After doing the smaller things, we had to go through three different courses. The first course was very twisty with plenty of circles and turns and roll backs. Everyone in the clinic rolled through the first course with no major issues, so Kathy upped the ante. Our second course was a few single fences, then a gymnastic of three fences set one stride apart down center line. This sounds fairly simple, but the fences down the center were all at angles, so if your turn isn't right on the line you need, your distances will be completely skewed! Considering this was the second lesson of the day, Koda was getting to be a touch lazy, so the whip had to come out a bit. Forward, forward, forward :)
Some of the other participants ran into a few issues with this exercise, but all in all we all got through it in the end. It was my first time to jump a gymnastic like that where all the jumps were on an angle. I've done a couple single fences, but not something like this! Was so proud and happy with Koda, how he took everything in stride when I KNOW this is new stuff to him too. Such a trooper and all-around awesome pony. I think he's really understanding what his job is now.
At the end of the lesson, Kathy let us set up our own course to finish up the day. I wanted to go over raised rails (again, not the big guys, but bigger than what we were doing that day), so I did a nice simple course, similar to a basic hunter course. Throughout the clinic, I've learned quite a bit about Koda's jumping style. He will go for the close spot instead of the far, his jump is fairly neat and easy to ride, he doesn't respect smaller "jumps", and he is as honest as they come. Here are a couple videos of our last course.
Clearly, this horse needs more height for a challenge! We don't have our changes yet, but simple changes are fine for now. We did try to get the change over a fence, but with the canter I was getting (balanced, forward, overall lovely), I was a happy camper.
I'm just so darn proud of Koda! This is a horse that hadn't even SEEN a pole before Easter of this year, and without much schooling at all, he's taking everything rather nicely in stride! Perhaps some people would say, well that's to be expected, it's been so many months, he's at an age where it should be nothing, but for me, it's incredibly satisfying and makes me so happy. It was really nice at the end of the clinic that a couple people came up to me to compliment Koda.
Such an awesome boy!