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Since we’ve really been focusing on our flatwork the last few weeks, I decided we should have some fun today and do the barn’s weekly gymnastic lesson.  It’d been our last jumper show, in mid-December, since we’d jumped anything.

It was cold, and I was a little tired being up so much earlier than normal (I do work nights, after all!), but I was quite happy with how nicely Cally warmed up.

Sadly, the iPhone’s video was not so fabulous in the indoor with the contrast of bright open windows and darker areas, so neither the still grabs or the video was great.  But, as you can see, she’s going well, I still need to work on keeping my shoulders back and not letting the reins get so long I’m riding on the buckle.

The goal was to start out over a few groundpoles that would be built up into a three fence gymnastic.  However, I’d failed to take into account the fact that we hadn’t jumped in a month, and Cally can get a bit exuberant about the whole affair when we haven’t been jumping regularly.  And she has opinions, which are obviously more important than my opinions, so up goes the head and “la-la-la I can’t hear your aids Mom!” off to the fences we go at her chosen pace.  So off I hopped to go grab my standing martingale.  It should come as no surprise that Miss Clever realized the second it went on, loosely, and right back around she went on the aids.  Insert eye-roll here!

We mostly worked on staying quiet and steady through the line, and coming back to a nice steady canter through the end of the ring.  In her case, quiet in pace, in my case, quiet with my upper body.  That was easier said than done, but by the end we got through the line nicely, with a decent lead change and circle at the far end of the ring.

The bigger takeaway, beyond the value of me staying still and quiet, is that we can’t just let the jumping go because we’re focusing on flatwork, because that formula just doesn’t work for her.  She needs to pop over something most times we ride, even if it’s just one X, or a log along the driveway.  Hopefully we can get back in the swing of doing gymnastic classes on the weekends I’m off work, because it’s remarkable how quickly she settles down to work once she remembers how much fun jumping is.

But the standing martingale is going on from the start for the next time we jump.

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