Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Camden Equestriad - Cross Country!!

So after a rest, some food (for both of us) and a drink and a hose down for Allie, we tacked up for cross country. It was getting late in the day and I was quite tired and a little sore in the back but I was nervous-excited to get cross country done and to see how we would go. We were coming 7th after dressage, but I tried not to put pressure on myself.

The warm up was a bit crazy, I walked around the outside with Deb and Fancy until it was their turn to go then just tried to get Allie thinking about what I was asking her. She was VERY VERY keen to get galloping and jumping! The dressage had been held right next to part of the XC course and she had kept trying to go over that way on the walk back to the float, so I knew she was excited! We jumped a few warm up jumps and got cantering around making sure she was in front of my leg (which wasn't hard!) then it was our turn to head up to the start box.

Now, I see horses getting stupid excited about being in the start box and I very much DON'T want Allie to be one of them, so every time I've been in a start box I act all calm like we are just hanging out in there and I spend at least 15 seconds just standing on a loose rein. Same deal today, I was just letting her chill, and didn't gather my reins until the marshall count down to about 3.

Trot then canter out of the start box and we were away! 1 was about 6 strides out of the start and it was an easy low log before hooking a left and going over another log. Then slight right and up a hill to another log (gallop gallop up those hills Allie!) then a sharp right to a table, then canter down down down a hill (lots of half halts, "Allie, please don't fall over!") to a flower box.

Giving it, ah, plenty of air. I am pretty sure I exclaimed "JESUS CHRIST" over this jump.
Left after the flower box, riding around some very weird jumps (a hammer, an axe) to go over a log made to look like a screw driver. She was a bit looky at the other jumps but went over the log fine. A gentle left curve to jump over the ditch (which I was worried about, if you recall. Allie doesn't like ditches as a rule). She was fine and I tried my best to just ride it like any other jump but she positively LEFT over it and I lost my left stirrup. I tried to get it back but it was bouncing and twisting and I didn't have time before the next jump - she was committed so I just grabbed hold of the breastplate and held on over the little table.

After the table I finally got my stirrup back and looked up to see a ski-jump. She had jumped it before at the Hunter Trials at the beginning of the year so I didn't anticipate any issues but she was looky at it was ended up running out to the left (I think because that leg had only just got it's stirrup back so I didn't have the door shut so she took the easy way out). She spazzed out again because she just wanted to take off up the hill and carry on after the run out and I hauled her to a stop to circle around and come at it again. This time, she was still unsure but a couple of whacks and clicks and she was over.

NOW we can gallop up the hill, Allie!

The next jump was another table and another bloody flying leap.

Hooooooooly CRAP! Also, I need to learn to stop clutching at her face. I'm going to get a neck strap for next time.
Up to the top of the hill and then back down again to a small trakehner, which she did awesomely, then a downhill brush (no issues there!!). After the brush I got a little lost at a crossroads and I thought "which way do I go??". I took a chance on left and it was correct, thankfully! Charged down and sat her back a bit to jump over a treasure chest then galloped on to go over the bridge. I really thought she would want to trot over the bridge but nope, she ignored me and charged on over it. So proud!

After the bridge, hook to the left and jump a log pile "Come on Allie, nearly there, let's get this thing DONE") to another table, then a house, then charge on down to the water. She was one of the only horses that actually cantered through the water like it wasn;t there, my sister said.

We call this our "game faces"

Into the water, out of the water, then over the last fence and we were DONE!

Love those beautiful feet! Now, that is a heel first landing!

Final fence goofy grin

"Good mare, good job good job" was because she had a tiny slip just out of the water but was balanced and it was barely noticeable.

Ah man, every time we finish a course I end up laugh-crying. I talk to her THE WHOLE TIME while out on course. I think it's a coping mechanism. Haha.

After this we hung out for a little while but it was so late by the time I left, already dark. Took Allie home and tried to get some rest for showjumping the next day. We dropped to 15th after our run out BUT with only 6 seconds over optimum time so without that run out we would have been right smack bang in the middle of minimum and optimum time, so now I know how fast we actually need to go. It's a far sight faster than I thought!

Stay tuned for showjumping! Did we go clear? Did we have all the rails down? Did she fall over in the warm up? Who knows!!

1 comment:

emma said...

Ha she is giving those fences a LOT of room!!! :D