Each year to celebrate Visa, I’ve dubbed April 17th to be “National Pony Day” and I’ve spent the day doing something fun… typically with ponies. This year was fairly low-key, but it did coincide with Trainer setting up a big outdoor course, so I snagged an extra lesson on Miles. And I may or may not have filled my Riding Warehouse cart for some retail therapy…
My last lesson on Miles went really well, at least in terms of Miles’ attitude and willingness to pack his mom around (which is a huge win). On Monday, our warm-up jumps were… much the same. I wasn’t seeing any distances and part of that was not trusting the hunter gap; I was worried about Miles playing on the other side. I gave myself a quick pep talk, specifically remembering last week when I get left behind more times than not and Miles never even thought about being sassy. Luckily, I got my head in the game when we started doing courses.
After a quick warm-up, we went right into jumping courses. To start, fences were set at 2’3”-2’6”, which all looked doable to me. I was mostly concerned about having the enough pace to get down the lines (which were set at five strides). Our first course actually really good, in terms of where we’re at in training right now. Some spots were sticky and I didn’t balance and stretch up enough to get some of the lead changes, BUT I saw my distances much better and we had enough pace to get down the lines.
After that, the fences went up to 2’6″-2’9″. There was one oxer at the end of a line that looked particularly large… and I just decided to not look at it. I know Miles doesn’t care and 2’9″ is well within his abilities, plus he jumps pretty smoothly most of the time, so even if I get jumped out of the tack a little bit, it’s usually not that bad and I’m able to catch back up on landing quickly. Our second trip was even better than the first, as I had a better pace throughout and knew what I needed to do in the lines a bit more. I can’t lie, when we sailed over that big 2’9″ oxer I was flying high — literally and figuratively! I haven’t jumped that high very many times (maybe two or three times in my entire life?) and it felt AWESOME.
To finish up, we did a little handy hunter/jumper course that of course Miles loved (shown in the video above as course 3). He’s become quite handy in the last year or so and I know he really enjoys doing something different, rather than just the standard line, diagonal, line, diagonal. I’m really looking forward to a small clinic at the farm we have coming up this weekend and I feel really prepared after such a great lesson!