We are getting a real, true SPRING!!!! It's mid April and it's not humid yet... it's glorious weather! The skies are brightest blue.. the grass and leaves are almost neon green! It's glorious! It was even a tad chilly this morning. Ahhhhhh.... Spring in Georgia is amazing. I really think this could be what Heaven is like.
I spent the morning catching up on paperwork and records. And then Dan and I headed to Ashland. We met up with Kelli for a quick hack as my warm up for my lesson with Jacel. Dan was so excited to see Marvin and went up to him at the trailer. He was all friendly but then he squealed and got all sassy and kicked out. And then tried to spin so I had to spank him. Poor Marvin! So then we set off and Dan was vibrating!! He wasn't vibrating enough that I didn't feel like I couldn't have him on the buckle, but he was vibrating and had I asked, he'd have been off! He kept turning around to try to say hi to Marvin again. Kelli said he had flames shooting out of his eyeballs! Oh Dan! We walked to lake and let him splash for a bit and then we basically headed back up to the XC field for my lesson. I did two trots up the hill and then a little canter and then Jacel arrived. I know... we had just jumped Sunday... and we're showing this weekend, but... I wanted a quick short XC school because ... you know... I started to get a little freaked out about the weekend. We warmed up over a teeny log and then she had me go over a line of two. She asked if I was okay with going over the coop with the log on top, which was probably novice. And then told me to pick either of the two roll tops... the BN one or the novice one. I was like "That's novice?! It looks huge!". She may have rolled her eyes at me. Ha! Not really, she's too nice. So we did it. I even went to the big one! We jumped the coop fine and as we got to the roll top, he swapped behind and started to drift hard right. He could have run out. Easily. I could have let him. BUT.... go us! I said... no, we're doing this, and closed my right leg and he said Okay and went! And he went out of stride too! He didn't hesitate but he questioned. But when I said yes, he said yes ma'am! Yay! So then we did the bank. And by golly if it wasn't just about perfect! The only thing was that instead of moving my hands left, I dropped my left hand and sort of shut him down onto his shoulder. However, since our canter was great and it was smallish, he was able to rock back and do it anyways. :) We then did the hogsback and down the bank and over the log and he was super! Then we went and did the water. We jumped the white and stone wall thing after the water and he backed way off of it. I didn't ride it very well and again, instead of moving my hands left... I held. But he still did it. So we circled and did it again and when I rode with my shoulders more up and moved my hands to the left together, he was able to jump it much nicer. Then we did the small drop into the water (well, novice) and then a small roll top into the water. Then we went to the ditch and he jumped the coffin great! It does have a false ground line and sucks them in. And he slid! Twice... His back shoes with the pads made him slide, but he was balanced enough and brave and went easily. And we didn't fall into the ditch this time. :) So yay! What a super good boy. Oh, and the best part! Before we did the water, Jacel asked how I felt about the chevron. You know, the one I came off on at the last XC school there. I told her I wanted to do it and I especially wanted to do it with her there. So we did! Good thing as there will very likely be one at Stableview. And we did! He never thought about stopping, but he did question it. But again, because I had him in front of my leg and was sitting up and keeping my shoulders up, slightly pushed my arms forward and kept my leg on. (And I may have added a small crop pop, but more for me).. he went! And boy did he jump it! He got deep to the base and rocked back and jumped up and over... knees to his eyeballs!! It was awesome!
So yay! This was a MUCH improved ride over the last schooling at Ashland. He's much braver, I'm much braver... and we have confidence in each other again. Whoo hooo!!! I'm feeling much better about Stableview now! Especially since they posted that the XC course was set with the fact that we are mid-season in mind... ie... tougher!
Then we went to the lake and splashed a bit and then headed home. What a good boy!! And what a great day!