Tonight I jumped Johnny a bit :) He was really great! First we worked over a single cross rail on the center line with a 9 foot take off and landing rail. Of course the first time he saw the landing pole he totally freaked and stabbed his legs into the ground and then flung them out like an idiot. This is his usual reaction...every time we've ever done work with landing poles he can never figure out what to do with his feet, but after the first time over it, he really figured it out! He wasn't stabbing his legs into the ground or flinging them back up off it, but instead he was smooth and collected :) He even landed in a good canter a few times, and cross cantered a few more times, which I was fine with...he's still learning to balance himself.
After that, I moved the jump to the quarter line and made it a low vertical which we trotted and cantered over. The first time we trotted over it he totally knocked down the rail, but I seriously think that he was finally just so relaxed jumping that he wasn't even paying attention. The second and third times we cantered over it. The first time over it at the canter we were about two strides out and I knew that we were going to get a suupppeeerrr long spot. I knew that Johnny wasn't so good at working out a chip, so I just kind of kicked him and held on. He LEAPED over the jump, in actually a very smooth long spot, landed in canter and carried on like nothing had happened. I brought him to it again, this time rating him a little and we got a really great jump, landed in a quiet canter on the back side and continued down the long side. I let him end with that, as he had been super well-behaved :)
Lately, I've been looking into some info on the Standardbred National Horse Show and I really, really, REALLY want to take Johnny to it. I've weighed out some of the costs from last years prize list and I've come to the conclusion that it's going to take a lot of money to get there, but I feel confident that we actually have a chance at bringing home a national championship in maybe the adult equitation, or maybe even hunter under saddle. I went through last years pictures and based off of them I have made a list of things we need to work on to be up to par with the competition. I REALLY want to make this happen, but if we do go, we're definitely going to WIN :)