Warning: if you do not want to hear our awesome conversations in the videos - turn on some nice music :)
After a frustrating ride on Monday (of which I should have just given her the day off), I decided to switch things up on Wednesday and work on trot poles. Tuesday, Riva did get the day off - I went and watched Lex have a jump lesson at CAF.
There were already 4 trot poles down in our jump arena left over from someone else's lesson. My husband repositioned them for Riva's trot stride and once we were both warmed up - away we went! We have not went over trot poles since...can't remember when...and have never done more than 3. It took us a few attempts to get our act together - which I figured out to stay in a half seat and just keep a steady contact.
After a few good passes thru, something unexpected happened...Riva cantered away after the last trot pole! And it was light, smooth, and forward! I had to stop myself from jumping off and doing a happy dance! I went with it and let her canter back around to approach the trot poles - slowed to a trot - and let her canter away. This did lead to Riva deciding if canter away was a good thing (and she heard all those 'good girls), then canter toward the poles would be even better! I wasn't quite sure what to do about that, so I just went to my normal posting trot over the poles instead of a half seat.
Thursday our heat index was something ridiculous like 107. Riva and Cheers both got a spa day - cool baths and hand grazed in the shade trees around the pond on the property.
Friday, we caught a break in the weather - a little storm quickly passed thru and dropped out temps quickly by about 20 degrees - just as we were heading to the barn. Cool enough to head back to the jump arena and work on trot poles again. Riva was just as game to go as the first time and cantered away several times.
Which leads to this morning! Alexis had the day off and offered to come ride and give me a mini lesson. I told Lex that several times when working Riva over trot poles, she would lock in on other jumps set up around the arena. Lex said it won't hurt her to take her over a low crossrail or vertical - we are talking 18' max. We set one up and after a few times thru the trot poles - over they went!
Lex had me get on and work over the trot poles several times. She then dropped one side of the rail to the ground and had me walk Riva over it, by getting into 2-point just before the 'jump' and moving my hands up her neck. Next time thru we trotted it and jumped!
After trying this a few times from both directions, as I came around for another turn, Lex had set up the jump as a cross rail. And we jumped this!
I know these are tiny - but I am old and have never went over anything more than a trot pole before on any horse, let alone the Diva! I was thrilled with Riva - she was loving it...never slowed down, tried to stop or duck out, never bucked or kicked out - love her :)
Happy cantering pics from today also:
That is the jump we jumped!