I’ll warn you in advance. This is a media free post written at 5am. Lol
I’m struggling with what to rename the Ranger Recap Series as it appears it will be Bob from here on out. Ranger is needed for other lessons (don’t worry, he did get his treats!) and Forrest is currently out of commission. Bob is stepping up and trying his tricks and scaring people along the way (lol).
This week we spent more time being intentional about flying changes. I had to work a little harder to get Bob going and forward, both at the trot and canter (lots of tripping was happening and he’s not the soundest of horses or he wouldn’t be sitting around for anyone to ride. He’s serviceable but wouldn’t pass a ppe). Much better once he started using his hind end vs dragging it around. At the canter, I had to do a little growling at him when i added leg to prove I was serious…
so changes. Bob sort of throws is entire body into it and my core is…not strong. I was getting the lift hand part but flying forward. I needed to approach it by thinking lean way back and keep adding leg. He’ll do them w/o the leg, but they are so freaking dramatic. After several tries and a break, we got a few nice ones.
We kept the jumps really low. Not because height was an issue, but because I didn’t want to have to think about the jump at all. So, when my trainer started to put a cross rail up to a larger on to start with, I told her she could keep it small so I could just master everything today. And this is how I didn’t stop at one fence last night.
We started with the cross rail (adding lines in the sand 3 strides out for a visual cue for me lol) and all was good–collect until 3 strides then leg, same other way. Repeated with outside single. Next thing you know, we’re jumping the outside single inside cross rail around to the inside quarter line skinny with no warning and all is good. Both directions.
So what changed? I’m not sure. We had one fence last lesson that we sort of ran of of gas and jumped a close short spot but I kept leg on him and Bob said, “OK! I’ll jump!” And since then, I know as long as I add that leg, he’ll jump. Our first left lead to the outside canter, I rode to the short spot which Sunday he would have stopped, BUT I kept leg on him and said jump and there was no way in hell he wasn’t jumping. Again, after that, no inkling of concern. We took short spots and long spots and Bob started filling in the pieces for me. I just squeezed.
I’m sure once we do lines we may have so rough moments, but I feel 1000% more comfortable on him. It’s almost like a switch was flipped and he realized I figured something out and he’s meeting me halfway. After the lesson, my trainer commented I could jump anything in the ring now. How I felt last night? Probably. You rise up to Bob or you crumble. I’m not crumbling.