I had an amazing riding lesson today!
My stables likes to put on themes now and again for the week's lessons. This week's theme was jumping, and my best friend warned me I might be doing it today. I've had one lesson ages ago when I was introduced to jump position and went over some poles and one tiny cross rail. I've had another lesson on lower leg strength and jump position.
Anyway, waiting for my lesson to start I was watching from the stands, and there was a four year old girl with bright pink wellies (her mum agreed I should get a pair to match my jods), riding one of the ponies over little poles. She was absolutely adorable.
For my lesson, I rode a new horse, Mr Darcy. I had him in my third lesson (today was my twelfth), but Charlie Brown since then. I spent the first few minutes getting used to him and his gaits, and then my instructor, Katie, had me riding in jump position over a course of four poles. My lower leg felt much firmer on Darcy, and he had a mane I could hold onto :) He does like to cut corners, though, and stray off the track, so I had to keep a firmer contact on my outside rein and use my inside leg more.
Katie then put one of the poles up into a low cross rail (about 40cm) and had me jump it going large. Then I jumped that and the rest of the poles. Then the last pole became a jump, and finally, all four were jumps! It was so great. While there were still some poles, he didn't really have enough energy, but once we were jumping the whole course he was raring to go. He even broke into a canter between two of them, but I managed to get him back into a trot and hold him there. When I finished the course, Katie said, "You're grinning from ear to ear!" and I was. It was just so, so much fun!
Darcy is huge as well - Charlie's pretty big (15.2, 15.3hh) but Darcy is an inch or two taller and built on a much larger scale. His head is in a different time zone from my hands! His shoulder is bigger than my torso.
So I've had an amazing day! And when I took Darcy back to his stall, he gave me a nuzzle. He has such a soft nose, and it's always nice to get a kiss from Mr Darcy.