Monday, April 15, 2013

XCountry at Burgundy Hollow

Ah, no first outing of the year is ever complete without a little drama, right? Remember last year? We got to the barn early, wrapped Bobby, filled the hay bag and water buckets, and we were on our way. As we pull out of the barn driveway, I glanced back in the mirror and said to Hubby, "Not that I know anything about tires, but the front one on the trailer looks a little wonky--like it's tipped out." Back into the barn driveway we go, unload the horse, and Hubby takes the wheel apart to check the bearing. He says things about it that apparently mean it's fine, but we decide to be on the safe side and stop into Advance Auto on our way to the interstate to grab an extra bearing just in case. I call Michelle at Burgundy Hollow to tell her we'll be an hour late and off we go.

"ponies just want to ru-un."
taking off with me. easily controlled. beast.
Bobby warmed up strong but obedient, clearly excited to be in wide open spaces with jumps all around him. He did attempt to take off with me a couple of times in the canter after the firs several jumps. He's not quite ready for just his dressage snaffle on xcountry. Especially not anywhere with hills as I was having a lot of trouble picking his giant head up. We had a little w/t/c and then headed over to play in the water.

He stopped at the edge to poke his nose in before walking uneventfully in. Things Bobby the Event Horse could care less about: water, ditches, banks. Things Bobby the Event Horse finds distasteful: everything else. At least he's blasé about the tricky things.

After going in and out of the water a few times, I had him jump the black rails and go through the water, and then added the N pheasant feeder after.

The first time over the feeder, he thought about running out to the left, but decided against it and had a bit of an awkward jump. The second time through he was much better.

"omg, it's a jump! am I supposed to jump it?"
normal horse.

After the feeder, we came around and did the grey rails:


We did the N roll top once or twice and then continued up the hill to the double barns.

He was a little backed off of the barns. I don't know if it was because I was coming at them from uphill and that made it tricky for him or what, but I just couldn't get him forward enough to get a good jump. He went over them, it just wasn't great by any means.


"ermahgerd, I am running up a hill!"

I decided not to press the issue after going over them a few times even though I didn't get the jumps I wanted, and we moved on to the banks--my worst nemesis. You guys should know by now that I loathe anything that involves going downhill. What are banks? Jumping off a fucking hill! Whose bright idea was this?!

walking off the starter bank. clearly terrifying.

I started off with having Bobby walk off the baby bank. No bigs. Bobby doesn't care about banks. Turned around and cantered back up it. Again, no bigs. Then I thought I was being brave by coming back and trotting off of it. So scary, right? Not when you ride the balling-est bank horse ever.


From there, I decided to grow a pair and I quickly went from, "Eek! I just walked off the tiny Starter bank!" to "Let's just canter off the BN bank. Let's just trot off the N bank." (Baby steps, kids.) And you know what? I had fun! I had fun going off of banks!!! Who would have ever thought that was possible for me?! Yay, Bobby, for making me brave!

ok, so what if I make the best faces ever? don't be jealous.

Off of that high note, we went across the road to the tables. It was a little bit of a walk from the banks, but not too far. However, it was enough of a stop-and-go for Bobby's easily fried brain that I think he kind of shut himself down a bit.

jumping literally from a stand still

"you will jump this, so help me god."

He performed his favorite "go up and down" instead of forward and while I made him jump them anyway, they were almost from a standstill. Hubby and I brainstormed after several such jumps. Hubby's observation was along the lines of, "He just looks like he's being a dick and doesn't want to do it." Well, clearly. I thought maybe his hips were hurting, but when we were finally all done, I realized he lost a front shoe! Looking through the pictures, he lost it right off the bat so I'd imagine the harder ground (and for all the rain we got last week, it was pretty frickin' firm) that he was going over for the double barns and the tables were really hurting his princess toes. The soft sand for the water and the banks was probably much easier to cope with. Also, he just does not like the stop-start process of a schooling. I'm going to have to do a new game plan the next time we go.

With the need for some flow in mind, I set off to make up my own random course as we went along, only worrying about not halting progress. Refusal? Whatever. Carry on to the next. And so I bring you, dear followers, the Bobby Cross Country Song:

Let's face it. You might not get much out of reading this blog, but you're certain to read about, listen to, and see me humiliate myself. I am not ashamed.

Pictures from the Bobby Cross Country Song:

Then he spooked at a jump:

pretty sure it was, bobby.

Finally! (!!) (Have you made it this far?) The last thing we did was the bank in and out of the water. Remember me being terrified of hills and banks? No, sir. I wanted to do the bank because I thought it would be fun!

Bobby didn't even blink. "Jump off a bank into water? Why not?"

