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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

27/4/16 Exciting plans

I'm very excited that this weekend sees us finally taking part in a 3 discipline boot camp, some intensive training is just what we need to help us step up another level and keep our confidence high.  We have only actually had 2 lessons since Jack's surgery as until recently I didn't feel like we would benefit that much but now we are most definitely firing on all cylinders and ready to be pushed!
We were originally booked to do one at the end of January with our usual instructor but with me having had pneumonia and so Jack having had most of January off slumming it in the field we had to cancel.  Unfortunately my instructor only does camps in winter so I didn't think I would be able to go to one but luckily we have managed to get a place on one at a fairly local equine college which has lovely facilities including a full BE xc course so I'm really looking forward to it.
I'm not so excited by the weather forecast as for this week it is rain, sleet, snow, wind and more rain!! I'm hoping it's not as bad as all that by the weekend and that the ground holds up so we are able to get out on the Xc course at last as this is my main aim of the weekend!
Now I just need to get everything organised!

Jack has been on great form again this week, he has schooled well, jumped fantastic, enjoyed hacks and lunged over poles.  Our jumping this week put a huge smile on my face as we flew round jumping a decent 90cm spread and a 1m upright as well as a double of skinny brushes.  He gave me a fantastic feeling over the fences and was keen but not silly.  We had a little discussion about cutting corners as Jack obviously felt that getting a good turn and being straight to the fence were not as important as I did but other than that he was spot on and when I rode the turn better instead of just expecting him to go into the corner he responded with a much more balanced turn and straight approach to the fence.  I was thrilled with how easy he made 1m feel.  I am also finding it easier and easier to see and ride a good stride as he is taking me into the fences.  Pre surgery Jack would have had me kicking and praying and unless we were in a perfect take off position he would stop.  Even when he did jump it was awkward and jerky, often unseated me and/or sent poles flying.  It had made jumping a really unpleasurable experience and prior to diagnosis I had decided he either just hated jumping or I was affecting him so badly with something I was doing I was causing him not to be able to jump.  Fast forward 14months and jumping is a totally different experience!  We both jump round with smiles on our faces and really enjoy ourselves!  I can't tell you how massive the difference is!
It seems so obvious now but at the time I didn't know any different and I thought Jack was just careless and not good at or didn't like jumping!  I have to admit though even though he is going so well I still keep expecting the wheels to fall off and he revert back to the horse that couldn't walk a circuit of the ménage without rearing.  I'm always really grateful when I get off him and we have had another good ride, I will never take a nice, uneventful ride for granted again.

Following our camp, if all goes well and he jumps the XC fences as well as he has been jumping the SJ fences, then the plan is to do a hunter trial or unaffiliated ODE in May and hopefully do some BE80's in the latter half of the eventing season.  Exciting stuff!

Having some help down the farm!

Enjoying a lovely sunny hack
 Working well over raised poles in the Pessoa

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