I am sure there are many people who also ride alone but is it not the worse when your horse knocks down the jumps and you repeatedly have to get off and fix them? I guess your horse learns to be patient for mounting but it is enough to drive me crazy.
Dixie has progressed to jumping little courses of x-rails which include the scarier jumps (flowers, fake trees and a baby liverpool made out of a blue tarp). He has built up his confidence but his lack of understanding sometimes shows when he get so focused on the front legs that he forgets the back legs. I have some pretty solid jump poles but he has not figured out that hitting them is not ideal so I have to get off and fix them. Gotta love the greenies 🙂 I am very pleased with his progress and am happy to see that he is getting braver as we go. The jumps are still very low at the moment since there are still times when he doubts he can jump the scary things. We walk right over if we have to and then come back in the trot. I keep the trot active and remember to keep my hands low and wide to channel him between them.
He has such a nice canter that we have added in some lines where we trot in and canter out. He is fairly straightforward to ride and wants to please which I enjoy. I love to work on the gymnastics but I have to save those for when I have a ground person to help me slowly build them up.
Yesterday, I took him out on a nice hack around the farm, through the woods and into the fields near the farm. It’s nice to have a horse with a great brain that you can ride out by yourself and not have to worry about having any issues. He looks at things but I love the way he thinks. He will stop and look and then maybe back up a few steps. I let him stand and then ask him to move forward and almost always he is happy to move on. We had to cross a lot of water on the trails and he could have cared less about that.
I have noticed that he has become more forward now that he has shoes on and probably because he is now getting fit and his muscles are stronger. I found myself not paying as much attention to the trot rhythm as I should and he was getting too quick. He objects to the half halts at this point because I have not had to use them until now. Another little thing I notice him protesting is the downward transitions. He likes to lock his jaw, open his mouth and pull. I do my best to keep the leg on and move the bit to keep the jaw soft in the downward. I am also getting tougher and not letting him trot so long after I have already asked him to come back. Tough love but necessary 🙂