Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

1st XC Lesson

Yes, you read that title right! hahaha so we had our first REAL jump lesson yesterday -- CLEARLY time to move on to XC.

Denny had a ship-in lesson scheduled to do XC today that I was kinda hoping to get to vulture just cause I've never seen him teach XC. But first thing this am I get "you should ride w/ her" -- so I'm thinking hack my horse around, more outdoor exposure etc... Yeah not so much. I'm actually supposed to participate in this whole XC idea :) hahaha

W/u in the sand ring -- half the fences are baby-sized from yesterday and 1/2 are T sized for the lady who's lesson it really was (her horse was georgous dark bay - almost black - draft cross. Can jump the moon. Very very strong though). So I jump the baby fences and she jumps all the fences. N I was very proud of Cayman for not losing it when she galloped up passed him or jumped something behind him. We've all been on horses not used to that who've reacted ummm strongly in the past :) But he was kewl. So by the time we're ready to leave the sandring we've done, essentially, an entire lesson.

Denny says "I'll meet you by the bank" and leaves -- so we go hack out to the bank. Now this is still in the main yard (not out on the course) and there're a few little jumps there so I figure we're going to start w/ those. No. "Lauren take Cayman up on the bank and off the other side and see what he does." ummmm are you kidding me?!?!?! I've been spoiled by Marg's baby bank @ Myrddin :) hahaha this was a *little* intimidating -- not the least because once they're on they HAVE to jump off. N it's a decent size. But ok. So we march up to it, it's about half way between C's knee and elbow in height -- which, when your horse's head is stretched out to see what's going on puts it nose height. Which Cayman took as a sign I was clearly leading him to a snack! hahaha yup that's right, couldn't convince him to go UP at all -- every time we got near it he'd graze. Classic :) Tried following the other horse (who did it perfectly) -- yeah nothing of it. Tried it in trot and he got VERY concerned. I was really happy Denny didn't push that -- once there was the slightest sign of concern he changed tracks. He tried to lead us, but A -- had trouble climbing up the bank quickly himself (it's not small) and B Cayman doesn't LIKE Denny >;-} hahaha so in the end I got off and I led him up the bank and down the other side. We did this both ways, and C was a star :) Then I got back on him (he was GOOD for that) and no prob doing it. Up across and down. First time was a little scrambled, 2nd time did it like an old pro. I was thrilled.

Went out to the real XC course -- jumped over a couple tiny things (PE height - the *smallest* brush fence I've ever seen! hahaha and it actually had brush in it!) and one or 2 E fences. He was kewl w/ it all. A little concerned the first few times the other horse (who was doing T) galloped away and came back towards us) and def going much faster any time we were pointed toward the other horse. But willing enuff and certainly seemed to be having fun w/ it. Not ready to hack (or do XC) alone yet though -- wasn't very good when we were leading. That'll come though (I hope!); really, as far as I know of, I can count on my fingers the number of times he's hacked anywhere that's not a flat field.

So then we go to school the water. Cayman's really not sure about water. He's starting to accept crossing the little stream to get to XC cause we've schooled that a bunch while hacking, but even then he's a little iffy. N this is REAL water. AND good ol Cobey is running, bucking and playing right beside it (showing off for spectators) rasing the tension level a little. I'm supposed to go first, but C wasn't having anything to do w/ it -- couldn't get NEAR, much less in -- so we got a lead... And he went right up to it. Stopped and looked. Put his front feet in. And attempted to JUMP all the way across the rest! hahaha I do believe the words "holy shit" escaped my mouth >;-P Denny's comment was "well sat -- it's COLD if you fall off in there!" hahaha so he bounded the rest of the way through the water and out the other side (this water you can run in-run out -- it's very baby friendly). So I get told to turn around and come back through. No friggen way. C isn't having anything to do w/ that. I can't even get him on the grass :(again w/ the we'll be doing our first few XC courses in reverse). So we get our trusty leader again (this is why I'm not allowed to hack alone yet) who Cayman gamely follows in w/ just a minor jump this time.... Then buddy stayed in the water while we went out the other side and came back in. MUCH better this time. So we wandered a few circles in the water, lots of pats etc. And walked calmly out. Then (w/ buddy still in the water) walked in and trotted out (the trot only sort-of happened, it was a little much for C's spinny little brain) and turned around and walked all the way through w/ no silliness. N then he was done for the day :) We watched the other rider jump in and out a few times and try some of the banks n then we headed back.

2.5h ride. I was exhausted. Cayman was still bouncing on the way home. And WHO'S the unfit one? Sheesh :)


I can totally relate. Sometimes I think Fancy dumps me in XC so that she can stop and graze...


Post a Comment