Rio has had his saddle adjusted today, he has a Wintec 2000, which was fitted on Christmas Eve. Since then he has obviously changed shape a little! Luckily there were four of us who needed the saddler, which cut the callout fee dramatically, and all it needed was re-flocking to make it sit up where it had dropped a 1/2 inch (apparently that's quite a lot! Oops!)
I didn't ride this evening, but we did have a little play around with the carrot stick and a bit of in hand before I turned him out in the field. For reasons unknown, when I'm messing around with him in his field, he generally "gets" hindquarter yield. It seems that with his headcollar on and the carrot stick involved, he was more interested in walking around me. I did eventually get one small hindquarter yield on the right after he managed it quite easily on the left, so we left it on a small positive. We did get some good side steps along the fence line though!
We schooled last night. My friend didn't join us as planned, but that wasn't going to stop me as I hadn't planned on riding tonight anyway. Rio was much more settled last night, which helped, and it was a lovely quiet and calm evening with no breeze to speak of. We did trotting poles, where Rio proved himself very capable of adjusting his stride on his own (great news for me!) and slowly moved on to a raised trot pole in the middle of them, and then a small cross pole. Then a slightly bigger small cross pole.
What a beast! We trotted over it, and then Sarah told me I was to canter it. I will openly admit (and said at the time) that I wasn't entirely convinced, but I went along with it all the same. The first time he took off quite early, the second time he was great but I just got left behind, and on the third go, it all came together and we did a good one! I know that this isn't much to a lot of people, but I'm by no means a showjumper. I've popped a few jumps in my time, but I've never done jump schooling, and it's always just been a case of letting my horse do the stride work. Lucky for me, it looks like Rio is going to be a bit of a natural. I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly it went really - I was very concerned about riding the right line in, and my ability to keep him straight, but I don't think we wobbled about all that much. Sarah was impressed with me looking for the jump early too, so that was a positive for me.
Believe me when I say that as small as that cross pole is, to me it looked a bit like this:
Onwards and upwards as they say!