I had planned a quick pop on the mare today to help boost our confidence after our blip on Saturday. There were jumps already set up in the school, the kids, who are on half term holiday, were quite happy to have a play and a snack in the clubhouse (only had to stop and bellow at them once from the school) so I figured a 20 minute session would be just what we needed.
She warmed up well, a bit too well actually, rather 'free' today in fact. But I sat quietly and encouraged her forwards, trying to concentrate on my riding - not dropping my inside hip, keeping my shoulders up and the leg on.
Someone had set up what is now known as the Andrew Nicholson circle exercise (after the Eventing Forum the other week) where there are 4 small jumps on a 20m circle. I have done this exercise lots with ground poles, but never felt we were balanced or controlled enough for actual jumps. But still, it gave me the opportunity to pop over one or two of the small jumps, give us both a little boost and call it a day.
Well, that was my plan. Unfortunately the mare very often has her own ideas, and is clearly not suffering from a knock to her confidence. So in an effort to gain the upper hand (or something nearing equality - I'm never fully in charge) I thought "Right you little baggage, let's see what you think of this" and we gave the exercise a go. It's bloody difficult! But to her credit she cracked it on the second go. Not due to our extraordinary balance and coordination, but only our combined bloodymindedness.
Tomorrow we shall try it again and a bigger jump or two, then that will be all for jumping for a week or so. I just know that we need to address any issues as soon as possible to stop them becoming a proper problem (mostly in my mind of course)
And the kids? They've had a great day, playing all morning with the ride on toy tractor, followed by a Burger King and a film - what holidays are for!