Saturday morning was chilly, windy, and bright. I bought an Asmar All Weather Rider jacket not too long ago to replace a raincoat from 1994 that finally died. I thought Saturday would be a good morning to try it out in the saddle and test whether Eli would care about it or not. I thought maybe because of the length he might not appreciate it, but he didn’t seem to mind it at all. It seems like a lot of jacket, but once I was in the saddle all of Asmar’s design considerations paid off and I forgot I was wearing it.
Even so, Eli was a bit up in our flat work warming up before jumping. Not bad, just a bit excitable because of the weather, and his canter could have been considered what I would call boisterous. My trainer and I both thought he would be throwing a buck or two after trotting or cantering a jump.
That did not pan out at all. Eli took everything we had been working on last Wednesday and the Saturday before and did not put a foot wrong, provided I gave him the right ride — look to the left of the jump into the corner before a right turn to keep both me and Eli balanced for landing on the right lead (that’s an Eli-specific strategy–not sure if that would work on other horses, honestly), give a huge release to stay out of his way, and land soft but lightly supportive with the leg to maintain the balance through the turns.
We took a few warm up jumps and practiced me looking left to combat that right drift, and while he was energetic, Eli did not offer any kind of head toss or buck. A pleasant surprise, for sure!
Next, we did the outside line, single oxer off a long approach, to the other outside line. Eli jumped crazy good and after all the hard work he had done on Wednesday and the previous Saturday, both my trainer and I though we could reward him for a job well done and end the lesson. I wish I had video!
The focus this week will be on flat work, flat work, maybe some poles, and more flat work before the clinic this weekend. I refuse to look at the forecast.