I have been meaning to do this post for a number of days now but not got round to it, so here it finally is! It's a bit of an update about what has been going on with myself and Pea as well as a few plans I have made for the next couple of months :)
Pea has been overall a good boy, but he still likes to have his moments! Just before new year I took him on a hack with a friend and as it was a last minute decision Pea was only in his snaffle...oh what a mistake to have made! It started off fine, and we went to go for a little canter as the ground was good but we only got a couple of strides before both horses spooked as it turned out there were people riding on the road the other side of the hedge which we couldn't see! This winded Pea up a little bit and we walked on, but when we tried to canter again, my friend went first which wound Pea up even more so instead of moving forward we were bronking on the spot, head between his knees with the odd little rear so we had to walk to join her as everytime I asked for trot I got the same bronking response...not good! However, a little later on I decided we'd try again, just trotting with Pea in front. This time he was so well behaved - I think not being able to canter before made him realise he had to behave! - and we did have a little canter as well which was controlled, though I could feel him starting to get strong and thinking about letting out an excited buck so just about to stop before the end! Next time he is definitely going in his gag!
New years day I decided to pop him over a few little jumps. I hardly jump Pea anymore because I have lost so much confidence, however I'm trying to get more confident and slowly jumping more and then slowly increase the jump height. At first we started off with two cross poles, a relatively small one and another slightly bigger. The first jump over the small one was reasonable but he wasn't moving forward a great deal and so I really worked on getting him moving and then when we came round to the jump he had a more energetic canter and popped the jump nicely. I continued on the little cross-pole and then swapped direction before moving onto the bigger cross-pole. The first jump over the bigger cross-pole was so nice, he really used himself and did such a lovely jump over it! After jumping that one a few times, I changed the smaller cross pole into a little upright at about 2ft3 which he jumped so well. We still need to work on straightness with uprights but getting him more forward has really helped me as it has stopped him from doing his silly little half strides and getting right under the jump and it will slowly help me to feel more confident as he is no longer stupidly strong when it comes to jumping and he takes me to the jump in a more controlled manner so hopefully I'll be able to trust him more as before he used to just tank into the fence and occasionally ditch out last minute which is how I lost all confidence.
I have also done some schooling with him and whilst his canter is a lot of work, it is slowly coming and he is becoming a lot softer and slowly more rounder in the trot - when he pays attention! He does like to start each schooling session with a bit of a silly moment - either napping and walking backwards up mounds and through trees or by rushing off in the trot on a long rein when I warm up! However, he does, luckily, come back and work nicely for the rest of the session so I don't mind his little moments!
I'm hopefully taking him out for dressage again at the beginning of February and we have the Houghton Hall Championships in March which we'll be going to. I really want to get him out more but with University during the week and work at weekends it makes it difficult, but we'll see what happens :)
Laura & Pea x