There are a lot of jumps out on the cross country course that look too big for us, but there are just as many that are little enough that I could see us going over them in the semi-near future. Most of them are just piles of logs, but there are a couple of unique obstacles. Right now my favorite one is the tire jump.
My barn doesn’t have a lot of super unique stadium jumps—most of our standards/poles are unpainted wood—so Raglan hasn’t really been asked to jump anything strange.
Before I got on him on Friday, we lunged over a few of the obstacles again. We did the basics—up and down the mound and then over a few small logs—and then we walked farther out until we came up to the tires. He wasn’t impressed; all he wanted to do was eat the weeds growing in them.
When I tried to lunge him over them, though, he did not get it. He slammed on the breaks, leaped sideways, and was generally super upset that I kept making him run into the tires. He got frazzled and then checked out mentally, to the point where I wondered if I’d made a terrible decision and we should scrap the whole entire trip outside. It felt like things were getting worse and we weren’t making any progress.
I was determined to end on a good note, so we took a break from the tires and lunged over another easy log instead. As he trotted up to it, I could see the gears in his brain turning.
That log seemed to jog his little brain back into work mode. We went back to the tires, but there wasn’t much improvement until I put him in a position where his choice was to jump over the tires or come into my personal space. He didn’t jump the tires, but he did kind of hop over the air next to it in his best attempt not to crash into me. I praised him and that was all it took for the puzzle pieces to fall together.
After that the tires were a non-issue. I was so proud of him! I gave him a couple of treats and then off we went for the riding portion of our time outside. Everyday we take a couple more steps in the right direction!