Trotting into jumps coming away from the gate is a real bitch. R2 struggles with it as well when she jumps him. But trainer R keeps making us do it anyways, freaking trainers, always making you do the really hard things.
The issue is that as you turn away from the gate, Odin sucks back behind the leg. No matter how much leg you add, he keeps losing momentum. Then he gets to the cross rail and is like, meh, stumble/lazy jump. I will cheat by cantering up the long side just to wake his ass up, and it usually works.
|We get through, it just isn't exactly pretty|
One time we did a crap lazy jump into the line and R was like "canter NOW" so I booted him in the ribs. This was exceedingly offensive to the baby who promptly squealed and cantered sideways out of the line. We came back around with more focus and he trotted in and cantered out nicely.
For me, this was the key point of the lesson because it exemplified two things with this horse. One, he doesn't hold a grudge. Shit goes sideways, you ask him to calm down and re-focus and he says, sure, no problem.
|Our game faces are ready for bigger things.|
Two, the absolute hardest part of riding him is that you need to add more leg and more leg and more leg and THAT IS TOO MUCH LEG. While it is fine in his head for him to ignore you (for example when you are asking for the canter) for awhile, if you escalate the aid just a hair to much, he gets mad. His being mad is ears pinned with a squeal and often some other minor objection - butt bump, one leg kick, or getting crooked.
I am guessing this is all just tied back to be green and still getting stronger and whatnot, but I had never stopped to think about it before so it is something I will pay more attention to and see if it merits a change in riding technique.
Then on Sunday, I rode with R2 and she was like, let's give the baby a challenge and let him jump something a bit bigger. And so we did.
I was incredibly proud of him. He didn't get overly excited, he didn't misbehave, he just went out there and did his job. The highest we jumped was 2'3" and the first time over that he cracked his back. After that he was like, oh, this doesn't require that much effort. I continue to get the feeling he is going to be a horse who you have to jack the height to get the best form, but that is fine.
|I look like I have jumped a horse before, hallelujah.|