Another Jumping Night
On Wednesday night I had a second jumping lesson for the week. Kelly warmed us up by having us do a few passes through a simple gymnastic and then she put together a few different jump courses for us. After the first go, I decided to change things up a bit and canter the entire course. As I've written before, I've been working very hard on keeping Lulu slow & calm to her fences over the past few months. And so, because of this, with the exception of combination lines, I usually have been trotting between fences in an effort to control the pace. This has helped me keep Lulu quiet and controlled and has gotten me to the little break-through where I've realized that I can ride through this, where I now know that we don't have to rush through our fences and take those huge spots. Of course, I find it a little bit harder to find a jumping rhythm by trotting into the fences, but I seem to have done alright with this.
Anyway, I feel like I've made some progress, so on Wednesday I decided to try and pull it all together and canter Lulu through a complete jumping course. It was a good night to do it because there were only two of us in the lesson and Kelly had the fences relatively low that night. So I gave it a shot and I think it worked out pretty well! I was very pleased. For the most part we cantered in a nice, controlled and balanced manner and jumped nicely with no crazy-big spots, no big rushing efforts, and no points where I felt Lulu was landing heavy on her forehand and pulling me out of the saddle. We rode pretty much the way we should be riding these courses, maybe a small increase in speed here & there before a fence or two, but it was nothing like the crazy Wild West jump courses we had been doing just a short couple of months ago.
All-in-all, I feel like we've had a pretty good jumping week and I was able to end the training on a pretty good note, which is always a very good thing to do.