OK, so it was only a tiny weeny midget cross pole, that she could have stepped over, and it was barely a foot high, but WE JUMPED IT!!!!
We had been doing some trotting poles, as a friend was there to help me (Echo is not all that coordinated and tends to kick them all over the place). I had never done more than two together, and that was months and months ago, so she had to really think about them. We started off with one, then two together, then three. I was working on keeping her supple and trotting as normal, just going over the poles when I asked her to. She was actually really good. When it got to doing three, I could tell that she was really concentrating. She was all wiggly going up to the poles, and my friend said that you could see her thinking. We then did four in a row on each rein and called it a day, as it had been mentally quite taxing for her.
I had a quick canter on each rein (she hadn't been as flexible to the right today, but then I suppose I was thinking more about the poles!!) and she was pretty responsive to my half-halt, so I went out for a walk to cool off. I had every intention of just walking a circuit of the cross country course, but as I was heading out, I noticed that there were a couple of jumps set up in the wood-chip arena. This is pretty common, as the surface is good in there for jumping, but this is the first time I've seen such a tiny jump - one that even I could manage!!
I saw it and thought about what to do. What was the worst that could happen? She could refuse - no great loss, I'd just pretend I'd never asked and come back later, better equipped - like I did when she first refused to go in the water jump. She could do a huge cat-leap - that wouldn't be too bad; I have a reasonably secure seat and a neck strap. She could take off afterwards, but I was fairly sure she wouldn't (Echo doesn't usually expend more energy than she has to!) Or she might just pop over it happily - and that's exactly what she did! I went into the wood chip arena and trotted a couple of circles, then pointed her at the jump and trotted purposefully and rhythmically up to it. She popped over and carried on trotting, as if to say, 'yeah - what about it?'
I was grinning from ear to ear. Although I know it was such a tiny jump that it was physically barely more than a trotting pole for her, mentally it was the equivalent of a 3 foot spread for me. I now know that she can do it and this will give me so much confidence. I have no desire to do loads and loads of jumping with her, but recently I have been really itching to have a go. Dressage is most definitely my thing, but I do get a real buzz from jumping and I think we are going to have lots of fun. I went straight out on the rest of my walk and couldn't stop smiling.