I was gone for a little Mexican vacation. Even though I missed Cupid it was very nice to be someplace warm for a few days!
The morning before I left I had a riding lesson, and my trainer said it might have been the best jumping lesson we've ever had! We haven't jumped since before Cupid's foot problems and ensuing craziness, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Especially since it was pouring rain, and even thundering at times! But he couldn't have been more perfect!
As usual, after our warm up and flatwork we started with a single fence. Cupid calmly trotted, then cantered over it a few times each direction. It started as a cross rail then became a little vertical, probably just under 2'. Then we did a little 3 jump course; taking the warm up fence from the left lead, landing and circling back around on the right lead over the barrels, then I think circling to the left over the little brush boxes. I think we had one jump that was a little long (me not sitting up and supporting Cupid in the approach), but it felt great. We did simple changes, but Cupid got it correct each time I asked. After the first time through I was feeling pretty comfortable (which is one of my big goals for the year, to become comfortable cantering jumps and doing courses).
My trainer rode Cupid once while I was gone, and said she had a great ride. They worked on walk to canter transitions, and started a little collected trot and trot lengthening.
I had a lesson scheduled the morning after I got back, which also happened to be my birthday. But I came out to the barn to find Cupid, minus one shoe. He just got his feet done last week, and went the entire last cycle without losing a shoe his first time with clips so I thought we solved this problem. But alas. I called my trainer and told her, and suggested we can do groundwork today if she was already headed our way.
Cupid is very good at the ground work exercises. My trainer initially thought he would be a little stubborn and lazy, but he is actually very happy to comply if you ask. He just gets lazy with me because I get lazy about asking him. So we did some walk-halt transitions, yielding the haunches, backing up, and sending forward. We did a little desensitization, which of course Cupid is very good at. Then we ended with a little ground driving. I need to work on the same things as with my riding; not letting the reins get too slack and making sure I don't throw away the contact during my upward transitions.