Here there be dragons...

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

Whoever knew Entry could be so much fun!?!?!

So I wrote a thing a couple years ago about why we do it... What makes it worth the tears and frustration... (hmmm if I can find it, I'll put it here) -- anyways today was a shining example of why :) Not doing anything terribly exciting -- E level XC (well E level on a mountain! Makes a HUGE diff :) hahaha but omg I haven't had that much fun in I can't think of how long.

So of the 5 people invited to the cross school, only myself and ONE other showed up?!?!?! What planet IS this??? hahaha but WE had a blast :) Or @ least I did, and she was somewhat amused by how much fun I was having *g*.

Now you have to realize I've jumped this horse over maybe 10 fences, total, ever. And none of them were more than 2'. Beyond tiny. FIRST fence of the day is thoroughly solid, about 3' (PT height) and at the top of a hill (which always makes them ride bigger). 2nd fence is tiny, but has a rather significant drop on the landing side. For a horse who's already built downhill. THIS is our w/u :) Sheesh. But oh so much fun. Ended up actually being the most challenging run of the whole day (like I said, most stuff was E level) but what a way to start! Only thing is that Denny is overly cautious about pushing horses/riders so if he said to do it, I figured it was a pretty safe bet the horse would have no prob w/ it. Sure enuff -- superstar. Landing from the drop fence was a little dodgy the first time, but I found the buttons for the 2nd attempt :) Those would be the "please don't land on your head" buttons. hahaha

Clearing a tiny log by an insane amount

So yeah I haven't really done XC since last summer (running Sug around Marg's and Checkmate doesn't count :) and I haven't done real hills in... ever :) (see the mountain post) Closest thing would prob be stonehill... Headwaters has good hills but most of the jumps (@ least till prelim) are on flat sections. Anyways -- got thoroughly laughed at till I found my balance for jumping/galloping/turning on a significant slope. Def took a round or two b4 I got it down. Fortunately horse was being exceptionally tolerant of this (the fact that he was pretty zonked after our crazy mountain hike yesterday definintely helped!).

And I def turned right instead of left in our first course. Somehow taking "the scenic route" didn't go over nearly so well w/ him as it does in my classes :) hahaha and omg I was sooooo inclined to "speed-bump" this one T fence (near the end of the ride) -- it was SO in the way. But I'm not quite *that* at home w/ Denny's lessons yet. hahaha

The comment of the day "slow down". Every other instruction was "slow down" hahaha sound familiar anybody? "XC done properly should be balanced and under control -- no yahoo-cowboys" hahaha ok so balanced we were not, but we WERE under control -- it was just a whole lot faster than I was technically *supposed* to be going :) But hey, I was supposed to be testing out the horse right? HAD to see what it could do... I did not, however, feel I should mention that *g*

I often wonder which is worse -- ignorance or incompetence? I knew and didn't do it anyways? Or oops didn't know that -- when I should've *g* Often in lessons I think ignorance is the safer route. But then my ego gets in the way ;-P Funny how I don't mind being incompetent but have real probs w/ being ignorant. Ah well :)

Had some theory about the difference in your crusing gallop and your "we have to jump now" position and balance. And how best to effect the change. Fortunately this is a skill I actually have *g* -- (had to be SOME advantage to years of training babies! I'll tell ya, b4 they understand that XC can be ummmm terrifying! hahaha that's the real reason E speeds are so slow! Green horses OR green riders going any faster is just not a good idea) anyways -- got it through to little RC pretty quickly and our comments got significantly better.

Mostly it wasn't so much a lesson as a test-out-the-horse XC day. But oh so much fun. Next time I want to test out the big stuff! hahaha but little RC's def not ready for that *quite* yet.

Bank Combo

So after work I went... riding >;-P Yeah I'm a geek, what can I say. A friend here wanted to work her baby horse and baby horse needed a babysitter, so along I went. Rode this 14.3hh squared fuzzy little pony w/ no withers @ all that we randomly pulled out of a field (hahaha Kerri is this sounding @ all familiar?!?!?! This one wasn't *quite* as wide as Callie, but came pretty close!) hahaha it was the cutest thing ever. Super friendly. Calm but entirely green -- apparently has done a ton of ground work but never really actually been ridden *g* -- this I get told AFTER I agree to go :) But I basically spent the whole ride giggling. I swear it was like riding a stuffed toy. Trot? What trot? We're not trotting *looks down @ the legs in disbelief* omg, we are! hahaha

Oh and the best part -- Denny brought a camera to the XC school -- had the other girl and I take turns taking pics/vid of each other!!! For the middle section of the lesson anyways (not the beginning or the water and banks which were on the way home) hahaha I'll post the link here once I get them -- if any worked out (the sun was setting, it was a little blinding in places) :) Hopefully later tonight but we'll see.


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