Saturday we went to the Meadows for a final XC schooling before our show in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, no photos or videos as it was a quick, efficient affair and I wasn’t able to wrangle a friendographer. But let me tell you. We. Freaking. Rocked.
There weren’t any stadium jumps set up, so we did a quick warm up and went straightaway over some logs. Hemie was very game but not silly at all. He was down to business.
We started over a teeny tiny little log, then Laurie directed us towards a larger log next to a shadowy pile of stuff. We’ve had run outs at that particular jump before, so I was a little nervous on the inside. But I just rode it forward and supportive, and he didn’t think twice. We proceeded to hop over all the intro and BN jumps we could find. And (drumroll, please) we hopped some novice jumps too. =)
I felt confident throughout the schooling. Hemie did question a few things, but I was able to ride supportively and we had zero run outs or refusals. 3 special moments I’d like to share:
1. Downhill to a jump.
We galloped up a nice hill (gallop is a generous term – it was a forward canter but I still haven’t really flown on Hemie yet) then we trotted downhill. We’ve been practicing hills at our facility, so Hemie is really learning how to hold himself up. There was a jump at the bottom that looked to be quite inviting, so we headed towards it. This would be our first jump off of a significant downhill slope. I could feel Hemie lock on to it. A few strides away I realized the jump was actually much bigger and wider than it had looked from the hill, but at that point were committed – and he flew over it like he’d been doing big jumps off of steep hills forever! My trainer about fainted and Tynan (also schooling with us) said that jump was at least Novice sized, but that off of a downhill like that it was possibly a Training level question. It says a lot that both Hemie and I felt ready take that one on.
2. Straight into the water.
Hemie’s been good with water generally speaking, so this time (with our trainer’s permission) we decided to trot right on in it (rather than walking in). It went perfectly. No hesitation whatsoever.
3. The Meadows Jump.
We did it. Our first time doing a jump with such tall sides and a top/header. No issues. =]
|Photo from my former trainer, Taurie of Kings Corner|