I have found that at horse farms you  see one of two things: a jump course that never changes despite the fact you can no longer see the bottoms of the standards anymore due to the accumulation of sand....and the ring that is never the same twice....at least every ten days I am switching things around, changing it up and building what suits my horses needs on that given day, but I also switch up the colors, so if a gymnastic ends with the black and grey (as below) it won't end with black and grey for awhile...this weeks gymnastic ends in blue, the line I have been working on with both of my TB's is black and grey. Long story longer, I have known this to throw off some horses, not Mr. Steve. He always struts into the arena and I can tell he notices it's different, but he brings his game face and never lets it phase him. He has been the most straight forward horse over fences that I have ever ridden, despite the fact that he is still really green and has next to no idea what this whole jumping game is.

With that being said, we have been jumping about two times per week, mixing it up with trot exercises, gymnastics, starting with lines and we even cantered our first single fence the other day....but then let me tell you what riding a hose with a BIG EGO is like, haha....any more confidence instilled in this horse and,well, I am not sure what we will get, but we shall see as I am not about to knock it out of him.

Our last jumping session (which will be our last one for potentially the season, will explain later) we started a bounce to two one strides, vertical - oxer. He was pretty green about the bounces, but it got better every time, and honestly the bigger you put the vertical at the first one stride, the beter the bounce got....We eventually built it up to a small cross rail bounce to a 3' vertical and 3'6" oxer, which despite looking huge in the arena, looks disappointingly small watching videos of us over it, and looking at the photo...

So,  reasoning behind the last jumping session is that although his jumping is getting better and better, it's his only focus, his flat work is still good and improved,  but we still have moments of, "I'm sure you know better than that as you have been in a program for way too long..." and he does, it's just when  he's brave and cocky that Steve knows best...one day when he does know best, that will be an excellent trait, but for now, we're instilling a good half halt, connection, throughness, and lots of foot work over group poles to keep his interest in the flatwork...I am anticipating a good month or so of this flatwork schooling, but it may be less. If he catches on and comes around, we'll jump again sooner, but it's come time that the questions require more flat schooling, not just straight and forward at the fences. Anyway, weather may not play in our favor, as well...but I will keep everyone posted!

3'6" never looked so small....


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