Monday, February 28, 2022

XC Schooling!

LH and I had our first cross country school together. The first jump he was a bit in disbelief and tried to stop at an entry log. I surprised myself by being able to go to my crop fairly quickly when I realized leg wasn't working and he acquiesced by going forward. We then circled around to the BN log stack and house and then took a bit of a gallop around to pick up #1 and 2 BN fences from the recent schooling show. On the long gallops he wanted to sight see and spook at things a bit. JT had me doing a lot of moving forward into a gallop then compressing a bit, then moving forward again. When I focused on that he seemed much happier to not have to find something else to occupy his mind. He does flying changes SO easily that it was kinda fun as I compressed him to figure out the right amount of leg, seat, and hand to compress and maintain our current bend so he didn't skip right into a lovely change. After doing that loop of fences twice and establishing that we were going forward and doing the dang thing, we moved on to the banks.

Banks were NBD to him, as expected. We still hopped up and down on a loose rein first a few times. He was happy to follow JT's school of loose rein easy gait to the bank. We added the novice log after the bank and he was game on, getting his eye on it right away as we headed up. We then moved on to the coffin combo. Again JT had me start with loose rein trot over the ditch, assuming nothing since he had already told us he hadn't been out cross country in a while. He popped right over though and again after the first two times realized the loose rein relaxed trot way of doing it is actually pretty cool. We took a long gallop away to pick up the BN cut out table that tends to be a bit spooky. We popped up over a hill and spooked two horses there, which then spooked LH. Even though I felt like a jerk, it seemed best to carry on because that actually turned me away from the horses we had surprised. I wasn't completely focused on the table so he stuttered a bit over it. He likes the deeper spot much more than Yoshi, so if I don't have enough leg on or he is a bit looky at the fence, that's what happens. We galloped back up towards the group and did the coffin pretty smoothly. 

Then we headed down to the water and schooled the novice table to water to BN painted table. We then did a u-turn to the N corner. The theme of the day was me not adding enough leg, so the second time through JT was yelling at me to gallop him forward in the water. She was also telling me to push my hands forward and those gallop stills show how well I was listening to that one...

The first two times over the corner, the combo of not enough leg and him not reading the question right lead to some pretty ugly jumps. I got very ahead of him the second time and found myself staring down at the jump, thinking about how if he stopped I was going to be on the jump with no one but myself to blame. Fortunately he is an honest fellow and popped over. The third time we finally got it right, so we ended on that one! 

My friend came along and rode on the golf cart and videoed almost all of our fences. However, JT likes to send us out for loops of 3-5 jumps at a time so most of the video is from far, far away. I wish she'd consider how these nice loops would affect my media ;) Actually I love it, I have ridden with trainers before who school one jump at a time. Then you get to a show and have to put a bunch together, which makes for a completely different ride. So her schooling method is fantastic even if it doesn't make for great videos/pictures. 

LH is a very different ride from Yosh. In spite of being the same size, he feels BIG to me. He's got incredible gaits and just moves so nicely over his back. I was tricked into feeling like I was going VERY forward and then watched videos where it looks like we are barely in a forward canter. We're going to school again before making our show debut at the Majestic Oaks schooling show on March 9th. I'm going to focus on hands forward and horse forward. 

Yoshi update: he's moving to a different farm, further away, but with the ability to have him out with one other horse who hopefully won't beat him up. He is just not happy by himself and he's started to do totally uncharacteristic things like actually spook at things. The GY's understand, and I do plan on moving whatever horse is in my future to their barn. He's still left front lame, but still goes pretty darn sound when I ride and ask him to move forward. Since the new barn is further from my house, I'm going to try the complete pasture rest plan for an indefinite amount of time. I have started looking for the perfect husband horse trail home for him in the mean time, since that is approved by my vet. We'll see what happens. If the perfect home comes along, great. If he chills out in a set up where he is emotionally happy and then becomes sound, great. 


  1. Looks like you're having a ton of fun with the lease horse!

    I hope pasture rest helps Yoshi ♥️

  2. ugh i'm sorry that things didn't magically get better for Yoshi :( good luck settling out his future situations! and in the meantime, so happy to hear things are going so well with this new lease horse!

    1. He is a ton of fun, and it has helped me be much more zen about Yoshi's situation.

  3. LH horse looks really cool! I've never evented, but I imagine jumping a series of jumps in a row is much more helpful to work on course design questions than just doing one jump at a time!