The dream team was reunited for a lesson last night! There’s a small group of us (N, L and myself) who have showed together the past two years, and we usually all lesson on the same night. But lately our schedules haven’t been matching up, so it was fun to ride together again.
We did one exercise for the lesson, keeping it short and sweet: three fences (vertical, oxer, vertical) on a bending line. We talked about the distances between the poles, and how many strides should be between each, as well as discussing the path. Where would our horse be looking? Would the striding change depending on which fence you jumped first?
At the start of the lesson Miles was a bit sluggish (probably because it was a balmy 60 degrees out!), but the more we jumped, the more he perked up. We had some iffy distances where I didn’t raise my eye and make a decision soon enough, but of course Miles took care of me. And once I really galloped on, we had a brilliant six strides between each fence which flowed beautifully.
I also tried a new bit, a D-Ring Happy Mouth, and Miles really seemed to like it. Sometimes when I pick up more contact, especially at the canter, Miles gets a little fussy and sucks back. But with the Happy Mouth I was able to have more contact without losing our momentum. I’m not sure if this bit will be a permanent solution, but I’m going to keep using it until further notice. Once we get outside, Miles might be more horse, and he certainly has more motor at a show, so we’ll see.
In other news, it’s supposed to be 65 and sunny this afternoon, so I’m hoping to sneak in Miles’ first bath of the year after work! Wish me luck — Ohio weather like to play tricks this time of year.