. Our new approach is essentially letting him figure it out, because guess what, I’m not always right. I find the track, and try to make sure he’s approaching with a balanced canter, but then I basically abandon him and sit really quiet and let him gain some confidence about when we should go.
This approach REALLY changes his jump. He jumps the BAJEEZUS (yes that’s a word) out of the jumps when I leave him alone to figure it out. Only one time did I see the spot, and he didn’t, and we had a deep chip. He instantly corrected himself the next time though. So so smart he is. Someday in the near future I’m going to be able to to jump him around blindfolded, he’ll be that auto!
In other exciting news, Rio and I are signed up to clinic with Julie Winkel the first weekend in February! I am SO FREAKING EXCITED. Seriously cannot wait to learn from her, and see what pointers she has for us. Should make for some awesome posts as well- so stay tuned for those!
Jump video from our lesson! Enjoy!