Friday, August 14, 2009

Jump to it

Harry's had a week off while I was on holiday, we're show jumping on Saturday - and haven't jumped for ages, eek! So today we have a jumping lesson with Fiona, our trainer. I always think 'trainer' sounds rather high powered for what we do, maximum 2ft 6in jumps, but hey, we can think big.

We do some poles and gridwork, which Harry loves, but he has a tendency to barrel over them like a steam roller, knocking poles flying. So Fiona changes the grid frequently – hard work for her, but it keeps Harry concentrating.

She builds some quite tricky sequences: three cross poles with placing poles and ground poles between the fences. They look quite daunting – all those poles glinting in the sunshine - but Harry tackles them with gusto. At one point he takes charge and meets the first completely wrong, I cling on for dear life and we jump through the grid with speed but a complete absence of style.

Then Fiona builds a double which looks nice and inviting, but tells us we'll be coming into the side of the double and jumping the second jump only, at an angle, then changing the rein and approaching the other, at an angle, before we can jump the complete double straight on. "Don't do the first jump at an angle and pass the second jump, or you'll teach him to run out," she says.

Well, guess what I do? Jump the first at an angle...really nicely, but wrong! We try again and Harry is an angel – he seems to love the challenge, popping over them all without attempting to run out.

Phew, thank goodness sometimes my horse is cleverer than me!

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