Another fab SJ lesson with Robert Stevens!

Well yet another wet SJ schooling session, where has the summer gone?… Despite the gopping weather we had another very constructive lesson with Robert. We started by leg yielding to make sure Soap was off the leg and moving his quarters, this then progressed to a small 3 loop serpentine where the middle loop is done in counter bend. This exercise was very useful to shorten Soap up and engage, once we had achieved that we moved on to canter from walk transitions to make him quick off the leg. The transitions had to be from a slow steady walk with the quarters in then a quick strike off into a bouncey energised canter. Soap was a little slow to get this as I had taught him this slightly differently at home but he soon cottoned on. Once the flatwork part was over we moved onto jumping a grid of 3 built up slowly from one x-pole to 3 x-poles then x-pole, upright, spread. Soap has really started to use himself and make a much better shape over his fence these past few sessions. The main things we have to remember are a positive powerful corner before the fence and keeping soft and straight throughout. Video of canter/walk transition and grid of 3.

The final part of the grid was then built bigger with a barrel infront to get him to really bascule and use himself over the fence. I’m really pleased with him in this video because he is starting to think for himself. We come in on a long stride he is close for the second but steadies up to clear it and really makes a lovely shape over the last (you can hear Soap’s ‘effort grunt’ and Robert say ‘Oh hello!’ because of the nice athletic jump!) Clever horse! 🙂

To finish we jumped 2 skinny barrels on a curving 3 stride distance. The trick to it was to remain upright almost leaning slightly back with wide hands and a positive not stuttery canter. After jumping them separately we put it together, Soap locked on and was fab! He is really making some great advances in his SJing recently I just hope we can replicate all this at West Wilts Pre Novice on Saturday!

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