I used to jump a lot but since going to university I have stopped because I have been away for months at a time and Trooper wasn't jumped while I was away. When I came home I did some smaller jumps but I could not do anything like we used to do as I wasn't confident enough and he wasn't used to it. When I jumped in the past he did have a bit of a history of refusing fences and I have been eliminated from lots of competitions (sometimes on the first jump). However, he did improve and after a few years he was doing really well in competitions until I decided to stop because of school work.
Me on Trooper a few years ago.
On my lesson we started with trotting poles which he did nicely then we went on a single jump then a double. I felt fine going over these jumps and he was a very good boy. I wanted a placing pole as he kept getting his stride wrong into it and I felt more confident with this. He kept landing on the wrong leg on both reins which is a habit he always used to have in the arena so I need to try to keep him straighter. We then had a third jump to go over with one stride in between each one and he jumped that as well. He always goes very forward through the jumps and I have to try hard to slow him down.
The third jump was then put up a hole and that's when I got a bit nervous. It actually looked like a big jump to me now (even though it was only 2ft something!). He went into the placing pole and messed up the strides from the beginning. I wasn't riding him forwards as I was scared and he jumped the first two, then stopped dead and swerved and dropped his shoulder. I just saw his body and the saddle as I hit the floor! I can't remember the last time I fell off! It must have been over 5 years ago. I was a bit shocked. I wasn't hurt at all though and got back on him straight away.
After I had fallen off I didn't feel as nervous, as before I was scared I would fall off. And I had fallen off and it hadn't hurt so I was fine! My teacher sorted the jumps out so it was just a double and a bit smaller and then we worked our way back to to the same as it was when I fell off and he was fine!
I used to know exactly what he would and wouldn't jump so I would be ready for him if he put a stop in. But now I'm not sure. I am going to carry on doing a bit of jumping. Nothing big as I don't want to compete or anything but I think he enjoys it when he does it and it makes a change from schooling every day!
A few years ago when Trooper was at his best jumping stage (sorry it's a bit blurry!)