Friday, January 14, 2011

A bit of jumping and a great lesson

I was a little worried about how Panama would behave for my lesson today, since I hadn't ridden him since last Friday's lesson, but as it turned out I had nothing to worry about.  My first clue was when I turned him out, and even with me encouraging him to run, he showed very little interest.  I thought it might be because of the sloppy footing in the outdoor arena (all of the snow we got last weekend is currently in the process of melting, now that it's warm and sunny again at last), but he proved me wrong.

In fact, he was so good during our lesson, that after about 15 minutes my trainer asked me which I'd rather work on: cantering, or jumping.  Since it's been a while since we've been able to do either, I was surprised!  I chose jumping — the snow on the roof was melting, so there was a lot of dripping noises all down the long side of the indoor arena, and I thought he might be rather distracted by that.  Besides, he loves jumping — it provides more challenge for him than flat work, and he has always preferred to be challenged.

Sure enough, he was excited when he realized we were going to jump.  I thought he might like to walk over the jump first to give him a chance to see the poles — he used to like to do that — but no, as soon as I pointed him at it he broke into a hesitant little trot, as if asking permission.  I was glad he wanted to get right down to business, so I gave him the okay.

We jumped maybe a dozen times, maybe more.  Panama was very good the entire time — a little bit distracted by the other two horses in the arena, but very well behaved.  Almost too good, actually — for once he wasn't trying to rush the trot all the time, and my trainer was actually having to tell me to put more leg on to get him over the jump!

We had quite a few awkward jumps, as it's been a while since we last worked on this, and we've only had maybe a handful of jumping lessons so far.  But it's getting easier for both of us, and my trainer was really pleased with how we did today.

This ought to be incentive for me to work with Panama more and get him to a point where we can start jumping regularly.  He loves to jump — I'm not positive, but I think he might even like it better than trail riding!

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3 Comments:

At January 14, 2011 at 6:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Sounds like great fun!

 
At January 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM, Anonymous Melody said...

That sounds like a whole lot of fun! I love how they are so like us with their "I'd rather do this" attitudes. Nothing like the "will do whatever you say" animals so many people think of them as.

 
At January 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Kate, it was a blast!

Melody, I agree, horses obviously have their preferences, just like people. But the fact that they will put up with so much of what we ask of them, and not just do it but do it willingly even if it's NOT their preference, is a testament to their natures. I've often thought about what it would be like to have someone on your back, essentially dictating each step, each motion, to you, and the fact that horses put up with this at all is quite simply amazing.

 

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