Yesterday I took a lesson with Chewbacca and my trainer noted that it clearly appears we’ve been “doing our homework”. Chewbacca has just come around in the most amazing ways. He has been super soft through the mouth, flexed through the poll, round through the back, and responsive to the leg. It’ s been amazing and I am feeling privileged to ride him. I am so proud of him and so very happy with his progression. We had our 5 month anniversary just the other day and it has just been going great. He’s been at my trainer’s barn since October 31, and was working on jumping 2 times a week through all of November and December. He’s down to just once a week now, which is a bit of a bummer, but it will give me more time to work on his flatwork, so it could be a good thing.
For yesterday’s ride, we worked over the same three fences. The cross rail and the right hand turn to the line. It was a bit of a bummer to be jumping the same fences over and over as we’ve been doing for the past month, but we worked on something new, which made it interesting.
Chewbacca has been learning to work through lines and over singles at a collected pace. He’s been riding 5 & 6 stride straight and bending lines and he has been learning to go straight, stay steady, and balance.
Yesterday, we worked on stepping it up a little and turned our 5 stride line into a 4. It took a few tries, but once he figured it out, the result was awesome. During the first couple tries, it was a little crooked and a little hectic and he jumped out of the line so powerfully at one point he bounced me right out my stirrups. How I stayed on him I do not know. Once we figured it out, he did better and better. We had to work on keeping his lead correct, because he was swapping halfway down the line and landing on the wrong lead. Once I worked that kink out, the end result was a perfect 4 stride line on the correct lead and a balanced turn. End of ride.
It was a hard and sweaty workout, but it was an awesome ride!! I’m so happy!