A couple of weeks ago, having just got back from Portugal, I received a message via Facebook to say that I had been the lucky winner of a lesson with Jock Paget. I was absolutely delighted until it dawned on me that all my horses were hairy and on holiday and the lesson was just over 100 miles away. Not to be defeated though I decided that I couldn’t miss an opportunity like this and started work on Percy. I had always decided that as soon as I was back off holiday Percy and Florence would come back into work to be got ready for the British Showjumping Amateur Championships which is only a matter of weeks away and they had only been out a short time so wouldn’t have lost much fitness. On the weekend of my lesson, I had a fairly manic time, with a 5.30am start on the Saturday to head to Your Horse Live, followed by the North Shropshire Hunt Ball in the evening, with a 4am get to bed time and a 7am get up time ready to drive to Nottinghamshire. But it was worth it, I had a fabulous lesson and Jock was such a nice guy and gave me some great tips. Percy can be pretty keen to jump and lock on to his fences, but by the end of my lesson we were approaching the fences in a cool rhythmical manner, on a light contact. I tend to kill Percy’s canter a bit normally on an approach to a fence waiting for him to see it and tank, but Jock helped me find a good jumping canter and teach Percy some manners, by not allowing him to tank and stopping him sometimes before, sometimes after the fence so he couldn’t just predict what it was that I wanted him to do. He very quickly learnt that he needed to wait for my instruction on what we were doing, subsequently become not so strong or keen. Jock asked us to jump one exercise which was lots of tight turns and changes of direction and showed up all our weaknesses. But by the end of the lesson Percy gave me a lovely ride through the exercise because I was in control and he was listening and waiting for me. Really happy with his performance and that he didn’t show me up by being too fresh. Just hope I can now put in to practise what I learnt in my lesson back at home.
Amateur event rider