Jumping Lesson with Nigel Taylor @ Aston-le-Walls

Utilising the £40 voucher from our win at the November Eventer’s Challenge!

Early lesson (8am) with Nigel this morning to work more on our balance and rhythm Show Jumping and XC, and to work more over ditches.
Warmed up with trotting and canter poles, thinking about the rhythm and straightness. I must ensure I have her shoulder through the turn – especially on the left rein. We moved onto a line of 4 smallish bounces, building up from 2 to 4, with the first two jumps with poles up at one end and the other pole on the floor – staggered opposite ends up.  We moved onto a course, again thinking about rhythm and straightness. Finn didn’t touch a pole today. I need to keep my hands still, my reins short and sit up just in front of the vertical for the Show Jumping. I was much better at waiting for a deeper shot today, not rushing her and launching off a long one.  Nigel said that Finn was a really good jumper, and has a great natural technique – so, if I ride her consistently like I rode today we’d be very unlucky to have a pole at all. Think: rhythm; balance; straightness; wait!!
I had put my stirrups up 2 holes; Nigel suggested this was a good length for XC – but would have one hole longer for SJ.
We went into the KBIS arena for some XC work. Started off with the same principles as for SJ, but with a 2 point seat; then if I feel she needs more encouragement 3 strides before the fence, I can take a deeper seat and push. We did a small course straight away and she felt great, I was letting her do her job and she stepped up to the mark!!! Onto the water – Nigel talked me through the different options I could have taken through the water last weekend at the Eventer’s Challenge: the option I actually took didn’t feature!  I walked her through the water up to the fence we took out last weekend – it was pretty impressive!!  I rode through the water a couple of times and got a much better feel for the right line in and out.
Nigel then set me off on last week’s Pre-Novice (100) course, which was still in place in its entirety.  She jumped it perfectly – I didn’t fuss with her in front of the ditch and she wobbled a little, but jumped or without argument. Chuffed!  Nigel said that the only issue was that i should have balanced her more coming down the slope towards the big corner, and used a fuller seat/SJ seat. He then made up a different 100 course, still incorporating the water, the ditch, the slope to the big corner and finishing with the big steps coming down out of the SJ arena. It was great!
Nigel gave Finn lots of polo’s for being such a good girl.  His parting words were that she was a great jumper and that I should have more confidence in my own abilities – I ride her very well.  I rode her back to the lorry park with a big smile on my face!
Very proud of Finn (and myself) today.