|sneak peak at our weekend!|
BUT I got a good kick in the butt from another barn mate and we decided to take our own field trip anyway. So my disappointment turned into some fun!!!
So yes we did go XC school!!
I am not going to lie, I really wanted to wimp out on going because of nerves. I know that is so silly...I would have to go sometime right? But I was really hoping our first time would be under the guidance of P or another instructor to keep Tillie and I on track with trusting each other like we have gotten jumping in the ring.
But I got talked into it from my barn friend to go and just take it easy and do and jump only what felt good...make it about riding out in the open not the jumps. AND she reassured me I had my pelham to use this time if needed.
|The Pelham certainly came in handy|
I took another breath and tried to remind myself we havent done this since Halloween so let her settle in and be patient. I would have loved to let her walk around until she relaxed before pushing up into a trot, but she kept wanting to jig so I felt that getting her moving would be better - so we picked up a trot.
One thing I realized is that she really does a good job enticing me to get handsy....she picked up this itty bitty race horse trot haunches swinging everywhere and I really did try to use my seat and leg to get her tempo where I wanted it, but no go.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and decided to start warming up over a few small logs with a few goals in mind:
- Conquer cantering xc fences even downhill ones and just cantering down hill in general
- Really sit on Tillie and dont let her ever get her head down which leads to bolting
- jump a down bank until I dont get nervous anymore
|Warm up - weeeee!|
I stayed a bit reserved for the first 20-30 min just jumping small logs and coops. We moved on to a BN and Novice ramp which Tillie jumped without issue and without bolting on landing so I was satisfied to walk over to the next field with the more legitimate questions.
I decided to go right to the water complex and we trotted in and out of the water 2x before I trotted up the small bank and right away before I could overthink it came back and cantered down the bank.
|All smiles after the down bank|
I wanted to keep a rhythm so just sorta kept cantering and jumped what came along and felt good. Next came a sunken road question, which wasnt too high height wise but a solid question which Tillie seemed quite bored with. At this point I knew I needed to try some of the more beginner novice/novice sized fences but was having a hard time committing...luckily the barn mate said ok go do this one now! I usually dont have qualms about height of fences, but XC I still dont quite trust Tillie....so I was a bit skeptical.
My barn mate reassured me that it wasnt that large and just see what happened. LOL in hindsight that logic isnt the best approach, but it worked out for us so I guess it wasnt soooo bad. Anyway, I took a breath and decided to give it a go...I jumped a friendly enough looking fence for momentum and came around to jump the big roll top.
Tillie soared over it without batting an eye and it rode really well...I continued cantering through the field and finished over a larger house which tillie chipped the first time. I came around a second time (the clip on the video) and she found a nicer spot. At this point she was doing a really nice job staying calm and not getting grabby with me.
As I landed from the house jump, I spotted a brush fence a little ways up and decided to give that a try. It looked good and scary and was in the shade halfway...and sure enough Tillie was very unsure about it and did some dodging. It was a bit narrow which I know Tillie isnt a fan of and will be a question Ill need to work with her more on...I gave her a pat to reassure her and came back around and she jumped it without hesitation.
I ended things after that since she felt so great by this point and I didnt want to over do it. In hindsight I should have jumped a few things more, like the roll top, to work on her form.
Once again, I am a bit disappointed to see the footage and she is jumping everything over her shoulder and looking at the fence the entire way. Which I know, I know is her being careful and unsure....and she never touched a single fence which is good...and she is jumping them without issue like this, but still. I just dont like that its not correct. Im trying not to let it bother me and know it will come with more practice...I just am hard on us.
I guess you cant have your cake and eat it too always and I should just be happy we didnt have any major blow ups or out of control gallops! I guess this is the epitome of a dichotomy...I am thrilled with how things felt, but a bit let down at looking back at the footage and it doenst look as good as it felt. My last xc clinic, I had the same reaction to images I saw of her jumping :/ so I guess I just need to accept this is how it is.
Anyway here is the footage: