The first of Salute The Truth's (Willy's) foals was born Monday night. He's the biggest, longest-legged newborn I have ever seen. He's already perfectly correct in his legs, but the cool thing is he has Willy's hind socks and stripe. At three days he had perfect flying changes and a cute little passage with lots of suspension! His mother's a warmblood, and the breeder's thrilled with her first experiment in breeding back to Thoroughbred blood. I can't wait for our five to be born.
I haven't done a Wofford lesson report in a while, but I'm learning to ride (again) and Willy's jumping has improved immensely. Last week we had fun with the corner/liverpool, two strides to skinny, two strides to corner/liverpool. It felt a little like taking him through his first grids a year ago when he had no idea what to make of all the rails and just did it because it was easier than going sideways through my legs. Lots of weird optical illusions, but it made him jump wonderfully.
Even better was the exercise where we take a jump that's near the outside rail at a slight angle and turn back into that outside rail rather than going the direction that the horses expect. Willy had started to anticipate the turns and lug to the inside. By the end of the lesson he was waiting for my leg to know which way to go and then sitting right down into the turn and doing a flying change if he'd landed wrong.
We also did a staircase then I think 4 strides to a skinny chevron. I tend to take back when I approach a skinny (or any jump where I think we might not be straight enough). This made me ride forward to get the distance, or as Wofford said go forward to straighten.
The weirdest line for me was the vertical, 30' to the bottom rail of a very wide hogsback, 30' to an oxer. That's a tight two strides with a wide element in the middle. Willy did it fine as long as I under-rode the first element, but from in the air at the first two elements the distances sure looked like one stride, and it took a lot of self control to not kick for it. Somehow, when I just sat there Willy managed to get two strides in quite gracefully. It really shows how our horses are much smarter about jumping than we are sometimes!