One poor horse got caught on the water jump, he didn't have the power to get over the ump and got stuck with it under his sternum, poor horse. They had to cut the jump down to get him off it. Both horse and rider were ok and walked away from it a bit sore. All of us watching were glad we didn't have to jump that jump!!
If you are interested I posted the course walk for our class.
Anyway, the warm up is weird at Silver Hills. It's literally a line of jumps next to the driveway, so you trot up, turn around and canter back over the jumps. I just had Allie go over the line twice making sure she was in front of my leg then they sent me over to wait at the start box early. I was glad because then I had the room to canter in big circles stretching her out and bringing her back and keeping her infront of the leg. She was absolutely itching to get going cross country but was very very level headed. I was so impressed with how rideable she was.
We entered the start box just before he counted down to 3, 2, 1 as she didn't feel like she wanted to stand still for any length of time. We walked in and burst out to the first log, then a left turn to the second jump and I lost my bloody right stirrup! Not wanting a repeat of our last xc stop due to a lost stirrup, I circled (thank god it wasn't counted as a refusal) and over jump 2 we went. Jump 3 through the trees was good then we cantered down to the water, two strides of trot to get in then she powered through the water in canter and out again to turn right then onto jump 4.
Next up was the scary ski jump but we absolutely blitzed it with lots of leg and Sam's voice in my head telling me to just set up the right pace and let the horse handle the jump.
Tight right hand turn and then up to the easy shute log pile then soft right to the square roll top thing.
|No leaping or any "holy crap' moments here! We were cross country MACHINES!|
Over that then out to the right then turn left through the trees to the giant log, and tight left again to the brush. Right then I lost my bloody right stirrup AGAIN but she was rolling along so I luckily got it back and jumped the brush ace.
|Yes, yes I DID buy all the pro photos.|
Soft turn right to get a good line to the log pile between the trees. She jumped that so so so beautifully.
|Cluck cluck cluck!!|
|I think this one is my favourite.|
The last lot of logs were perfect, so easy compared to the jumps before, however the horse in front was going so slow and she was having trouble holding him so I didn't want to just gallop past her and cause an accident. We ended up almost 30 seconds over the optimum time because of this when we would only have been maybe 10 seconds over (and not at all if I hadn't have had to circle to get my stirrup back). They were only sending us out 45 seconds apart, I just drew the short straw riding behind someone going slow.
Here's some video Natalie took. It shows how bloody awesome we were going!!
I was on a HUGE high during and after cross country!! We had safely completed out first 80cm, it was harder than I thought it would be, but we did it with confidence and Allie was love love LOVING the cross country so bloody much.
So with the time faults from xc and the faults from showjumping we ended up 24th out of about 33. I was a little disappointed at first but honestly the quality of horses that were there was surprisingly high and I am just so proud of how we handled ourselves and of how I rode the whole weekend. Definitely a personal best for us!
I'm planning to stay at 80cm until we can get into the top 10 consistently. I think a year or two at this height will keep up safe, but challenge us sufficiently.