Tuesday, May 9, 2017

First XC lesson of the year

Ive been terrible about posting...sorry guys!

We finally got out to do an xc lesson at Windurra and I won't lie by admitting I was a bit nervous. Tillie has been pretty good and ended last season doing well, but we weren't exactly confirmed at Training Level. We still had to be a bit scrappy to make it happen and we sometimes had breaks and sometimes did not.

This year starting off in general, Tillie has been much more rideable even at home. The last few lessons with Dom have been in the field at home with some jumps working on galloping and galloping up and down hills and how to handle that. But sometimes when you start putting the questions in front of them again it wakes em up! So needless to say I was braced for a beast.

Instead I got this!!!
We are down graded from the gag bit to a cartwheel bit. It seems to be just the right balance of leverage without pissing Tillie off, but I still have breaks and half halts. I was extremely pleased with this as I warmed her up and then galloped her a bit around the track and Windurra. (SO MUCH FUN BTW!)

We warmed up with Dom having us in a compressed canter getting deep distances to each fence. We did our first baby key hole during this! Dom explained its normal for horses new to them to jump and flatten out which is exactly what Tillie did. We went through the warm up jumps again this time allowing the canter out a bit more.

I unfortunately do not have video of this sequence.

We moved right on over the ditches and a ditch two stride to a large log skinny. Tillie was on point and Dom was excited with how calm and rideable she was. I agreed and it felt like she was an old pro. We did the larger ditch with a much harsher slope and again, Tillie didnt even bat an eye.

We then moved on to banks:

Tillie did this well too aside from a small trip after the first bank. But she recovered well without getting flustered.

Then we worked on a much harder question...jumping uphill which Dom said is tricky because you need to make sure your rpms are up so there is enough power once you reach the jump.

Jumping down the hill, I let tillie get weak in the canter so had a slight blooper moment, but we finished strong to the jump and left a stride out lol that hasnt been my issue lately!!

Finally we moved on to water:

She looked at the skinny in the water at first, but Dom was excited at how I caught her and got her to do it...so we did it again for good measure to get her a bit more relaxed about it. She came in and attacked it the second time extremely confident.

So all in all it was very successful. Dom is anxious to get us to an event insisting this is the best he has ever seen her going. REALLY love hearing this!!


  1. You all look amazing! I love the video with the uphill jump where Dom shouts WOW.

    1. Thanks!! He is such a great coach...I really am happy I found him!

  2. I have a little mare crush on Tillie! She is just lovely :) You two are looking so good! Congrats on all the hard work.