I was so excited waiting for today to arrive, it was a big test for Buddy and I as it would be a proper jumping session, on grass, on our going lame anniversary.
I hadn't jumped a course on grass for a long time and I had no idea if Buddy had (although I was doubtful) and I knew he hadn't seen anything like what we were going to do - it was set to be an interesting session and I just hoped he would behave!
In the week leading up to our lesson I had another jump in the school where I managed to combine three fences together at a height bigger than I could jump on my own two feet (!) so I was feeling confident and ready to attack whatever we were going to face.
We were a mixed group who included a rider who had never done anything like it, a new combination and a more experienced pair. The mix worked really well and the group were all tested with tricky lines and accuracy questions rather than height which meant that everyone had to use their brains and ride.
After warming up over a small cross pole the instructor threw us right in at the deep end and we were riding combinations and angled fences. Buddy was incredibly keen and was loving being back and pinging over fences - his ears were pricked the whole time.
He didn't make life easy for me and my eye is well and truly out so there were some moments when we weren't on the same page entirely but once I got my act together and helped Buddy out it felt great. I stuck to mainly trot coming into the fences as I wanted to keep control of the situation and not get sucked into battling against him rushing, he is a big young horse and controlling all that through combinations can be tricky and I want to make as many positive experiences for him as possible.
In the end we practised combinations, a coffin, corners and skinny barrels and I was so chuffed with him - there is plenty to work on but we've had a while off so I will give myself a pat on the back and critique later on. I'm just going to enjoy the buzz for now.
We're back at the vets on Wednesday for the x-rays so it will be exciting to see the results of those - hopefully we will see some positive improvements.