Wednesday, Karen from Spanish Walk came to play with me and Scarlet. I love showing him off. He was a good boy for her and only tried to nudge her off balance once looking for treats.
I rode him around for a bit just warming him up. I think it’s always polite and safer for the owner to ride the horse first so that whoever is riding doesn’t have a bad experience. He was very good and we even got a fantastically smooth downward transition from canter to trot.
Then Karen got on. They had a few issues with not understanding cues at first. Scarlet was super confused as to why someone new was on his back but he was listening. He kept moving and then dropping his head like he was saying “This? This? Maybe this?”. It was really fun.
Friday, I wasn’t super interested in going out to ride but I wasn’t sure what riding I would get this weekend so I forced myself to go. It’s a good thing I did. There was only one other person out at the barn when I got there and by the time I left, they were gone. I had the whole jumping arena to myself.
I had been planning on working on flat work in my jumping stirrup length and working on my two-point but the arena was completely mine. How could I resist jumping? After warming up and doing a bit of two-point at the canter, Scarlet and I hit the jumps. We trotted in and cantered out of the straight line with the small cross rail and the gate that scared me before. (It’s not scary now). And then we trotted over a pile of poles and jumped a vertical. Scarlet definitely perked up now that we were cantering.
I wanted to link the diagonal line with the cross rail/gate line on the straight side so I switched directions and got Scarlet to trot into the diagonal so we would be able to make a nice sweeping turn at the end of the arena into the line on the straight. He definitely didn’t listen to me. He made it over the jumps but had sped up so much that we had a motorcycle turn and I had to pull him away from the jumps rather than head into the line.
We went back to the jump that we trotted in and I circled him a few times on the approach until he was listening to me a bit more for pace. We then went through it again. The turn was still shallow and he landed on the wrong lead and wasn’t picking up the correct lead so we ended up trotting into the straight. Again, he didn’t listen on pace and decided he wanted to take a flyer. We ended up messing up the striding for the canter line since he wasn’t listening. We had to add half a stride (All Scarlet’s doing. He really is doing most of the thinking going through lines at this point for us.) and then he rocked back and launched over the jump. He cleared this little bitty 12-foot fence like it was three feet. I was not prepared. I lost my seat, fell way behind and yanked on his face. But I didn’t lose my stirrups or my whip (no wrist strap since it was my dressage one I use for flatting) and was able to resettle pretty easily.
I took us back up the line and made sure to over exaggerate my release. I didn’t want him to feel bad about jumping it due to me yanking his mouth. I shouldn’t have worried. He jumped it just fine. Scarlet also listened a bit better so that was a good jump. I linked the two lines together, got a good turn and called it a night after that.
I definitely have jumping related things to focus on. For me, more two-point and thinking about striding and deciding what we are going to do. For Scarlet, he needs to listen to me for pace and not get too excited when the jumps start happening. After the first jump, any time a jump came close to being in a line to him, he would almost lock onto it thinking that was the one we were going over. I like that, but he needs to listen to me more. We need to do trot/canter poles and small cross rails with me controlling what pace I want him to go through so that we don’t have this problem of speeding up when we don’t need to again.
Saturday, I got Scarlet out on the trails! I wasn’t expecting it as I am not comfortable going on my own and didn’t know anyone at the barn well enough to plan for a trail outing. But some ladies were tacking up at the same time as me and I asked if I could tag along!
He did so well. I was really proud of him. He was a little jiggy at the beginning but he wasn’t worried about leaving the barn since there were other horses with us. Definitely would love to do more trails in the future.