Louie has really taken to our new adventure- jumping! Granted since he just turned 4, we've only been doing a few, very low jumps, the highest is about 12" on a lunge line- but we have been making slow, steady progress and I think Louie really likes it! He hasn't refused a jump yet, and he's getting the idea of "leaping" and using his legs together appropriately rather than just plowing through it one foot at a time.
Today we went over a straight rail on the lowest notch, maybe about 8-10" several times- he just soared over it beautifully probably 10 times, just flowing along like he'd been doing it forever. My favorite part is that we never had to check out the jump prior to going over it. The jump was positioned in the middle of the arena, we rode around the arena about 2 times, then headed straight for it at a trot and he went right over without question.
I was SO proud of my baby today and we had a TON of fun! Until the second to the last jump- we approached it and Louie's (and my) timing wasn't quite right, he got in a little too tight and knocked the rail with his legs (I think his front legs). The rail was one of those 100 pound wooden posts and he managed to take it down, so naturally he bucked once afterward- a display of his discomfort- I'd imagine that would hurt! Well, we couldn't end there, so I hopped off, re-set the jump- man it took about everything I had to set it back up! lol- note to self, use lighter rail next time. We had to go over it once more to end on a clean, good note, so we trotted a few strides to make sure everything was working well, then approached it one last time. This time we didn't time it very well either and he had to jump really long to clear it, but you can bet he wasn't going to hit that thing again!
We have also been picking up our right lead really nicely- several times he would actually take it right out of the jump, so we just continued around on the right lead for a little bit, enjoying the fact that he took it so easily. Today we also did about 1 lap of hand gallop which was a lot of fun! Overall, I'm so proud of my boy! He's doing so well and I think we've really found something that Louie enjoys; he is happy being a hunter.