Friday, May 20, 2016

Our Novice debut in detail - Cross Country

After stadium, we marched on over to XC. I was feeling very confident as long as Tillie could stay as adjustable and calm out here as she did in the ring and the last event.

Walking the course, I felt really good about most of the fences...there were some pretty cool ones and I was excited to see they were legit novice questions with some good length between some to allow some actual galloping. I realized while walking the course that when I schooled here right before Rolex, I actually had schooled the training level stuff thinking it was novice...No one entered training so they werent flagged except the #15 so I resolved that if things were REALLY amazing we would do it, if not playing it safe and having a clean round would also just thrill me.

Much to my horror there was a HUGE downbank on course that standing next to it was just below my chest. I luckily schooled that one just before Rolex and on accident...but was super glad I did. It wasnt the greatest feeling when I schooled it, but I at least knew I had done it which meant I COULD do it again right?

Everything else looked fine...some I knew I would need to ride more than others, but all in all I knew Tillie could do them.

In the start box I had a mini pow wow with my girl and said lets do this and be calm ok? She flicked her ears almost in understanding, and off we went.

Before I knew it, I was coming up to the chevron and was shocked at how easy it all felt. I was still riding a bit defensively and after letting her go out to gallop in two spots, would bring her back to a slower canter. The chevron, I overheard, was giving a few people some trouble so this is why I decided to really come back for this one, also because the trakhener was a somewhat related distance away.

After the trakhener was the bank bank and I made myself breath and mentally said "we got this"

I told my helpers, mom and niece that came to watch me that if I nailed the down bank and was still on after a stride that I expected to hear the loudest cheer that would be Rolex cheering caliber. They certainly didnt disappoint and it actually rode alot smoother than when I schooled it thankfully!

At this point I was feeling REALLY confident and actually started allowing Tillie to go. There was a coop and black pipe fence right after the down bank that were prefect for letting her jump more forward out of and I even opted to do the biggest of the black Pipes.

The corner was another fence that apparently was presenting some issue, but I was more worried about the narrow railroad tie fence (2nd to last). Luckily Tillie ate them both up and sailed over the last fence without a care in the world.

Here is some footage captured:

Overall, it was super fun and I couldnt stop smiling the whole hack back to the trailer. Tillie was quite full of herself as we tried to sponge her off and took about 20 min for her to stop dancing around. 

I am so hopeful that our next event is so fun which is Loch moy on the 29th!! My plan is to do this event since they run recognized events and start getting myself acclimated to these. 

While I am not ready for training level and not doing them any time soon...I know majority of them are only offered at recognized shows so want to start doing them at novice so I dont have to worry about all that as well as moving up whenever that may be. 

I feel really good about where we are and just excited to keep it that way. 


  1. That is so exciting! Tillie looks like she was enjoying herself.

  2. woooo go Tilly!!!! time for training!