Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cross Country May recap

First off, how awesome is it that people are starting to follow me?!?  Really cool I think and as a result I am celebrating by putting up pictures of xc schooling early AND going to post more than I planned on.  Enjoy!

I had sent in my registration for schooling a little late but was surprised when I hadn't heard from the manager by Friday to schedule my ride time so I gave her a call.  After a call back it appears as though she hadn't gotten my registration until that day and all time slots had filled up.  She had 65 people scheduled to school but if I wanted to come early she could squeeze me in on Sat at 8 or 9a.  After some quick phone calls I confirmed we could do Sat morning which resulted in some scrambling Friday night.

Got off to a good start on Saturday even though it was raining.  It wasn't raining too hard and the ground wasn't that soft so I put my rain suit on and off we went.  If you recall from my last post, my App normally requires a lot of effort to be usable.  I had tried my copper mouth full cheek last time per my instructors request with very tired, sore shoulders to show for the efforts.  My instructor suggested I try a waterford bit this time as it works well for horses that pull.  Unfortunately the waterford bit I had ordered last weekend didn't come like I had hoped so I rode in my normal cross country bit, a slow twist snaffle.  For whatever reason, my App was amazing.  Gone was the pogo stick, fast, forward, pulling horse and I had a nice relaxed horse.  YAY!!!
Who me? I'm a good horse even in rain
We started over some nice easy jumps and we did that well.  I got half halts when I asked for them (?!?!) and he stopped when I asked.  Such a welcome change!

Easy Peasy

 We quickly moved over to real xc jumps and we soared. The only problem with the App and jumping is he doesn't tuck his front legs very well.  He almost always "hangs" his knees which can be dangerous over solid fences.  He is much better over big jumps, though since his fracture 09 I don't want to jump him higher than 2'9" so the hanging issues sticks around.

After finding a lot of the jumps we went over last time were now in pretty wet ground we decided to finish the day by playing in the water.  Would it really matter that we would play in water considering it was starting to rain harder?  Everyone was getting soaked, even me and I was fully covered in my rain suit.

We ran in the water and jumped up banks and down banks, this time we got pictures though.  This is easy stuff for him though, we've been jumping in and out of water since about 03. Since SO had borrowed the "good" camera, not only do I have good quality pics, I was also able to get multi action shots so we have progressive pics like these:

While I am not super happy with my position here, as my reins are too long, I just love the pic of Chip here, so much effort and a great shot.

 You can tell if you look at the water that it started raining a little harder than "hard".  When we started, remember, it was a light rain.  By the time we got to the water jumps it was raining hard.  By the time we got to the end it started pouring hard.  These next pics you may think are hazy. The reason is not due to any kind of color adjustment, it is due to how hard it was raining and I was still crazy enough to jump in it. 
When it started pouring is when we got our few refusals, I am going to be nice and tribute the weather and his being tired to the refusals.  I got worried, since he doesn't refuse, and looking back I suppose it was good that my instructor pushed me on.  I was going to get him over a single jump and call it quits for fear something was wrong, she is the one that insisted he was fine and he was just tired and showing attitude.  Thus I went ape on him and we were able to finish our course.  I absolutely will not ride without my crop again, I don't think I would have had these problems if I had my "encouragement stick".

There is a reason they call eventing the second craziest discipline in the equine world.  In weather that no one would be riding in period, I am out jumping 2' to 2'6" jumps in slippery grass. I think being barefoot really helped, I never used studs when I had shoes on him and I am sure we would have slipped if we had shoes on.  All day?  Didn't have more than a slight slip.  All in all we had a good time.  We got back to the trailer completely soaked and cold, I realized I didn't bring my cooler so I threw the App in the trailer and we headed home since it is only a 20 minute drive.  Got him covered up, gave him some hay mash, liniment and bute and he recovered fine.  Myself?  A fresh change of dry clothes, a hot cup of tea and a bunch of chores awaited me.  Sometimes I think my horses have it too easy.


  1. Cool! I love the pictures. He looks awesome. :) That looks like so much fun. Maybe when Chrome is full grown and I've been riding him a while I'll get the guts to try jumping. We won't go high or do much though because he just doesn't have the conformation for it and I wouldn't want to hurt him. I love that you're doing all of this barefoot! :D And congrats on the new followers. It takes a while to get followers but once you do it makes it so much better. The comments are what drive me on. :)

  2. Jumping is the adrenaline rush I crave, flatwork is just so boring to me, I need excitement. I've done barrel racing, cutting, trail riding and this is what I've settled on. I hope Chrome can do what you aim for, don't let conformation hold you back from trying something! Neither of my boys have great conformation either.