|Tillie apparently morphs into a zebra when it rains around here|
|Our lesson Friday night with trainer D who we havent seen in a while|
I do however trust the training we have put in and feel a whole heck of a lot better when hearing trainer D very nonchalantly tell me we are ready...for him to say that is pretty validating since hes always aired on the side of caution and have told us to wait or hang out at a level if he felt it was needed.
|Droopy lip waiting for our lesson|
|Tillie isnt so sure|
The biggest triumph this weekend was the fact Tillie and I conquered the blasted double brush table we fell at earlier in July...not only did we jump it, we did it a few times and not once did Tillie even question or look at it. Clearly she doesnt have any recollection of that particular fence...even if I do. I was happy and slightly terrified to see it the same exact place when we arrived Saturday.
Happy because the question of it wouldnt be nearly as hard if it was moved, but terrified because well its fucking huge and jumping into really dark woods and it didnt end so well for us last time.
|Tillie isnt worried at all about anything|
|Tillie and I both a bit having heebie jeebies at a very empty loch moy|
When we first arrived to the XC schooling, it was really strange because of how empty it was. I have only ever been to this facility to compete so its usually hustling and bustling with hundreds of people and horses. Tillie was a bit looky but happily munched on her hay while i put her studs in...which I was very proud of how smoothly it went compared to some recent past attempts.
I thought Tillie felt pretty darn good despite one long spot going into a two stride where she got a bit flat which is normal for us warming up...shes always good for one flat/launching fence.
We went out to warm up XC and I felt myself trying to remind myself to stay calm. I realized it was my first time xc schooling since my fall. Tillie was behaved for the most part but man my release is pretty standard arms straight body back...the same old positional flaw that just wont go away as part of my PTSD/defensive riding.
True to form, the longer we went, the better tillie settled in. We started with the logs, then a roll top to a produce stand and a table looking thing. The biggest thing this instructor kept telling me was I was messing with her too much before the fences...which I know I can be guilty of at times and maybe with my PTSD was doing more...but I just didnt feel 100% great in general about the outing.
|Another warm up fence|
|Lattice fence leading to the double brush (sadly not pictured)|
|The dreaded double brush table i stole offline.|
At this point it started to really rain...but we pushed on to jump the training level open oxer in the woods...which I found the exact one on a coursewalk app because it was pretty big in my humble opinion...and Tillie thought so too:
She sort of looked at it the first time, requiring me to give her a little pop on the shoulder with my crop...so the second time she decided she would just try to run at it, which I made her circle and get it together...and she came back at it the next time fine, but it wasnt the perfect distance which the instructor said fine to it and it was educational for her.
We moved on to the bank combo up to a training level house...but by this time it was raining so hard we all were water logged and the footing was starting to get a bit soggy too. But the instructor pressed on for us to gallop over to the water and do a few more things.
She had me do a jump one stride into water...then right away a slightly larger novice jump into water to the island bank up then bank into water.
|See the bank behind the huts?|
The first time Tille got to the bank down and sorta slammed on the breaks before dropping in...the second time she did it no issue. I think she got a bit surprised by it. We moved on then to a turning jump exercise which Tillie did fine, just got a bit flat to the B element...but trainer said not to do it again with the rain just to be sure to ride just as active to the second element as the first.
Finally we finished with a blue log skinny up a steeper hill..We did that twice and called it a day.
All in all I am proud of Tillie and I needed to get back out there. The pouring rain didnt deter her at all. I am planning to go one more time with Dom this week to windurra just to really feel secure about things (hopefully).