Was really excited to be having a show jumping lesson with JP Sheffield, he has successfully competed at CCI**** Level and was part of the British Team at the European Championships and has completed Burghley, Badminton & Pau CCI****s on numerous horses, so quite a wealth of experience! I went with Ibby and Monte in the little wagon to JP’s yard: “Rolleston Estate” just outside Market Harborough. We set off very early as my lesson was at 07.30 – so I could fit it in before work – Ibby took Finn home with Monte and I went to work straight after the lesson.
I gave him our potted history and explained that I wanted a confidence booster before Aston-le-walls on Sunday. This was the first time jumping on grass following the fall at Ascott Under Wychwood. I worked in and JP made his assessment; he said that Finn had a ‘good brain’ and that I needed to prepare her better for corners and movements – especially ensuring that she is straight and in the outside rein. All the flat work problems translate to the jumping, and issues are magnified…… JP is not a believer that you need to jump big jumps – he explained that if he was going to work with Finn and I, we would do a lot of exercises rather than jumping bigger and bigger fences; he believes that this sets up the horse better in rhythm and balance.
We had a really good session – JP said that there was no reason for us to feel nervous about jumping on grass – he thought Finn looked keen and that she was not affected by the fall at all. I need to ensure that I ride away from my fences really straight and keep the energy contained throughout the course. We jumped the course a couple of times – and then in reverse order; all the fences were about 90 height. Finn was really enjoying herself and taking me to the jumps – she didn’t feel at all hesitant or nervous – so I need to do her justice and ride positively.
A good tip he gave me was to ensure that I give myself plenty of time for the working in – don’t be hurried by the jump steward and don’t think that the dressage test is part of my jump working in. I need to ensure that Finn is responsive to my leg and that I move her through the gears in the canter before even contemplating a practice fence.
I left feeling very happy with my horse and feeling ready for our come-back event at Aston-le-Walls on Sunday. Bring it on!