Schooling Topper at Willow Draw
We've been out with the hunt a few times and trail riding, but I
wanted to get him in an indoor and start to show him stadium jumps.

Everything is new. He got very puffed up when he met the horse in the mirror.

He's got a lovely personality and is so easy to handle on the ground. Someday that tuft of mane will grow out.

He doesn't need the pelham, but it's Thuy's old bridle so we're just using it as is for the jumping.

He was a bit hesitant starting out, but not like the first few weeks of riding. He'd just see things to be distracted by and forget that I was
telling him where to go.

My trainer loves giving us poles on the ground to distract us from the other distracting things. It works really well.

He tends to curl and if he's listening I can work him off my legs and leave the bit alone. He wasn't listening so well today.

It's nice how fast he learns. On the purchase video it was kick, kick, kick to get the canter. The first few times I tried riding it was the same. Only a couple of months
in and I can sit and ask and we go right into it, no fast trotting. Now listening to both my legs while canter is definitely a work in progress.

Today he was up, so his canter was different than at home where I have to keep him going. Still, it never felt out of control.

His trot feels very smooth. It's always surprising when people mention his knee action.

Cantering over poles and cavaletti. It was our first time, but he didn't seem worried about it.

First jump of the day and he seemed unsure if it was what I wanted. Their cavaletti are a litlte shorter than ours, so he could have trotted it if he wanted.

The second time felt great. I could feel him pulling me to the jump and telling me we were going to canter away.

We weren't sure he'd jump at this height, but he was getting into it by now. Even more distractions and steering wasn't the best as he tried to go look at things,
but after showing him the ring and taking a couple warm up jumps we did a little course.

He felt like he'd have been comfortable cantering on and taking the next fence, but we slowed to a trot before every jump so he
could be more confident.

We did four jumps and changed direction across the arena. He lined himself up for all but the last. The last two he jumped bigger than the first two.

He's clean with his hind feet also. On our second warm up he did throw a buck in afterward. I think I was
encouraging him to canter away (which he was doing) and he was telling me he already knew what to do.
So far his occasional bucks aren't intimidating.

I was pleased that we did as much as we did this lesson. It's good my trainer kept pushing, because I
wasn't sure how much to do and not get him worried. He seemed happy until the end, though.

And making sure he cleared that one. He wasn't straight to this one, but so far he's been very good about not refusing anything he's faced to.

And a right lead canter away. We don't get it easily when I ask, but on our more recent rides I'm always able to get it after one or two tries.

Following another horse through the water. No pawing like last weekend.

Going back through the water all by himself. He was more worried about some of the larger jumps than anything we asked him to do. After this
we went over to the ditch and without showing it to him, he jumped right over it. He's so willing. It'll be fun when he's got his under saddle work ethic down.