After our outing with the jumpers, Mav realizes he is interested in jumps. I infer this directly based on the fact that while the mounting block continues to be an angry, hungry bear in the corner ready to take him out at any moment, any jumps placed in the ring, no matter how scary, are perfectly acceptable.
I am not actually interested in jumps although I used to jump. Here is proof.
I was always terrified. Lessons terrified me, jumping terrified me, looking at the jumps terrified me. I quit when I got Miss H. She was in no way shape or form a jumping horse. We tried a bit but she tended to fall on her head and since she had a knee issue as a young horse, we never pushed that.
Anyways, I have jumped in my past. Quite a lot actually, but I do not actually want to face jumps while sitting on Mav yet. I am mostly all out to canter around still at this point in his journey.
But Mav has now seen the other horses jumping and one Sunday Run Day there is a Cavaletti in the ring. Mav chooses to go over the Cavaletti during his run. I did not catch this sadly. During his cool down from Run Day, he generally walks 20m circles around me - apparently he has already learned of the importance of 20m circles. On this day, he changes it up and walks smaller circles, for a reason.
Now I know you are saying, why did I just watch the same video several times. Well dear readers, they are in fact all completely different videos. He must have walked over that thing 20 times. Many of them I caught on video since they were slow and I was bored while he cooled out. I have more and you may request them if you like as I know they are the top level of excitement and wonder.
At this point I am slightly worried that he may actually want to jump. As in, he wants to be a jumper, or a hunter, and I? I do not. I am not one to keep pushing a square peg into a round hole so it is time to investigate this further. I know his full sister jumps as I am in contact with her owner. But she is not an upper level type jumper, more a lower level have fun on type. He did, however, have a half sibling (same dam) who was a successful eventer.
A couple of Sunday Run Days later I get my chance to test it out as an Excellent Ground Crew member will be there to help. We have a jump left in the ring after the Sunday AM jump lesson that takes place and move it to the wall. It was a simple set up - a jump against the wall with a pole from the top of the standards to guide him. No fancy shmancy jump chutes for us! Throw him at it to see what he does. Sink or swim buddy. There are reasons I do not have children and we may have just uncovered one.
So off we go, he rolls as usual and starts cantering around. Immediately keys on the jump and heads for it. It starts as a very small jump. Poles on the ground basically.
As you can see, he goes straight for it happily. We make it an actual crossrail.
He comes around to do it again and has a nice play after. Further cementing that I am not sure I want to be on his back doing this.
Easy peasy. We put it up to a small vertical, I say we, but really it is me. Ground Crew has the phone and a whip, which neither of us actually uses during this session. We generally just watch him run around going over the jump. We only use them to cluck at him when he starts admiring himself in the mirror at the far corner. Please note, he can not get to the mirror as the corner chains are up. Safety First!
They are not all like this. Some of them are less good. Sometimes he forgets to lift his legs.
He also tries some different answers rather than the go over option, just to see what those looks like. It is important to try out various options before settling on one. If you give me a plate of several types of cookies, I will eat all of them before settling on my favourite. Like that.
But since he is very smart, he figures it out.
At the end of it all I have a good picture of him to add to the pile.
He hung out with his jump once he was done - I put it back down for him to go over a couple of times after it was larger.
He is quite proud of himself. I am glad that clearly he does like to jump things, but it is not his calling in life and I am not holding on to the next Big Ben - too old a reference? Hickstead then.
We may one day revisit the jumping thing under saddle, just for fun. Maybe.