I didn’t have a lesson booked for the Sunday after the fun ride but as my instructor was free I thought I’d take advantage and get ‘straight back in saddle’ with a jumping lesson.

We focused on a listening exercise with some poles laid out in a fan on a circle and a cross at x.  The idea was to help Abbey get into a rhythm going over the poles on the circle and then pop over the jump at x occasionally.  Abbey wouldn’t know whether we were continuing on the circle or going straight.  As usual Abbey got the idea pretty quickly and it worked; she definitely started to listen, waiting for direction after the poles.  By the end she felt more balanced in her canter too.

The nights have well and truly drawn in and I’ll put my hands up and admit that I lost enthusiasm and only rode once during last week.  I did lunge on another evening, which was interesting.  Haven’t done it for a while and saw a massive improvement, especially in the canter.  She didn’t fall out half as much as she did last time I lunged.

Last weekend I was supposed to having a quite one and spending some time with the OH but a livery asked whether I fancied xc schooling at Solihull Riding Club on the Sunday. Of course I said yes and was delighted with how Abs went.  She tackled unfamiliar water all on her own, without a lead – which is a first!  She also jumped a ditch, again without a lead.  I was over the moon.

Despite the clocks changing I’m determined to keep up with Abbey’s schooling during the week. So far this week we’ve done two flatwork sessions.  On Monday she went like a dream.  Tonight though, I over did it!

After warming up, we had a really good 20 minutes but then she got tired and lost concentration. I tried to get it back and couldn’t with my normal exercises so I tried something new and introduced some turns on the forehand.

It worked to an extent…because I was asking her to ‘think’ about something and give me her attention when she didn’t want to,she got cross. I’d ridden her into a corner before asking and the first couple of times I put my leg on she swished her tail, shook her head and on the 2nd ask, picked her back leg and kicked her belly in a ‘get off’ kind of way!

We’ve done lots of groundwork; she knows the voice command ‘over’ (reinforced with a hand on her side where my leg would be) so I was confident that she’d get the hang on it.  Sure enough she did on the third ask she moved her quarters over and that was it.  Everytime I asked after that, she just moved over.  She’s such a clever girl!