Sunday, March 5, 2017

XC Schooling at Fence

Soooooo glad that I went today. :) Dan and I signed up for our first recognized show at Fence in April. We were planning on going in without having schooled it because we would have done Gibbes, and then are going to school at Pine Top, then do Paradise's schooling show without schooling. So, in theory, we should be good to go. But they happened to have an open schooling day today and I figured, why not?! Especially since it'll be our first recognized. He's still green enough that I might as well take advantage. :) Liz and I were going to go but then Forrest got a puncture wound, so she decided she would take Party to keep me company. And then she ended up having to go to a funeral today, so she had to bail. I asked a few other people but no one could join me so I had about given up of going. But then Cindy texted me saying she wanted to go school somewhere and I said "How about Fence?!". It worked perfectly. I went and picked her and Trey up as they were on the way. We had a blast and it ended up that they were the perfect partners for us. :) She helped me be brave just by being there. 

We started out with a little hack and Danny was a bit boisterous! Nothing bad but just a little bouncy. Which honestly, was nice. I've kind of missed that extra little peppyness of his. We warmed up in the warm up area and I got all our leads and we even held both counter canters doing big loops. :) We then started to jump and he just popped over both fences I put him at. One I think was novice. Then they had the log missing from one of the hanging logs with a raised mini bank under it. So I went to canter him over that. He was so confused, but game. He was going to just canter over it but then at the last minute I asked him to jump and so he did. It was a long spot but he did what I asked. :) 

So then Cindy said we could cross the creek and pop over the fences in the path. She went first and off they went. Well Dan decided it was a race and took off after them. Hee hee. We managed to not get too much in there way and the fences were a bit too big for us, so we didn't jump anything. Trey had a stop at one so while she was regrouping to come back to it, I pulled my phone out to start my "my tracks" app. Once she got Trey going again he jumped it and off they went. Meanwhile I was still trying to get my phone back in the case and Danny was jumping around and bouncing and slightly rearing. Hold still goober!! I finally got my phone in and then he took off like a rocket. I aimed him at a decent novice fence and then made sure I rocked him back so that we didn't steeplechase it. He was a good boy and jumped the tar out of it!! But then he landed and took off again and we were headed to the creek. It was probably about 4 feet wide..... maybe bigger. Big enough that he could stand in it and take a few steps before reaching the other side. And yep.. I'm pretty sure we cleared it liverpool style. Then we flew up the hill and up to Cindy. Luckily we didn't spook Trey. hee hee. But after that he was much more well behaved. :) 

So then we headed to the big field and started jumping. We were behind Cindy again so he sort of just flew over the things I sent him over but I did make him circle and jump things not quite so hot on her tail. Then we were heading up to the bank and Trey had a stop at another fence but I kept going because... well, we were headed to the bank. Once we passed Trey, Dan was like..."wait... wait a minute" and looked at the bank and propped and stopped. Oooff! I circled him back and he jumped up the smaller area next to it, then we went down the big bank (it wasn't that big at all!) and then back up it and he was fine. It may have had more to do with suddenly passing Trey or maybe it was the bank. But once he looked at it, he was fine. 

So then Cindy said that the Tryon horse jump was there and I should go jump it. So I did. I was afraid the horsey head would be spooky. HA!!! So yeah, we are cantering up to it and Dan is fine and then suddenly I realize he's not really looking at the jump... but he jumps it. And lands and suddenly drops his shoulder left HARD and scoots and spins. What the?! Oh.... OHHHHh... There is some statue of a horse up on top of the hill next to the flag pole with a near life sized and very realistic looking horse painted (like the GA bulldawgs in Athens). Dan lost his marbles!!! That thing was TERRIFYING!!! The tryon horse was no big deal but this horse statue was the worst!! I actually had to get off and lead him up to it and it still took 15 minutes. Trey was spooking at it too and they were both freaking out. But luckily Trey was brave and eventually they both inched closer and closer. After Trey touched it, Dan finally did. And then he was just confused.. he kept sniffing noses with it like he would a real horse. So I got back on and we jumped the Tryon Horse both directions and he was fine with it. The water jump was closed, which really sucks as it would have been nice to school it, but.. oh well. 

So then we carried on and headed up to the banks. They have the ramp up the bank and then the drop down and Dan did that the first try. He zigged a little but didn't stop and leapt right off. Yay! So then Cindy went and she did the up bank, across, over the ditch to the next bank, across, and then down. Wow!! Fleck and I have issues with that. But her and Trey just skipped over it. So... Dan and I tried. We trotted up first and he went up and then stopped and looked at the ditch. So I walked him off and came back to it at the trot and he jumped up and over and down! WHOO HOOO!! So then we went and did the ditches. There is like 6 ditches there so it was super nice to school them all. Dan jumped the novice ditch to roll top without even blinking which was awesome. Then we went to the baby ditch which was on the edge of the mountain and we came in a bit crooked and squirted around it. Oops. That was totally my fault. So... we came back again straighter and I rode better and he was fine. Then we went to the next ditch and he stopped and propped but then went. And then we went to the next ditch and he jumped it just fine. So then we turned around and came back.. and he stopped and propped at the first ditch but then came around fine and then jumped the next two ditches fine. Sigh.. Shame on me. I must ride better. BUT... he did the half coffin that I'm pretty sure was at least on training course without blinking. :) We jumped all the ditches three times each I think and it got better. Then Cindy jumped Trey over the angled roll tops. It was a four stride and probably novice and training sized jumps. They made it look easy so I decided to try it. I jumped the smaller one first and as he landed I wimped out and decided to pull him out of the combo. But as I was initiating the wimp out, he pricked his ears and locked on to the second fence. Drats.. why am I a wussy!? So I decided if he was game, I was game and we came back to it. It was a tight four for us but he did it great. Wheee!!

So then we headed out to the back field where there was big fences. We jumped the bench which was probably novice and the little hanging log that should be BN. Then Cindy went and just jumped over the giant hammock that I have the epic pictures of me and Fleck jumping that was so terrifying. I did NOT jump that... but after she jumped the hammock she carried on to a hanging log and went through the woods. I thought, well, we can jump that one. So we cantered up to it and as we got closer I realized.. it was kind of big. And it had a big drop on the back side. So I circled.. and then talked myself into it. And he jumped it beautifully!!! And he didn't buck on landing. GOOD BOY!!! I'm noticing a trend though... I'm wimping out but my baby horse is game and good. 

So then we headed back and I popped over the ditches and the bank combo again and then we jumped the tryon horse again. Then we saw that the fallen tree and cabin combo was open so we did that. Then we saw another bigger fallen tree and jumped that!! Wheee!!! Then he was so good I jumped the staircase thingy, which might have been on the training course at some point. :) Then we quit with that as they were so good.

So yep.. SOOOOOO proud of him. He jumped pretty much everything I put him at, even the big stuff. The only issues were the banks and the ditches and really, once he took a quick peak at them, he was fine. There was no fighting him or arguing. I just had to allow him to peek and then he went. And he was game and rideable and not stupid. 

YAY!!!! So now I'm SUPER excited for the show. Of course after the scary horse statue, I'm really glad that we went and schooled. Plus it was just a whole lot of fun. :) 


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