I'm sure it sounds quite silly to those who regularly jump, but Mac jumped yesterday! And it was an actual "jump," not a "bunny hop landing on all four feet" type of movement.
I had had a less-than-stellar lesson on Wednesday and was pretty down. It was one of those lessons where even just steering is difficult and I felt like a total ass. Yes, we walked; we trotted; we cantered. But we cantered sideways, we trotted almost over the arena perimeter, and we were distracted by the other person walking her horse around.
On Friday we went trail riding with our friend and that was so much fun - being on the trails always puts me in a good mood.
Yesterday I decided I would take myself less seriously and just have fun and not worry about DRESSAGE (yes, in all caps) and trying to be perfect. I went to the arena and set up some trot poles and jump standards with the idea that we'd give jumping a try again. We've "jumped" before, but it was more like the aforementioned bunny-hopping and it seemed like Mac just didn't get it.
Our walk, trot, and canter work was good. I tried a new approach with him on something and it seemed to be a good tactic. We worked on circles and just going forward into contact, wherever that may be. His canter work was actually the best yet - an actual 3-beat canter, not a "push off with both hind legs and then see what happens with the front legs" gait. I was able to get up into a light seat and have a light contact and we did a couple laps - he was really good! So I decided I'd jump. I put the poles up into a crossrail with a take-off and landing pole. I think the extra poles confused him, as he pretty much crashed through it the first time. I rolled the poles in so they were just at the base of the crossrail (on either side) and then went through again. This time I got a bunny-hop. Did it again with the same result. Then I closed my leg a bit, and he actually took off and jumped and landed in a canter and cantered away quietly!!!! (And he was on the correct lead!) Did it again to make sure it wasn't a fluke and we had the same result! So after a little break we did it going the other direction and he was equally as good so I called it a day at that. It was so much fun!
Sometimes I think I do better when I can practice on my own and I'm not totally in someone else's program. I mean, yes, I continue with lessons, but I have to experiment and find my own way of doing things that feel natural to me and get results.
Today we went for another trail ride with our friend and of course Mac was so good. So in a matter of days we went from good to bad to best. Oh, and supposedly my dressage saddle has shipped and will be here next week! Unfortunately I don't think my schedule will synch up with the fitter until the week following, but I can't wait to get it!!!!