I submitted my registration for cross country schooling on April 19/20th, after doing so I started to panic as I realized I need to be able to trot and canter Mia in an open field while jumping. Uhhh!?!?! My ride tonight set to work on that, I rode in my jumping saddle and set up a single jump in the middle of the arena. My goal was to do extended trot/canter sets and to trot and canter up to the jump and see how she did.
Our warmup started quite well, Mia is handling her speed when I am in two point with much more consistency. We started our canter to the left and after pushing for more power, she was really moving nicely. While she travels quite definitely with her haunches in at the canter, it is fairly balanced and she doesn't feel out of control which is a huge improvement from when we started the canter just a few months ago. The canter to the right, however, is really coming together! It feels like the canter I would expect to get a 5 in, not great but actually not too bad. She actually has some balance the majority of the time and has been able to slow down from a hand gallop to an actual canter (the majority of the time). As someone who has their first show in a month, this makes me extremely happy!
I mixed up our session by randomly trotting down the centerline and going over the little jump that was set up. After barely stepping over the 18" vertical, I set it up to a 2' vertical to get her to jump it. The first time over it she seriously over jumped it and RB4 said she jumped it like it was easily a 3' jump haha! Pointing her at it again did not yield the same results and while she was getting a bit close to the jump before jumping it, she never refused or tried to duck out and she jumped it each time. Success!
I continued mixing it up by jumping it at an angle, I wanted to introduce skinnies and angles as early as possible in her training so that they become no big deal as we move up in training. I pointed her at the jump while going across the diagonal and it was clear she wasn't sure what to do, she tried to go right and then left before just jumping over it. She got a lot of petting and a walk break, as a result when I went on the diagonal again she didn't even try to shimmy to the left or right and jumped it beautifully. The last task of the night was to jump the little 2' jump at a canter. I picked up the left canter and pointed her at jump, it was the moment of truth. Could she jump it at the canter with me on her back? Could she navigate to the jump and figure out where to take off? The answer was quick and positive, Mia jumped the 2' vertical without even tapping it and while she was a little quick upon landing, she stopped nicely. Success!
I am so proud of myself and my mare. My position was SO much better tonight than my previous jumping sessions, it is a boost in my confidence level that I can in fact still do it correctly. I am both excited and anxious to see how Mia behaves out in the open. I am really going to have to put on my big girl panties and try cantering her on the road. I am quite anxious about it as she has a BIG engine behind her but I really need to know how to control it. I guess I will see how the roads are this weekend, maybe that will be the day. T minus 32 days to our first show!