Jumping Lesson with Nigel Taylor @ Washbrook Farm

Aston-le-Walls is such a great venue now, so many alternatives of SJ and XC fences – in the huge all weather arenas and XC on grass.

We started in the new all weather arena, working over the show jumps, Nigel was pleased with us today – he was encouraging me to fold even less now – keeping a soft knee and pushing my heels down towards the back of Finn’s knees.  I need to think of having ‘more’ canter now the jumps are bigger – I have a tendency to keep the canter too quiet, so need to have a stronger and more forward feeling out of the corners.  We started over a grid of 1 stride uprights, getting progressively bigger, to a max of about 1m10; Finn was trying very hard and stayed dead straight, until I was asked to tie in another fence – lesson here is to maintain the quality of my approach and riding between the fences to give Finn the best chance of  making a good fist of the course!

We then continued to string more fences together, from the grid to a line of bounces, followed by a skinny to a double and a spread.  we then did the course with a different combinations in a different order, including a related distance of planks on a curving line.  Felt really good, and riding more forward was becoming more natural.

We moved across to the other arena to concentrate on XC fences. Again I was reminded to keep a soft knee and to push my heels towards the back of Finn’s knee – this really helped my lower leg be more stable – so I’ll keep concentrating on this………..  Finn was on form today and we did a range of fences including a romp through the water and out over the big triple brush skinny – was very pleased with her!  We finished with a course of about 12 fences including jumping up into the SJ arena and back into the KBIS arena down the steps.  I got back to Nigel and one of the Qatar Event Team came into the arena, he had been watching and said that he thought Finn was very nice – brave and genuine!  Which was a lovely compliment.  Then Nigel noticed Finn’s right hind foot was bleeding – she had knocked herself on the coronary band and had split the skin where it joins onto the hoof wall.  I washed her off well and it wasn’t too deep – it looked clean but took a long time to stop bleeding – poor girl, but she was very brave.