It has been a very productive couple of days. On Friday, Aaron and I headed out to the Farm to build some xc jumps...and when I say 'we' I basically mean Aaron and Jason (Desirae's boyfriend)...I provided him with some suggestions/instructions and away he went. We ended up with SEVEN jumps...which all look AMAZING. We have" a ramp, flower box, wall, tires, coop and 2 log jumps....it is amazing!! The plan is to have 3 or 4 more built this coming weekend - weather permitting. (I love how Des feels it would be more productive to drink beer.) Oh - Brad - Aaron's brother showed up partway though the afternoon to lend out his mad skillz with a chainsaw...regardless of the amount of beer consumed, I was impressed...more importantly, I am so THANKFUL they spent their day building stuff for me to jump over...honestly and truly am thankful. It is GREAT. No one lost a finger either, which I guess is also good news!
On Friday, we worked on some flat and he was great - very receptive and I am working hard at keeping my hands balanced, even and most importantly STEADY. I am also working on having his trot be a more consistent medium trot...which is difficult considering he is such a tourist and it takes everything I can to try and keep his attention. It was a good ride.
Sunday, we jumped a little bit and he was his normal (of late) good self. We did however attempt to jump to coop, and he put the breaks on and said 'not a chance'...the second time, with a LOT of convincing on my part, he sailed over it like there was nothing to be concerned about in the first place. Which brings me to my ride yesterday. I decided we were going to jump all of our newly constructed xc jumps. Something I find with xc jumps is that they always look worse from the ground and not nearly as scary from the back of a horse, especially when said horse is a good solid 16'3. I approached each fence with Joyce's words in my head 'Close the doors, don't let him have any option but to go over'. So, I did...and he didn't take a single look at ANYTHING. Which is interesting to me, because there are moments when I can't get him to walk past a pile of rocks, or a snow bank without him feeling the need to practice cantering on the spot. I was honestly expecting him to have a freak out because of what happened with the coop the day before. I was stunned. He cantered up to all of them, sailed over and cantered on his merry little way...then, there was a moment of old in the middle of the ride when he would run like a bullet train of death the last 3 or 4 strides, launch himself over the jump and then it would take everything I had to have him NOT take off like a maniac...although he did let out a couple GOOD bucks....hence the Bullet Train of Death...I do not understand this horse at all. So, I did the old 'stop him RIGHT in front of the fence so he is listening to you' jobbie of 2 months ago, he settled and then we jumped 4 or 5 more times and he was great. I honestly don't know what to make of this horse. If anything, he will make me the best rider I know I can be...
He also got his spring vaccinations yesterday, so he gets today off and tomorrow - if I get out of my prison in enough time - we will just go for a nice quiet hack, weather permitting. Need to move our lesson to Friday...Until then - I am going to try and get inside the Pickle's head and figure out what makes him tick.