Today Cally and I did a little jump school. She warmed up quite nicely, aside from making mean faces at Mo. What is up with this? And why is it only with the geldings?
We started off nicely enough, trotting circles in each direction over crossrails, then small fences. When we proceeded to trotting these in a figure 8, there was a bit of a protest over having to, heaven forbid, trot something rather than run at it, so we went back to the very helpful tool given to us by Trainer, which is to just halt in front of the fence. That seemed to get through to her, and we had a few nice moments trotting through the exercise, which lasted approximately as long as it took for us to progress on to cantering. Which was fine through the first turn, but turned into head up, run through the aids at the second fence; this lead to hitting the end of the martingale on landing, which made her not so happy–we had a bit of a headshake that time, and went back to trotting.
When that settled in, we moved on to cantering one jump, on a circle. There was, naturally attempted rushing on landing, but as we went around to the left, it improved. So we moved on to going right, which was fine at the trot, but got went downhill quickly once we progressed to the canter, as she went into full Giraffe Mode, through the aids and then hit the end of the martingale when I asked for “whoa” and proceeded to hop and porpoise a bit. Oh, mare!
We went back to basics then, working back on the figure 8 at the trot, landing and whoa-ing when she tried to land and GO, which resulted in one more temper tantrum upon hitting the end of the martingale when she wasn’t allowed to run through the corner, but instead had to halt. There was gnashing of teeth. Eventually, a few circles of good quiet trot got her brain back, and we did end on a good note, looping through the 8 a few times at a quiet, soft trot.
Hopefully this means the jumping puzzle pieces are coming back together in her little brain. Just for reinforcement, I’m going to ask to do a bit of jumping in our lesson Friday, even though we do have a dressage show to prep for over the weekend. Getting her brain settled and responsive will ultimately be just as helpful there as over fences.