And. She. Was. Awesome!!
I am so happy with her!
On Thursday morning I was messaged asking if I fancied coming a long to xc schooling that night, of course I jumped on the opportunity ! We have never been on a cross country course, mostly due to me being unwilling to spend the money to hire a lorry with the risk of her not getting in it.
That afternoon at work I was getting a little nervous, would Eva like xc, can I control her in an open field, what if she hates xc, do we just become showjumpers, what if I no longer like xc, does my body protector still fit (*sits up straighter tucking tummy in*) ? And the biggest question will she load?!
The last time we loaded was to move yards, and that took two attempts totalling four hours! So you can probably guess why I was nervous about getting her in the lorry!
We put another horse in first so she could see that she wasn’t going to be alone. Leading her up she was quite hesitant. She started fussing, trying to go to either side and turn away, my friend said for us to swap so I stand behind her and he leads her in. As soon as I stood behind her she was straight in!
Slightly gob smacked I helped to get the tack and everything else in as well as the third horse.
So Eva, a mare in season, was in-between two geldings. I glimpsed her through the window and could see her pulling faces at them both. Obviously pretending to be irritated by there presence but loving that fact that she was in the middle and the center of attention.
When leaving she was on straight away with out hesitation! She squeeled a little at the boys when we had shut the back, what can I say my horse is a massive flirt.
The Cross country course.
We arrived at about 20 past seven and it was still quite hot and as there as been no rain the ground was pretty solid. The aim was to take it easy, do a little then relax and to just keep doing that for the session so that she is exposed so as much as possible but with no stress involved. My friend had two horses to ride so we had plenty of time just to let her take it in.
First question was the water. Now I know Eva isnt not afraid of water as per the below example.
The question was is she going to pretend she is or not. After a hesitant first step she was in and walking as slow as physically possible the whole way through and heaving herself out at the end. I tried a few times to get her to trot through but she would only do one or two strides. If I didn’t keep her moving she was threatening to roll so I kept kicking as she walked at her own pace.
Next a small ditch, after a quick snort she was over. Next to trot over it and she was fine. So I tried a bigger one, a bigger snort and she was over. Big pats for her.
Trying a drop was a little scary for me. We did the smaller one first without even blinking. So I decided to try a bigger one. The drop was probably not even 70cm but as Eva stood at the top, her front feet right on the edge, her neck stretching down to have a look, it felt a hell of a lot bigger. I leaned back and encouraged her forward all I could picture was the moment when Lissa Green took a youngster xc schooling …. Fortunately there wasn’t any water at the bottom!
I was bricking it but after having a think Eva did the drop very nicely and cantered away quite happily. Relief! I did it once more for satisfaction and moved on to something else before coming back to it again later.
After trying all the major elements we pottered about doing everything thing a few times but taking plenty of breaks so she can relax and enjoy herself.
It was an interesting course, while it did have lots of variety, it was very much an open field with xcountry jumps in it. There was nothing to guide you in and it felt like a lot of the jumps were very easy to run out of because there was an open field on either side, not that Eva did run out of any.”It’s like they need to have more trees” was my friends thought on it which I agree. I am very happy we had the opportunity to go as we got to have a try at water, ditches, roll tops, brightly painted mini houses, drops of various sizes e.c.t. and all in a relaxed way.
Eva was loving it there were a few jumps that she jumped over and powered off for the next one and I can just imagine her being a machine when we have more experience and get a bit braver. Everything I asked for her to do she took a look and did it.
I am so grateful at having the opportunity to get her out to some cross country! Hopefully we might see some more in the future!
P.s I didn’t get any photos. I could of asked for my friend who was holding the extra horse to take a few but to be honest I just wanted to enjoy myself and take it in.