Anyways, today was cross country day!! I felt like a little kid bouncing in my seat on the way out to ride. So excited!
There were two goals for today: build confidence and stay alive.
Let's recap last year: went schooling a handful of times.
- One time by myself, Jetta was being a brat and refusing everything so I lunged her over the jumps. Everything was going swimmingly until she took off and pulled the lunge rope out of my hand and galloped to the barn. I had to take the walk of shame to retreive my horse...
- Another time I went schooling with a group and Jetta half way jumped a Novice coop, meaning she had her front legs over when she stopped and I fell off. Embarrassing, but I got right back on, Jetta didn't run away since she stepped on her reins and was waiting for me to free her. But both of our confidence were shot after that.
- And then we did a clinic where everything went great and we learned how to do banks.
- Then we competed in a one day HT where Jetta was fairly good, but we had too many refusals on xc and were eliminated, though I was proud of the fact that we were in second after dressage and stadium!
|Someday Jetta, you will jump the airplane jump.|
This year I'm planning on doing the recognized HT so I want to not get eliminated, therefore we must practice more! I would say we accomplished our goals for the most part.
|We jumped that red barn!|
I was the only person out there except for a guy re-mowing the grass. Luckily Jetta doesn't mind tractors. She was super hyper and we had the most hilarious baby collected canter ever when I asked her to trot. We started out over all the baby logs and she was good. (Jetta is more scared of logs than anything else). We had our first refusal at a telephone pole. I didn't think she'd refuse it so I didn't ride her enough to it. Lesson: Never assume that she's going to jump it, always assume she will refuse.
But she got over it. We went through the water with no problems which was impressive. Jetta loves the banks so there were no problems jumping up the bank, down the slope and off another bank into the water and cantering through the water. This is when I was feeling like a million bucks. Jetta was being so awesome! No hesitation shown with the water, she was game. Jazz, while she would jump anything, was way too careful and would slow way down to delicately step off a bank and would hesitate in front of the water. Not so with Jetta!
|Up the bank|
|Off the ledge - down the bank into the water|
|Through the water and up the bank on the other side!|
The main problem we were running into was Jetta not wanting to slow down. She was very unhappy when I asked her to return to a more collected canter or trot. We need to find a field somewhere to practice this!
We moved on to the bigger coops (still BN level). Jetta went over a half round easily the first time, but when I came around to it again she ran out. We took it again, then moved onto a weird looking thing - my best description is an open-sided shed with a blue tin roof in miniature - that Jetta was pretty looky at but we made it over. We jumped the BN red barn and then tried to jump a Novice half round. Jetta majorly hesitated but I pushed her over it just barely in time so I got left behind and lost both stirrups. But I stayed on! We took the blue shed thing again and Jetta refused, but jumped it after circling.
We moved onto the other part of the field and jumped a baby little coop that was probably intro level, we jumped the roll top on top of the hill as well that may or may not have been Novice. Then I had the grand idea to come down and take the BN trakehner. Jetta wanted no part in it and when I circled around to take it again, she noticed a branch on the ground and freaked out about stepping on it. She didn't step on it, but for some reason she LOST HER SHIT and reared. I felt like we were going over backwards (already been there once, didn't want to go there again!) so I bailed. Jetta whacked me with a hind foot on my butt when stepping over with me. I landed on my elbow so I've got a nice scrape/bruise there, but was largely unscathed. Luckily Jetta stopped and waited for me to get up and come get her which I was so thankful for since I was not looking forward to completing yet another walk of shame.
|My horse is an idiot - that branch in the upper right corner? That is what she freaked out about.|
We had a short discussion about the branch - which is NOT scary. Then I got back on and we finished up a "line" of sorts. Over the blue tin roof jump, up the bank, down the bank into the water, sharp right turn to the telephone pole, then over the BN half round. Success! No hesitations, the only problem was, again, slowing her down before the last jump.
But I was quite pleased with our ride overall! The plan is to come school at least one more time this month, then we have the one day trial on the 2nd of June, a xc clinic on the 8th of June and then at the end of June is the recognized HT!!
|Awkward selfie after our ride|