Those of you who are still bothering to read my blog probably thought this would never happen, but it has!
Are you ready?
I got on Jasper for the first time!
I can’t tell you how AMAZING it felt to finally get on my horse! Although, I am sure some of you are familiar with that feeling. Of course, it was one of those impromptu moments when I had not planned or prepared for it! Thus no helmet (my bad!).
I had actually planned to get on him a couple of weeks ago when the photo below was taken, but Jasper was a little tense so we put it off.
Yesterday I was just going to lie over his back as I’ve done before…but the moment just felt right and I slowly swung my leg over as Michelle was holding the lead rope. Jasper was really calm about the whole thing and stood quietly the entire time. He actually swung his head around and nibbled my shoe! All in all, this first experience went better than I ever could have expected and before I got off I threw my arms around Jasper and told him how much I loved him!
For the last couple of weeks, in between my lessons with Michelle, I have been working on long lining with Jasper with two lines and the bit. Short sessions have been the key, as well as being consistent and soft. I am amazed at the transformation. Jasper has gone from resistant and pushy to willing and calm. I am learning a lot in the process, too. How to keep my hands soft and positioning my body correctly when asking for things such as a turn or transition.
In my lesson last week, Jasper was doing so well, Michelle decided to try some transitions with him. Here he goes from a walk to a trot:
And a nice trot to stop
Even some nice slow to fast trot transitions
And wow, trot with a turn!
I am amazed at his progress. I am this close to getting him under saddle!!
Things are progressing really well with Jasper and long lining. This video was shot a couple of weeks ago and one week after the previous video (I’ve been a little lax in posting video promptly!) as we advanced to 2 lines on with a bridle and snaffle bit. Notice his spiffy new surcingle and sheepskin pad 🙂
He is picking up turns when we ask with less resistance and has picked up really quickly what we are asking him to do. He is still slightly hesitant and stiff in this video but being patient and soft with Jasper has been the key.