On Friday or Saturday, I noticed that a friend on Facebook had ridden with Ernest Dillon and he was teaching at nearby farm, Allforit, and woke Sunday to cold and pouring rain, since I had no desire to ride in the rain, I headed over to watch a bit of jumping in an indoor. I had ridden with Ernest a few times over a decade ago when he came to a farm in Nokesville, and I had enjoyed my lessons, so I thought I would go see if I wanted to sign up for a ride next time he is in the area. I watched a lesson, then mentioned to Tiffany (owner of Allforit) that I’d almost asked if there were rides available, but it was the last day, and she thought a moment, and said “There is a 3 o’clock available, is that too late?” I thought about it for a NY minute and said, “yes, 3 works perfectly”, and was quite glad that I’d only done one round at Beginner Novice the day before, with about 7 warm up fences, so Legacy had under 20 jumping efforts Saturday. I didn’t feel that I would be over-taxing him to go to a jumping lesson.
But, I realized I had to run my errands and get home, hook up my trailer, tack up, load up, and return for my ride, so I did not hang about to watch.
First “hurrah” of the day, Legacy unloaded and was so relaxed. A bit of looking around, but he wasn’t even bothered by a new farm. This is huge! He’s never been crazy, but he always worried a bit, then yesterday at Morningside, it seemed to click. He understood what we were there to do both days!
The rain was nice enough to slow to a drizzle while I walked over and got on, then went into the indoor as the prior lesson was having the wrap up chat. Legacy did need to admire himself in the mirrors briefly. But he was relaxed, walking around on a loose rein, then we trotted a bit, cantered a bit, both under-powered, but relaxed.
Ernest came in and watched for about 2 minutes and fixed that under-powered trot, and had me get him stretching and pushing into the contact. After we had a good quality canter, we moved to jumping. And thanks to my friend Jennifer, who was there watching, I have excellent video clips!
This brought the second “hurrah”, Ernest had me start over a vertical. Not poles, not a crossrail, a vertical. I briefly considered if that made me nervous, and decided it did not. But, our ride to it was lackluster, Legs wasn’t in front of my leg.
Then, he had me get Legacy going, in front of my leg, and we came again a couple of times.
Then it was on to the oxer on the diagonal, then the flowers, again, these were bigger earlier.
And then a bigger course where Legacy rapped a rail HARD, and alarmingly cantered on 3 legs while I was trying to listen to instructions and pull up. He might be a candidate for boots…he’s had this dramatic reaction once before when he rapped a jump.
But he walked it off in a couple of minutes, was sound, and so we finished on this.
I am so pleased that I impulsively asked, then went to this lesson. I had a great time and it was a great learning experience. First off, I felt like I was flying around, nearly out of control…yeah, I realize not so much…upon watching videos. It was good to have reinforcement of all Martin’s lessons, and it was really good to go and find out that my jumping mojo is back!
I also love that Ernest really liked my horse, thinks he’s perfect for me, size and temperament and he scolded me (mildly and with good humor) for even considering that Legacy might not want to be a jumper.
And, what a unicorn he is! He went to Beverly and did three courses at 2’3″ three weeks ago, we had a jumping lesson last week, where we did a single line, with an oxer that kept getting bigger, then one course at 2’7″ yesterday, then today, he was bold and confident at nearly 3′!!!!