Monday, May 2, 2011

1st XC School!

We actually made it down! And in one piece, no less. We pulled into the parking area at exactly 1pm, despite running into a group of the most retarded bikers in the world, who kept trying to send the F-250 Super Duty with a 2 horse attached passed them on blind corners., folks. Hows about YOU PULL OUT OF THE WAY. Some of them weren't even peddling! But both horses survived, Hubby didn't wreck the borrowed truck (thanks, Devon!), and we were on time.

Red pulled his, "I can't possibly BACK out of this trailer" routine (Bobby unloaded like a champ, as always), but Hubby finally wiggled him out with a big jump/scramble/half turn. They both dropped their heads with a long tie to the trailer to kind of roam around and get some kinks out. The wheels in Red's head started turning pretty soon, though. As soon as I started booting him, he threw up his head and didn't move an inch, just taking in where he was for the first time. You could totally see the thought bubble above his head: "I'm here to get ridden? I better reasses the situation." He seriously did not touch the hay bag or graze until he was untacked again.

He walked over totally calm to Riannon (owner of Round the Bend Farm where we were) who was working on mowing so I could drop off the waiver on my life. Then her three horses trotted over to the fence line and we had to stand there a few minutes and think some more about this whole thing. He was a little wiggly/stoppy crossing the mowed part because there were lines of grass on the ground and they quite possibly could have dropped out from underneath him and swallowed him whole. We went for a look at the water, but he didn't want any part of going in there quite yet, so we made a tour of some of the other jumps.

 We went and collected Hubby after a brief warmup (it was warm and Red was already a little sweaty from nerves) and picked our first jump--one I knew I could get him over, since I wanted to start off with no crazies--the barrels on their sides. He went over it perfectly, cantered out great, and pulled right back up.

Next, we went to more side barrels laid next to two logs side by side--not very high, but nice and wide so it required a real jump. He went over both like an absolute superstar, no questions asked.

We went over to...I don't know it's official name, but it was a suspended log with three different heights with a log at the back of it (or front, depending how you went over it) as a ground pole. We went over the 2'4 side, which was the lowest. After two tries attempting to jump it with the log on the ground at the front, I took him around from the other side and he got over it. Not happily, but he went. The next time over, he did it great.

We did a 2'7 coop next, which he went over like nothing. It was my second favorite jump to go over for the day.

Then we did a stack of three logs that didn't have the measurement on it, but it was nice and solid. Probably 2'7 again. Red jumped it like a beast twice. That one was my favorite because he powered up to it and powered over it like he owned it.

We did a good walk to get our breaths back after that, then headed over to the water, which Red was more than happy to go splash in now that he was hot. We played in it some, and he had a quick drink in between blowing bubbles and splashing water on himself, then we did the two little logs on a bending line through the water. The first time, he jumped the log at a canter, kind of threw on the brakes when he saw the water, trotted through, then cantered over the second log. After that, he cantered through the whole time. Bobby let out his one neigh of the day while we were down there (it was over a hill so he couldn't see us), and Red answered back in the middle of the combo (which you can hear on one of the videos), but after that he was totally quiet.

There were two different sized banks to go up or down on at the water, too. He didn't want to jump off of them at all, so I didn't press the issue this first time out, but I did make him jump up it. No go the first time, perfect the second time, tried to climb it instead of jump it the third time.

Hubby wanted me to do a 3'1 coop after that, but 3'1 as a nice, airy stadium jump is way different than 3'1 as a big, solid jump. Red and I agreed on this, and though we tried it, and I gave him lots of leg and a smack on the shoulder, he said "Nooo way." I let him get away with that one and did a little log instead. He also didn't want to go over the fence with the stone fill, and since it was mowed around weird, I let him get away with that, too. We tried a 2'6 bench that Red was perfectly willing to jump....until he realized it was a bench. Too scary.

He was tired and hot at the point, and starting to get grumpy, and I was really tired and hot at that point, so we walked over the ditch....only he walked through the ditch. So I trotted him up to it. He stopped, got a smack on the butt, and leapt over it. Next time, he went over it beautifully. We ended it there.

I pulled off his saddle and Hubby did Mexican Groom work, leading him back, walking him some, and watering him. I sponged him off (Red, not Hubby), and did some walking out myself. He got walked until he was almost dry, then let him graze until he pooped. Wraps back on, then both boys back on the trailer.

We stopped at Wendy's for lunch/dinner, Hubby gave the trailer another once over and noticed that one of the wheels on the trailer looked a little off. Air pressure was good, so as we went down the road, he was watching it. One of the wheel bearings was going. YIKES. Nothing to do on the road really but watch it closely. We made it all the way back to the barn with no problems (well, Hubby was really tired and kept driving us in enormous circles making us an hour late), then came all the way back to the house to drop the trailer off with no problems. Obviously that's getting fixed before the next outing.

The good: I had an AWESOME time. It was sooo much fun, and I loved that Red was pretty much fearless the whole way around. It made it that much more fun. I absolutely cannot wait until we have enough money to both go schooling again and go to a real event.

The bad: My stirrups were myseteriously too long, even though they were on the last hole and they were just fine when I last rode in it on Thursday. Yep, that's it!

Videos: (Excuse Hubby's commentary. He likes to make them and he was kind of bored.)

When we got home, they both got walked around a little, but it was late and dark, so they didn't get as much as they should have. Both got put into their stalls while we cleaned the trailer so they could pee. I took Red to get cold hosed on the RF and he practically dragged me into the wash stall. Poor pony. He knows his after care routine. He stood like a good boy while I hosed him for twenty minutes, then rubbed him down and wrapped him again. He kept circling the stall like he wanted to pee, so I whistled for him and he finally did a little bit. I threw four ounces of electrolytes in his feed and he drank down a bucket and a half of water and he finally peed. He drank a full bucket while down there, but I'm going to give him electrolytes before going now too. Bobby had no problem peeing when we got there or when getting back.

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