It's no secret that I've had a bumpy road teaching Stella to jump. One second she is bold, brave, and jumping 2' 6", the next she is rearing in front of a ground pole. Currently I'm still on the fence if we are a good match over fences, she is a brave horse that occasionally needs a confidence boost from her rider, and she's not a take charge packer type. I'm an inconsistent rider over fences, and I tend to drop a horse a few strides out when I'm nervous about fence height and let the horse figure it out. When I lose confidence and she stops because she isn't going without motivation I lose more confidence and we end up rearing in front of cross rails.
My previous two horses worked well with this program. One didn't care what I was doing as long as she was pointed at a fence, the other cared enough about me to figure it out on her own. While they both had their flaws they allowed me to progress as a rider and even as a trainer while still having my own flaws.
Last week we had a jumping lesson that I hope is the tip of the iceberg. It was a lot about controlling my own confidence and mainting a jump or die attitude even if I felt like death was imminent. Stella can be a horse that quickly gets behind the leg so we spent a lot of time GALLOPING down to fences while my poor ever suffering trainer screamed GO FASTER!! While it might look initially like the beginning of one of those "Should I leave my trainer?" threads on COTH she was able to break it down for me.
I'm really not going that fast. My GO FASTER is probably more of a reasonable hand gallop. I can see my distances, make my turns, and the reminder to ACCELERATE toward the fence helps me keep my leg on and keep Stella motivated. When I did things went remarkably well. I boldly galloped down to fences we had not jumped since last summer before THE INCIDENT.
Here's a nifty helmet cam video of the end result of our GO FASTER! lesson. I'm still adjusting to the helmet cam and which angle it should be for best viewing.