As I mentioned, Alex has really been enjoying jumping and gets excited as soon as I start to shorten my stirrups. Last Sunday, a friend came out and took some video of us which I've posted below.
I finally got to see his form over fences and I have to say, I'm very encouraged. He enjoys jumping and he looks good too!
Alex had the next Monday and Tuesday off, during which I apparently lost my mind.
Wednesday night I arrived at the barn excited to ride, full of confidence (having seen the above video and photo) and completely overzealous. Since Alex had been so good, I decided I'd raise the jumps a hole which, it turned out, I would regret.
The first thing that happened was there were gremlins aplenty... it took several minutes of lunging and riding to work that out. Probably I should have just stopped there for the night since we were both tired. Enter overzealous, eager to make up for a crappy week and/or flatwork Kat...
I went to jump the cross-rail and although there was excitement on Alex's part, there wasn't much impulsion so I got one of those frog hop jumps. I came back around and added the vertical to the cross-rail and Alex really whacked the vertical with his front legs knocking it down. I got off, fixed the jump, got back on and came around again determined to make it better...sigh... that didn't happen this time he whacked his back legs and knocked down the vertical again. Epic fail.
Not one to be deterred, I got off fixed the jump and tried again. Alex wanted NOTHING to do with ANY jump. I started to get really irritated. "Fine," I thought to myself "I'll get off and lead him over them." He wouldn't even go near them that way! "F***!!!" (Yeah, I said that one out loud... I turn into a sailor when irritated). I was sweating and exhausted and I started to lose my temper. Now before anyone judges me, I know loss of temper has no place in the land of riding/training horses, but I don't think there's anyone out there that can say they haven't done it.
Finally I took the jumps apart and managed to get him to step over a pole, then I lowered all the jumps in the arena to super tiny, got back in the saddle and finally convinced him they were not going to eat him.
By the time I left the arena, I knew it was all my fault. I hadn't been on him for two days, I'd worn him out working through the gremlins, I raised the jumps before even going back to what we'd done on Sunday and just flat out didn't ride very well. Stupid stupid stupid! (and I only admit it here, because this blog isn't just meant to chronicle our successes).
Once we got in the barn, I untacked Alex, kissed his nose, rubbed his face, told him I was sorry and that I'd never rush/over face him again. I know he doesn't understand me... I'm a nerd.
Friday night I went to the Bon Jovi concert (which was awesome!) so that meant no riding.
Today Alex got his teeth done and we had a little barbie horse time. It was nice, I think we needed to have a little bonding/making up time. Hopefully tomorrow we can start over, build both of our confidence back up and this will be in the rear view mirror.