Sunday, June 19, 2016

First 2016 XC school goes great

This weekend was my favorite horse trial at my favorite place, Come Again Farm, and I didn't go.  Not only did I not go, but I didn't even enter.  It was part of a very grown up decision to put my money toward lessons where I could work on our cohesive unit problem under supervision.  I didn't need another show where I struggled to get over tiny fences because my leg wasn't on well enough and Stella decided things were optional.  

We all know what happened at the last horse trial I attended at the same property in October.  It's been in the front of my mind for months.  

So when I showed up for my lesson, already nervous about show jumping, and found out we were going XC schooling I almost packed my ass right up and left.  Instead, I put on a brave face and tacked up my steed.  For some bizarre reason I felt much more comfortable out in the field jumping the (tiny) fences than I thought I'd be.  Perhaps because I'm in general more comfortable in "nature?"  I have had accumulatively fewer bad experiences XC?  Who knows.

As usual my instructor had many more things to say to me than the other students.  I have not figured out if this is because I'm generally more terrible, or if she pushes me harder than others to achieve my goals.  

This lesson was about precision.  Who picks the direction?  Me or Stella?  Who picks the speed of the trot?  If the speed of the trot is a mutual decision, change something anyway to emphasize that I am the boss.  Half halt before the fence to establish control and put the horse on its haunches, even if I am trotting to a 10 inch fence.

  Jump the middle of the fence.  The actual middle.

No, like the middle middle.  

I had a run out at the bank up because I had chosen to jump the shallower edge but wasn't specific enough and Stella thought it was easier to skirt around.  My fault.

I did not have a stop at the jump from the grass into the arena, even though that fence has always terrified me because I think the change of footing should be spooky.  I kept my damn leg on and rode.  


No problems at the water, and I am ever thankful I spent so much time getting Stella over her water issue when I first got her, thanks to a good friend of mine.  

I did have a snit fit on the long trot out to a fence in the back 40.  I think because we went by the exit gate headed back to the barn?  Trainer had me go by this a few times so I could practice what I needed to do in this situation.  Be decisive. Leg on.  Wide hands.  Go forward.

It was a great lesson and I left feeling disappointed that I didn't get to jump anything bigger!  We'll see if I feel the same way when I HAVE to jump something bigger!


  1. What a wonderful outing - Stella sounds like she is doing well!

  2. She's made a lot of progress from the snot nosed stubborn beast that she was when I got her!

  3. just found your blog and read a few posts to catch up...I can def see improvement!!!

    1. Welcome to my blog and thanks for the compliment!


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