The Horse Park down the street from me is turning into a great spot for schooling xc, and our instructor held a clinic there this past weekend. With Inavale less than two weeks away I felt it was a great opportunity to get some schooling in before the event.
XC schooling isn’t my favorite thing, truth be told. It takes me 3-4 jumps to get into a rhythm, so jumping a few jumps and then stopping is a challenge for me. So, guess what we worked on? Getting to the first jump in a stride and pace that we want to maintain for the rest of the course. And of course, leg to hand contact and trying not to let her drop onto the forehand on the backside.
I can’t say I did any of these things particularly well. Which was a disappointment. But when I get out there I think about how great Georgie feels and how much fun I am having and forget to work my butt off too. We had some nice jumps and nice lines and I jumped a table or two well. There weren’t many training levels jumps, but it didn’t really matter because I kept backing off of the Novice ditch/wall, so if I can’t jump that well, I should just shut up.
Georgie was her amazing self and was ready to go gallop around. I know I will take my course at Inavale more seriously and work hard to have the best ride possible. My new goal at Training is to jump every jump well and stop letting Georgie take care of me on course. In order to improve I need to have that mindset.
I’m not sure if it’s the adrenaline of running xc, or having walked the course and knowing what I’m supposed to do, as well as visualizing the course for two nights, but I always ride my courses in a show better than in practice. