Had a pretty good lesson last night, I opted to jump instead of doing dressage because who really wants to do dressage when you have brand new jumps. Since I now have 5 poles and 2 sets of jump standards it was a perfect time to break them in. I rode the App and he showed his experience well. He has been jumping since around 02 and has been schooled extensively over gymnastics, he knows his stuff and it showed.
We started out trotting and cantering over a pole on the ground, I have definitely lost the ability to see strides during my time off from jumping. I was getting the strides about 90% of the time and now I am back at 50%, I guess now that I have poles I can practice again. We then went over a crossrail and the instructor seemed genuinely offended that we trotted after landing instead of cantering. I told her he has been trained to trot after jumps because of his hot nature in the field, I guess we will be working on that. She wants to "redirect" that extra energy into something productive and not eliminate or prevent the behavior. Yikes, that will be interesting. Need to remember to bring a stronger bit on that day.
The only nit-picky thing she had was she did have me change my two point position slightly, I have push my lower back too far down towards the saddle making my back not be actually flat. I guess it is a better problem then having a crumpled, haunched over look but now I have many years of fighting muscle memory to correct it. When she says my back is flat it feels like I am rounding it, getting a new feel I guess.
We finished out the session by going over a 2ft one stride without instruction so she could evaluate us. It was near perfect, she really likes his jumping and said he looks like he knows exactly what he is doing. Even though he hasn't done a one stride in (I really don't know when) a long time, he was perfect. It was very obvious that even when I put him at the wrong distance he knew how to correct it to make it work. Love my Appy's jumping and she did too. Now if only we could put that enthusiasm in his dressage he could still be a great show horse. Can't wait to jump again!