Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BCHP Cross Country Schooling

Before anything else, I have to reiterate how ungodly hot it was Sunday--and obviously it didn't get any cooler as the day went on. After Bobby got sponged off again (even though I was on him for all of ten minutes between the walk from the trailer to stadium and back again), Hubby and I took our chairs, hounds, and horse over to some shade and hung out chugging water for half an hour. When I felt confident I could see straight and hold down my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I got Bobby tacked up again, ditched my show shirt for a paper-thin tank top, threw on my vest, and mounted up.

about to be joined by a group.

We made a beeline for the water complex and splashed around at the walk for a few minutes before letting a group school in there. See how fun sharing is? There's an entire park full of jumps to go over--no need to hog space, bitches. (Not referring to this group. They didn't seem to care we were in there with them.)

Instead, I decided to warm him up over two of the Starter course's jumps and come around to a Novice triple log thing. I had jacked my stirrups up three holes from stadium, but they probably needed to come up at least another two. I was aware of it at the time, but made the decision to leave them as they were; I wasn't sure how tired it would make me and I didn't want to get any hotter than I was already.

first xcountry jump of the day.

We took the first baby log well and then I let him fizzle out to the second and he threw in a chip to something that might have made 2'. I didn't kick on from there either, and we took a long, awkward spot to the triple log. I paused for a minute, caught my breath, and let two nagging voices seep in:

Me: Go. Forward. If you think you're going too fast, go even faster.

BM: Your only job is to release. Let him do what he wants to get to the fence--just stay off his face.

Over the first again, closed my leg between the two small logs, and kept it on as we came up to the triple log. Totes perfect. Good pony.

might have actually been training? i know that's one of the prelim fences beside us.

We took a peek at the double banks down before I decided it was a pretty hefty drop to try going down first (although Bobby probably would have popped right down if asked), and came around to go up it instead. I trotted him towards it as Bobby loves banks and I wanted some modicum of control to keep him from leaping exuberantly up, seeing the second bank and taking it as a bounce instead of the one stride it is. He picked up the canter two strides out, but waited for the base of it before going up and he was very clever to get the one stride and jump out. I've seen P/T horses bite it at that question while walking my own course so I was very proud of him.

yes, i know. release more, but i was grabbing my neck strap with the other hand at least.

I let him trot back to where Hubby was still standing by the banks, but I was paying absolutely zero attention to my horse who decided to lock onto a hanging log at the top of the hill and go charging towards it. I should have just grabbed mane and let him go, but man do I fucking hate hills and I ripped him off to the side. Then, of course, I was like, "We should jump this!" and brought him around to it again completely uncommitted and freaked out by it being on the smallest hill known to man (actually, I think I've jumped it with Bobby in a show before, and I know I've jumped it with Red). Quite rightly he followed the same duck out route that I pulled him on just moments before. If I had kicked on and really wanted him to do it, he would have. But I didn't really want him to. Hills are scary. And I'm lame.


I picked out a few fences to string together to get some flow going, changed course after the first jump and cantered around over a couple of logs ranging from Starter to Training before finishing with the Novice stone jump.

cantering around, making up a mini course as i go.

isn't this a cool jump?

I was really happy with how he took that so we headed back over to finish at the water. We cantered in, jumped the Novice jump out, and cantered back through.

yay, water! also, my head is falling off sideways?

Next was the smaller bank out with the plan to do that once, come around again and add the red barn afterwards. However, Bobby did silly things with his legs and we fizzled to a literal standstill in front of the bank. He jumped it out anyway because that's how he rolls. I was all, "Bobby, why did you even bother?" and he was all, "Because Bobbys are used to being buried by their dip shit pilots and they know they're supposed to jump anyway. Dip shit."

"derpppp, my legs."

I did him a favor and asked him to really gallop through the water and we went up without incident the next time around.

go forth, brave beast!

I went up it once more with kind-of sort-of the intent to do the red barn after, but I didn't commit and he continued on his merry way right by it. It wasn't even a runout since he wasn't really being asked with...well, you know leg or hand to go towards it. Read my mind, Bobby--just add in that jump by yourself. No? Oh, well. I was too hot to care and we hopped off into the water twice to end the day. I'm not gonna lie--I find dropping into the water pretty fucking fun now.

despite what looks like an angry face, it was fun. 

good pony pats.

Here's an abbreviated helmet cam of our short school:

There were quite a few fences I wanted to do, including the Training cordwood into the water, but I was just too hot to do them. Hubby and I both agreed that we ended at a good spot. Could I have pressed the issue with the log on the hill and the red barn? Absolutely. But it wasn't worth getting worked up over. We did some good jumps, strung a few things together with a good forward pace, and had some fun in the water. Maybe not worth the $35 schooling fee, but we were there anyway and we got to do some jumps outside of the tiny stadium ring.


  1. Galloping through the water looks like so much fun. I'm glad you finished up your show with a great XC school. Bobby seems to have taken it all in stride.

  2. Love the helmet cam video! Looks like so much fun.

  3. You guys are getting better together! :) Hate riding when it's that hot.

  4. It all looks so fun and easy with the helmet cam. I'd be a big weenie for any of those jumps, but the galloping through water and big grassy fields looks fun :)

  5. I want to gallop through water! Y'all look great and it's always better not to push it when you're hot and exhausted.

  6. I'm hoping to take Alcatraz schooling there in the near future :)

    1. You'll have a blast. There are so many jumps at so many different levels. I just wish their shows weren't such chaos.

  7. $35 schooling fee?!? Wowza! Here in so cal, the schooling fees are usually $60, and there doesn't seem to be nearly as much selection of obstacles as in your schooling posts. Glad you and Bobby had fun even when it was so hot. The purple medical card makes me smile.

    1. $60?! I can almost enter an event for that!

    2. In fact, this combined test was only $55.

  8. So jealous of the good times...and the amazing course to school!

  9. Riding in heat is NOT fun but it sounds like you guys had a great time!!

  10. a good school is always fun, smart to leave it on a good note!


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