There is an in-house jump trainer at my facility (check outhttp://www.louisianasporthorse.com/ for more info), and since I do not have a trailer, it is nice to have access to jumps at home.
I've finally gotten Scottie to the point that I feel like she is communicating and listening on a regular basis (equi-trek and hacking out has been a big contributor to this). She has also been sound for a long time (knock on wood), so I decided it was time to take the plunge into jumping.
I am working on flat-work with Sue Bruns, so I explained to the jump trainer that I strictly wanted to work on jumping exercises/techniques (poles, etc) in his lessons, which he was cool with.
The good news:
- Scottie can trot (literally trot without jumping) approximately 2 feet (very high knee action haha)
- She hasn't stopped yet - goes straight through the grid
- She doesn't get all worked up/hyper/super excited
- She calmly stops at the end
- She hasn't started anticipating
- Cross rails vs. verticals do not seem to phase her
The bad news:
- At a certain height (the height she can no longer simply trot like a cavaletti), she still continues forward, but crashes through the jump with whatever foot did not make it at a trot.
- She does not seem alarmed when she knocks the poles and doesn't really make an effort to NOT knock the poles
- When she does manage a small jump, her form is sh*t haha
We have only had two lessons. So while she doesn't seem super excited or exceptionally naturally talented at jumping, she is more than willing and is remaining calm. I am glad to see that she did not get super revved up once we started jumping and become unmanageable or stop listening. She seems not to know exactly what to do with her feet. Hopefully a few more lessons will help her figure it out. I also think that I probably need to start incorporating jumping either on the lunge or free-lunging so that she can figure it out without a rider.
As far as talent and form.... I would much rather have a safe, dependable horse that can hopefully eventually truck me around a 2'6 to 3' course at a local show than a "talented" horse that is nuts. As I've mentioned before, I really need an all-around horse, so as long as she keeps trying for me, I'll give her a bit of a break.
And at least she's not a dirty stopper!