Today we worked on little exercises using show jumps....skinnies, points, walking over barrels etc.
Sampson was amazing: he did everything he was asked without question - even popping straight over the point of the apex from the difficult side.
I hadn't been sure how he would take being asked to jump a barrel from a walk, but he just popped over without even thinking twice. However on second attempt, he obviously decided that it didnt even warrant a wee 'pop' over, and proceeded to literally WALK over it, one step at a time. Considering his size, I would say he was displaying intelligence - however, it was not what was desired.
So I had to 'squeeze' him up over it to prompt him to actually jump it and land in canter....which of course he was happy to do.
The only thing I REALLY badly stuffed up, was the supposedly easiest exercise which we did to finish. Simply jump two spreads out of their stride. First time it came up nicely, and he jumped them nicely. Then I got this thing in my head that I had to go fast, and then tried to dictate where he was to jump from...he wanted to pop in a short one .....CRASH!!! down came the jump.
However, I then got it....and just sat up and allowed him to choose his own take off and he did it very nicely.
Out onto XC proper. .. starting with walk ditch exercises, before adding skinnies on take off and landing....and then a sharp turn from ditch to skinny.
Unfortunately, Sammie had other ideas, and upon being asked to turn, shot his head in the air. It wasnt too long before, despite my protestations, he was wearing a martingale. WHAT a difference....as soon as he went to argue he was put in his place and calmly did just what he was told.
We went on to do some coffins and stringing a small course of jumps together including a small palisade and corner. He jumped beautifully, and I was really thrilled with him.
I had also taken him for a wander into the river the preceding day, and he walked straight down the bank and in without concern, and likewise, when we got to playing in the water jump, I felt that he definitely felt more confident than he had previously. I am sure with mileage his confidence in water will grow.
All in all very happy with him, and I'm afraid I will be arranging to get a martingale for his next outing - better that I have it on and not need it than the other way round.