This past week Georgie and I, along with several barn mates, made our way to southern Utah so we could school xc at the Skyline Eventing Center. This facility just opened last year and we had never been there-neither had our trainer, but we had heard good things about the event they held in October. They only had xc through Training so I knew it would be a good confidence building course if not a particularly challenging one.
It’s always a bit nerve wracking going cross country for the first time in 4 months. I hoped all the jump exercises we had worked on this winter and the dressage work we had struggled to improve would help us out.
I could tell from our warm up that Georgie and I were going to have fun. She was forward and adjustable and her brain was functioning. She felt kinda amazing. So off we went!
Georgie was so adjustable. I would check in with her about 5-8 strides out and ask her to get off her forehand and she would. Without sucking back. My position was back to its old habits, but we had some REALLY nice rides and we didn’t have to spend a lot of time working on things repeatedly.
This was a fun line that rode so well when I rode forward. It was a ramp to a skinny house. About 10 strides between them on a bending line, but it was our first question of the day and I was so incredibly happy with how Georgie handled it. It was the beginning of a fun day for us.
We conquered lots of different jumps. Ditches, banks and corners, oh my!
On the corner, my trainer placed a rock on it that I was supposed to jump over. The corner was five strides from an up bank. Georgie dragged me to the corner and we jumped right over the rock.
While she has run out at corners once or twice, she has always been a really honest horse on xc. But this time out it was like she finally GOT it. She locks onto jumps, has an amazing gallop, lands and goes on, and does everything I ask of her with so much more ease than ever before.
We also did our first Training ditch wall. It was a soft one (in fact most of the course was soft, which was great for my first time out), but we had zero problem and I actually did it a couple times just for fun.
So, Georgie was basically amazing, we had tons of fun, and I am inspired to keep working and making this partnership even more solid.
Should I worry about how often she closes her eyes? I mean it’s kinda funny/horrifyng….
My first competition won’t be until June, but I am excited to get some more schooling in and be ready to conquer the Training course at Inavale.
Now, back in Idaho, I’m ready to get back in the indoor and get back to work. Probably one of the highlights of the trip was when my trainer had me tell the much younger kids from the barn why I was so elated. It was because I had been steadily working on things for 2.5 years and now I could finally see and feel a real difference in this horse. And man it was fun riding Georgie when she knows how to gallop, can adjust 3 strides out and I don’t constantly have to kick her on. We’ll see how things progress from here, but for now I can’t wipe the grin off my face!