I had my third lesson with T3 last night.  You can read about the first one here and the second one here.

Walking downtown in breeches and Tevas.
Yet again, I felt a little cramped for time.  I was able to walk him around for about ten minutes before my lesson, though, so I must not have been that bad.  I went in, did a lap at the walk, and immediately picked up the trot.  I tried to show off what we've been doing.

There was considerably less correction this time and the things that were corrected seemed to be finer details.  We got through trotting pretty quickly, with absolutely no counter-bend.  He was pretty damned balanced.  And there were moments where I literally felt the holy grail: that front end came up and was light and that back end was lifted, too.  Spurs really help!

Cantering went quickly, too.  We've progressed from working on his balance to working on my equitation.  I have to fight to keep my upper body still and not curl into the fetal position.  I also have to work on my knees because I pinch like hell.

But after ending both trot and canter on very good notes, T3 said the magical words,

"Do you want to jump?"

Insert schoolgirl squees.  She asked what she should expect from my jumping - I said he would probably lesson pony over it and that it would be messy.  We jumped a low cross rail one time and he took it as a little fence.  We went back over it and he lesson pony trotted over it.  So she put a ground rail about nine feet out.  And raised the rails while moving the standards out, so the center of the cross rail was just less than two feet.
I did this.  Multiple times.  Like a fucking boss.
And then we had to talk about my particular style of jumping:  standing straight up on my toes.  What?  I'm amazing.  We talked about how it should actually look: closer to his body, heels down, sumo-squatting.

I got left behind one time and I am so fucking proud of myself.  Not proud for getting left behind, but proud of my instincts.  I couldn't get my body up in time, so I thrust my hands forward into his mane.  I did not catch my horse in the mouth.  I was so relieved.

After jumping the big cross rail a few times both directions, she asked if I wanted to jump the vertical.  I wimped out.  I said it was too big.  It was only a little bigger than the cross rail, but I admitted to her that the cross rail was on the very edge of my comfort zone.  The holes in the standards are cut weird - like every six inches instead of three? - so the closest we figured was that the vertical was at two feet.  Inches.  Inches scared me.

Instead of that, we did a little line of a small cross rail to a cavaletti.  And then turned it to a course with the addition of my big cross rail.  Both directions.  Finished strong and praised the snot out of my pony.

I asked how often I could start jumping him and was told that I could do it three times a week.  Why not?  He's fitter now than he was three weeks ago.  I just can't be a wimp about the size.  He doesn't respect small fences and so I've got to raise height, increase spread and use ground rails to keep his attention.  Who knew Ponykins was picky?

And my notes from the lesson:

  • Watch his left hip when he falls right when tracking left.  Try bending and if that doesn't work, move the hip.
  • When he lifts into the contact, relax hands but continue to push with legs.
  • Contract lower abs to bring hips forward at the canter.
  • Keep upper body still and tall, with ears behind hips.
  • Relax knees and wiggle toes.
  • Breathe.
  • Sumo squat over jump, while pushing legs towards his shoulders.
  • Heels should be at the lowest point when his front two feet hit the ground after a jump.
Love this face.  Grins all around.

You Might Also Like


  1. And what were we just talking about the other day, mmmhmmm!

    1. I'm just trying to catch up with you and Baby Ray. :)

  2. Wow, great progress!!!! I am dying to take a lesson again.

    1. Thanks. :) I've been trying really, really hard and I want to get the most possible out of my time with the trainer, so it makes sense to ask a lot of questions and do as much as I can between our lessons.

      I never really realized what I was missing!

  3. Replies
    1. You should have seen me! She was explaining where my body was supposed to go (rather than where it was going) and I shouted out, "OH MY GOD, A SQUAT!" And squatted. So every step leading up to the jump, I was chanting, squat squat squat.

  4. What what! This is great news! Cant wait to read more about your jumping adventures. Get pics! :)

    1. I know! I need someone to come out and photograph! Gah. Here's to courses!

  5. Woohoo, sounds like you guys are literally flying - these lessons sound amazing.

    1. Thanks! She's phenomenal. I feel like I really click with her and she's just so damn knowledgeable. I got lucky!

  6. Sounds like these lessons are going great for you!!! :) Get it girl!