So after having three days off due to crappy weather, I brought Ben down for my jumping lesson last night. I lunged him in the indoor and then got on only for my trainer to say "Lord Creek (the event this weekend) is really hilly, so I'm going to open the gates and you guys can just extend the ring so you're doing your flatwork up and down hill."
Fabulous, Ben has had three days off and the first thing we're doing is going up and down hill and in order to do that, we needed to jump the small ditch every time. He was actually fairly good about the actual jumping but there were four of us in the lesson so he was getting excited and we had a little bit of random bucking.
He ended up settling down eventually and then we started jumping the big ditch which he was also good about. Then we started warming up over a couple of jumps, and then we put a course together.
The course was a jump on the center line, left hand turn and up the diagonal to an oxer, out over the big ditch (which is about 2 1/2 feet wide), over a tiny little rail out on the grass, back downhill into the ring and over a vertical, right 90 degree turn to the center jump, left 90 degree turn to a drop fence out of the ring, over the house jump, up the hill, down the bank, back in over the big ditch, and over the jump in the center again. Quite a long jumper derby style course. Ben has never jumped any of the cross country fences except the ditch and the bank. He had never been over the drop fence or over the house jump. We were sent out first. Everything was going just fine until we came up to the house and he slammed on the brakes. I assumed he was just surprised by the fence being there, until he stopped two more times.
Finally I walked right up to the fence, only to see that there was a chair on the other side that nobody had seen prior. Somebody had brought it out there to sit while they grazed their horses and never moved it. So they moved the chair and over Ben went without an issue. So that is why my horse is brilliant. He made me so proud and made me feel so safe that he knew something was wrong and wouldn't take any chances.
So then we went through the course again without any issues:
He was a very good boy and we are very excited about Sunday!