Since the lesson with Maria I have really tried to think about how I want Nemah to work and how we communicate. Time to try it out in reality with a show jumping lesson.
The conditions wasn't the best this day. I fell of Nemah a couple of weeks ago and has since been experiencing pain from my ribs, a pain that had grown worse this week. I Also had a cold and really didn't feel my best. To top it off we where late to the lesson due to a very happy and loose horse in need of capturing.
We started right away with trotting poles placed on a circle. I focused really hard on trusting that Nemah would listen to my thoughts and she did feel a lot more calm this day. When Marie was happy with all of us we moved on to canter over another set of poles. They were placed with a shorter distance than usual to make the horses collect themselves more. After a few rounds Marie put the middle pole up as a fence.
Nemah found these exercises to be really hard, she doesn't have the most well balanced canter yet and using her body in this way made her tire quickly. As I focused on ease in my aids she couldn't hang her head in my hands and just run away and this made it harder for her to keep her canter.
We got to try to jump the wall again, today it was really scary to Nemah. I think the pain in my ribs made me a bit insecure and she picked up on it, as she always does. She stopped and looked at the wall and then jumped high above it the second time around. When Marie removed half of the wall to make it less wide, Nemah managed to convince us both that it was really scary and we jumped beside the wall instead of over it.
We then jumped a course, with circles on the quarter lines. At this time both me and Nemah where quite tired and I had to help her even more to keep the canter. We did get around the course, but it was not as easy as before.
As the last exercise we jumped the course without the circles. Marie raised the fences, the highest was about 75 cm. This time we got one stop but besides that Nemah did a really good job.
I got some positive comments on Nemahs markedly more slow pace, and some negative on me falling a bit too much forward. I really enjoyed not having to fight as much to get Nemah to slow down, but it's obvious that I need to use my legs more to get Nemah to keep the canter. We also need to work more on her canter, to make her stronger.