Thursday, 27 October 2016

Mudgee - Sunday Cross Country!

Sunday dawned bright and cold. It warmed up a little and it was an absolutely stunning day.

Gorgeous, right?
My ride started at 8am so I was up with the first light to bring Allie up from the night yards to the day yard to give her some breakfast. When I got to the night yards, the little shit wasn't in her yard anymore!!! Luckily the night yards were surrounded by a bigger fenced paddock so she couldn't go anywhere but I was still a bit cranky with her.

She ate all her breakfast and we had ours, then I we got ready and warmed up in the arena with the other 3 people in my group. Sam was running a little late because he gave an early jump lesson but we were on the cross country by about 8.15.

Sam gave us a safety brief (basically, the footing was ok but a bit wet/deep in parts so balanced riding and careful turns were the most important thing for the day). and then he had us warm up in trot then canter, transitioning from big forward pace to a shortened pace and vice versa. Then we started with a nice small arrow head which Allie and I aced, then we moved onto a bigger 80cm arrowhead. I was a little intimidated but if the tiny pony in our group could clear it then so could we.

She stopped at it.

Basically I hadn't had her canter right and hadn't given her enough leg to get her over it. Sam had me stand square onto the fence while he chatted about what went wrong, then had me gallop off and come at it again. Second go through we jumped it, but it was messy, for the same reasons.

Third go around though, was perfect.

We moved onto an 80cm oxer, and it went almost exactly the same, except without a stop. Our first jump she positively leapt over it and I am sure I swore, rather loudly. Here's the photos.

I look terrified.

But I gathered myself to ride away from it positively.

Second go through was better but not perfect, and third go through was perfect.


Next we did a little house, then a much bigger house. The first time to the big house again I quit riding a stride or two out and we had a run out. Sam had me slowly trot into the jump and stop dead straight square in front of it a couple of times, to show her that she is NOT NOT NOT allowed to do duck out, only allowed to go straight to the jump.

We jumped it twice more, perfectly.

Little house. Easy peasy.

Big house! Bit scarier.

After the big house, we jumped everything first go perfectly. I finally found the canter we needed. It was MUCH faster than I thought it should be. I felt like we were practically galloping straight at the jumps and it was hard to keep my leg on and not back off.

Scary brush? No problems!

Getting moving

Small table. She barely blinked.

Cantering through water

And out!

And in!

My face is too hilarious.

Sam said "If you can't jump each of these jumps first go well (not taking three goes to get it right) then 80cm is going to be too scary for you".

I feel like I know now the pace we need to be going at to get her rolling. We need to approach the jumps quite straight (I kept cutting my line a bit so need to go wider than I think if the jump is off a turn), and I need to ride away positively no matter how we get over the jump. Shake it off and look to the next jump, make it perfect!

By the end of it, we were jumping awesome and I felt like I could jump anything he pointed me at. I'll definitely be going to Sam for more cross country lessons in the future. His farm is only an hour and a half away from me so it's feasible to go there for a lesson (or a few!).

Allie floated home perfectly and was very glad to be home when we got back.

Silver Hills ODE 80cm this weekend! Wish us luck!


1 comment:

emma said...

Hope this weekend went well!! These pics make me want to take my new horse schooling soooo badly lol!!!