My first jump lesson with my lease mare of 6+ months was on Sunday (3/10/19). We had some issues actually getting her into the trailer but other than that she was unfazed by the 30-minute trailer ride. There was tons going on when she was unloaded but regardless, she never batted an eye.
With six or seven trailers in the parking lot, horses being ridden in the arena right next to us, horses in every single run attached to the main barn, people riding in the second arena, as well as dogs were everywhere, Diamond wasn’t her typically looky self. She could’ve cared less about all the activity.
I chose to start off in the less hectic arena. We had a quiet time lunging and warming up as there were only two other horses in there with us. Shortly after getting on, I realized my lesson was in the other arena and made the short walk through the parking lot to the other arena. A short, middle-aged woman greeted us, meanwhile asking about Diamond and what we wanted to work on.
As this was my first time taking a lesson at this barn, I was astonished. The three teenage girls I had passed were beyond sweet, all chirping hello to me, and the facility its self was immaculate: the stalls were clean, pastures lush with green grass, and both arenas groomed to perfection.
After rewarming up and giving my instructor some background about Diamond, I was given quite an insightful and positive lesson. We started on the flat and went through the walk, trot, and canter before popping over a raised cavaletti. Switching reins, we practiced the same exercise. I was asked to lift my hands and push my mare into the bridle, not pull her into it. Once we were thoroughly warmed up (and definitely sweaty) the jumping started. We did very simple exercise as it’s been over two months since Diamond and I last jumped: cavaletti to a 2ft. verticle. After completing it on both reins, we ended our lesson with a bit harder of an activity. Cavaletti, oxer, long canter to a cross rail.
Throughout the whole lesson, my instructor and I worked on keeping a consistently paced canter as well as working on having my hands balanced and not dropped. Both my mare and I had a great time if I’m being honest. The woman that taught me was an absolute sweetheart and was extremely positive. I’ve ridden with trainers that are yappy and don’t give you time to think, but the woman that I rode with on Sunday only corrected things as they happened with and gave me time to think. It was lovely and beyond a fantastic reintroduction to jumping.
*Horse’s name is changed for privacy reasons.