SO. The take home message from the schooling:
  1. For now, over a hilly course, I have to use the elevator bit.
  2. Steering needs to be worked on like whoa. At 8yo, you'd think he'd have a little better concept. Maybe if I was a little more aggressive with my leg (right, remember that thing?), he'd be straighter.
  3. Speaking of legs, mine stayed in place over pretty much ever jump. Big fucking win.
  4. Forward always needs to be worked on. Always. Maybe if my horse could keep his stupid fucking shoes on, we'd do a little better.
having a friends moment.

But hold the phone. This epic post isn't over yet. We're driving down the bumpiest road in existence (a rather major four lane, I might add) when Hubby goes, "Does that feel like it's riding rough to you?" at the same time I glance back and say, "Um, I think we blew out a tire." Deja vu. Pull onto the shoulder, ditch the blow out, grab the spare.... "Hold on. Why the fuck is the spare flat? We just checked the stupid thing this morning!" We put new tires on our old, old trailer all around last year, using one of the old still usable tires as a spare. We have old, shitty things. We work hard to maintain them so our old, shitty things last forever. Needless to say, neither one of us was happy to lose two tires in one fell swoop.

We had to do something though. Hubby called everyone, but no one was open on a Sunday afternoon. Hubby put on our mysteriously flat spare and crawled the three miles to the next exit where we parked and unloaded the thrashing Mr Magee. He trailers like a dream as long as we're moving. He doesn't like being in the trailer when it's parked.

I shoved electrolytes down his throat, fed him half a bottle of Tums (My probios was in my locker. Don't judge.), and let him graze while I called AAA who informed me my trailer was only covered if it had living quarters. Actually, AAA, I will probably be living in this thing overnight if someone doesn't bring us a tire! Does that count?! I did get a number for a company that does RV towing so we called them and they came out to assess the situation. Three hours after the initial blow out, Bobby had eaten two flakes of hay, drank an entire bucket of water, and hot walked himself in circles around me as I sat on a rock in the random driveway we were parked in. Not once did he call out or get wild. Way to stay cool, Robert.

Karl's Towing saves the day.

The guy took Hubby back to the shop where he gave us two really nice used tires for $75 and didn't charge us for the call thanks to AAA. At 5:30, we were finally back on the road.

tired puppies on the ride home.

At 6:45, we were back at the barn where Bobby got fed, unwrapped, and turned out with a boot on his naked foot to wait for the farrier to come and yell at me for not being able to keep my horse's shoes on. What're you gonna do?


  1. Looks great and looks like you guys had tons of fun!

  2. Bah! AAA does do horse trailers (even sans living quarters) but it costs extra per year. Looks like a lovely day and a fun family outing with the hubs and pups. Good for you on dealing with the banks - I am so with you on that! And if you figure out how to deal with the up-and-down horse, lemme know please. Dealing with the same.

    1. My particular "club" does not. I made the guy call them up and double check because I pay A LOT for my membership. And if you find the solution to the up and down horse before me, do share!!

  3. Love all the cross country pics, and good for him for staying chill while you had a little trailer mishap.

  4. First off- I'm green with envy. *I* want to do XC!
    Second- LOL. Just lol.

  5. You guys look awesome! There is never a horse outing without a crazy adventure :-) Good job Bobby for staying calm. Love the pics!

  6. Ditch the AAA and get US Rider! Great pics and glad everything went well considering!

    1. I'm keeping the AAA for my bastard car, but we are definitely looking into US Rider!! I was looking into it sitting on the side of the road, lol!

  7. Sounds like a long but fun day! I like the singing.

  8. Love the photos, and am glad you had fun with the banks.
    What a pity the tyres took some of the shine off the end of day - but think positive.
    YOU DID THE BANKS! :D Boo Ya!!

  9. BANK DOMINATION! I love it.

  10. I am surprised you could sing that long, I would've been out of breath after the first few sentences. LOL Glad you had fun with the cross country, bummer about the trailer.

  11. Hate trailering lately..LOVE your pictures and go nerves of STEEL!!! LOVE the bank shots!

  12. Hello pictures and video!

    Looks like you guys had a blast!!

    Ugh never an outing with out some sort of situation lol!

  13. Favorite parts of the song: I just know how to be a douchebag, Mommy is mental (or was it Bobby?), Bobby, the water, water makes us happy, that wasn't very forward, go Mr. Horsie, fuck that was a long spot, and that's okay.

    I laughed my ass off. Thanks. :) Looks like y'all had a blast!

  14. As always your post didn't disappoint. Glad you had fun on the Banks. I despise banks... Or used to. I don't mind them too too much now. Sad about the tires but seems like you got a good deal on new (to you) ones!


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