With our first ODE rapidly approaching I decided to have one last jump this week, and really work on getting her to listen to me rather than locking on and charging over whatever was in front of her!
So after consulting my '101 Schooling Exercises' book I came up with two grids to work on - an upright, three strides to a bounce, two strides to a spread, to get her thinking about her feet and shortening and opening up her stride. The other exercise used the first part of the grid (upright, three strides) to two fences either side of the bounce, so that when she came over the upright and locked on to a fence, I could ride her over a completely different fence, so that she started to listen to me, rather than thinking she knew best!
We built the grid up to about 3ft which is the minium she will actually try over and once again she jumped through beautifully! I then asked my 'helper' (my unhorsey, but very pushy boyfriend!) to raise the spread by a hole or two and rode round to jump it. As I approached I thought it looked rather large, but decided I was just being a wimp, kicked on and Mal flew it...
...It was then my boyfriend admitted to raising it rather a lot more than I asked and on closer inspection the fence was 1m15!!! Just a tad bigger than the 1m I had asked for!! However given how easy Mal had made it and with my confidence through the roof I decided to give it another shot and once again Mal flew through it without batting an eyelid!
So she will now more than likely knock every show jump at our ODE, as 70cms is so clearly beneath her ladyship! But at least I will have supreme confidence in her ability to get over the fences and therefore will actually ride her positively!