The "squeeze, kick, WHIP" lessons have made Harley just a bit antsy when I'm carrying the jump bat in the jump saddle. Oops, I think.
It wasn't the act of "going over little things" that had Harley upset. It wasn't the saddle fit, and it wasn't me. I set up an X on the circle, fairly large, to see what it would take to get him jumping and not stepping over. He hesitated. He refused. He went around it. He tried *everything*. When he did jump, it was gigantic. Enormous, freaked out, he did it with the biggest look of fear on his face. We repeated that for quite a while before the quiet jumping horse came back.
I can actually "STICK IT" when he tears off like a loon. Last week, R came over to stand watch while I rode H over some X's. We had been doing all our work on a circle (not far to go when I'm looking around the circle mid-air). This was the first on a line in quite a while. Harley planted, jumped, landed, THEN took off. I sat there, briefly bewildered. "What the heck, I'm going to fa... screw that, I see a corner. I'm heading there." As Harley realized #1 I'm not going anywheres, and #2 the corner fence was still there, he quit being a fool. I hopped off, measured the ground poles I had set out after the X, and realized they were pretty far apart.
Since then, I haven't lowered or raised anything in the few jumps I have set out. I have sent him down the line, around the circle. I am lucky to get a real jump, and since I have had all of the other rides alone, it's hard to hop off to adjust things. When I dismount, I lose a LOT of his energy, forward, and willingness/eagerness to jump.
We are mailing out registration for another show. Scheduled for this weekend. I'm technically already in the line-up, but I just don't want to jinx anything, so that's all I'm going to say about that.
As if riding nearly every day, some days both horses in one day, wasn't enough .. I've picked up another