What do a mounting block, white plastic barrel, and flower box have in common? They are all things Cupid and I jumped over this week! Althoug I initially had doubts (having never jumped a mounting before, and being a little intimidated by barrels), I tried to give him confidence and NOT LOOK DOWN, and he doesn't really care what the jump is made of. We have done little lines and a small course, trotting in and I let him decide if he wants to canter out or just trot. He is still figuring it all out, but overall he is very calm about the whole thing. I didn't think we would be jumping so soon, but as long as he is sound and not stressed I'm just going to trust my trainer's plan. This morning we focused on flatwork. We worked on poles in a fan shape on a circle, first walk then trot. It is still hard getting him to bend so it took a lot of concentration keeping him on the circle. We ended the lesson with some cantering. We started on his more difficult side, and got the left lead on the second try. Then my job was to keep him on a nice 20 meter circle. I still have a tendency to canter in half seat so I was really focusing on keeping my butt in the saddle, not lean to the inside, and a nice soft contact in the reins. We did it twice on the left, then when we changed direction he still picked up the left lead. Oops! Got it right on the second try. Since our trainer is gone next weekend we had some extra lessons this week. I was worried Cupid was going to start dreading seeing me since I've been making him work pretty hard, but if anything our bond has increased. He now walks to the gate when I come, and even when I return him to the pasture he hangs out in front of the tack room if I'm in there. Well I do give him treats, but I like to think he actually likes me regardless!