|We've seen most of this before, so I won't do a full course walk|
|Very friendly starting log, he jumped it great|
1-5 were "canter it, jump it, don't do anything weird". Go here and here for pictures of 2-6 and 8. He jumped 2-5 pretty well, got a little peaky and derpy at the mushroom table, but took the others well. 6A and B was a combination we saw in January, an angled 4 stride line between the ramps. He derped over 6A, but I got after him and we did the 4 strides out of it to 6B nicely this time (January we did the A fine but then chipped to B).
The most interesting part on the course was a sunken road thing for 9 A and B, my pictures don't do the terrain justice, so I did some playing in paint, you're welcome ;)
|9A is the red table, you can see the uphill part right after it, but can't see the downhill|
|9b came after a steep uphill to the top of a knob, you can tell I'm standing at the top of the hill and looking down on it|
JT is super smart and pointed out that if you rode the uphill and then downhill, but then in the bottom of the depression veered right a little bit, you came back out of the depression, but then didn't go all the way up to the top of the mound. Then you had a straight line to the corner to be square with the front face, not the back face. So that's what we did, and it rode beautifully. She also told me to let him pick his way down the steep downhill, and he was super smart about it and did.
|Then there was 10|
I knew the oxer was going to show up again, but they had added some visual markers to the rails. It did still give me major anxiety driving there Sunday morning, to the point where I was not sure why I spent so much time and money doing this for fun. But by the time we got there I had decided I was going to ride it POSITIVE and with an uphill balance, and it would be fine. They had a white rail oxer in warm up, so we jumped that three times till I got the jump I wanted, forward, uphill, confident. Right after we did that, another person in warm up shouted "WOOHOO!" as she jumped a coop. It was a great reminder that we were here to have fun.
I rode 10 forward and positive and it was FINE. Then I actually took a deep breath and smiled. We were DOING IT!
|12 A and B - East Coast - rolltop, also with visual markers added, then a stride to a muddy water crossing|
|Out of the water and up a small hill to B, rode great|
13 was a steeplechase, 14 was a new table that he did peak at pretty hard.
|15 was this trakhener that we shared with modified who jumped it in the opposite direction|
We've done the trakheners at Majestic plenty, but this one was hiding a bigger ditch, and I wasn't sure if that would make him peak at it. I rode it very forward and positive and he jumped it great.
|16 was a bending line from the trakhener to this hut, I was celebrating the trakhener so we didn't get a great spot here, but it was still okay|
|18AB, the last real question, bending line of wedges|
|He got a little wiggly to A, but locked his eye on B and did great|
Then we were home! With 1 second of time, but that doesn't matter at this point. I also got a tiny bit lost on the way to 17 and if I'd taken the more direct route we would've been fine. He's starting to feel quite trained, when I sit down he's starting to shift back more readily, meaning I can probably shorten the amount of strides out I am starting to do that.
As long as I was forward, confident, and positive, he jumped well. He still did his patented bounce and chip to a few, you can see in the video, but the ones I was worried about rode super well, definitely showing he responds to the positive ride. He feels SO MUCH more confident with studs in too, they're definitely now part of our cross country gear every time. The sand was super loose, deep in some spots even because they need rain badly, and he felt confident leaving the ground. JT and I went shopping after my cross country round to fill out what I still needed between my pre-made kit and lovely gifts from Mr. GY.