Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Rocking Horse Fall HT: Cross Country

The boys got to spend the night at home Saturday night and then get loaded up at a brighter 7:30 AM again to head over. Ben travelled SO quiet with the other horse. No giant thumping around in spite of being confined to a single stall rather than his cushy box stall. Then we hung out for a WHILE. And I walked cross country again, just making sure I knew exactly where I was going. 

#1 house

Right hand turn through some trees for #2 bench

#3 - ramp

Another right hand turn past the T/P/I combos to #4 - "feeder"

Forward gallop to #5 - table thing

#6 triple bar

#7 was right next to the training #7  which was up on the hill to the left with a steeper landing. Novice got a stride then down a hill. 

#8 bench - JT - "JUMP the decoration, that is where you are jumping, no where else" (ie don't let him wiggle)

#9 our friend the tiny corner from last April. Love that they put it by some spooky trees. We were instructed to jump it on the flat front face or even angled a tiny bit towards the "wider" back of the corner

A nice gallop to #10 - a brush fence

Another nice long gallop to a ramp for #11

12AB - rolltop few strides to water

13- Roll top a few strides out of the water

Another little gallop to a ditch at 14 - JT's instructions "Check in 3 times - DO YOU SEE IT?!?!" 

Long gallop through some woods to #15 

Forward to 16AB - they were so far apart I did not count strides

B - a right hand turn through a clump of trees to the little ramp

AND 17! 

Hanging out, looking so handsome

He warmed up well, we were ready a bit early because they were running 10 minutes early. So when they were looking for a volunteer, we headed right over. He left the box.... uhm... and then acted like he'd never seen a cross country jump before as I pointed him at 1. I think he was looking at the bigger ones to the left going "we've been jumping those though". From there, everything was beautiful. He just flowed around in such a lovely fashion. Around #7 I thought how tired I was and then went "WTF, I've changed my workouts, we've changed the bit, why am I tired" and then I think took a deep breath for the first time and smiled. Breathing helped AMAZINGLY well with the tiredness, imagine that. Then I realized it was FUN! We were going and jumping and just having a good time. 

The only bobble/time I felt him kind of take off a bit was when I asked him several times if he saw the ditch and he landed from that a bit offended - "Of course I saw it! I got this!" 

Last fence! Weeee!!

I did not buy the pro picture package (only $109 for all the images if you buy it before the show!) because of his several hundred dollar vet bill right before the show. But JT caught the nice XC one above and our whole stadium round on video. 

We ended up third out of 19! We were tied for third, but fortunately my "gallop" is apparently not that fast, so we were closest to optimum time so broke the tie breaker. Looks like I'll need to pick up the pace for training!! Which is hopefully back on the agenda for the December Rocking Horse.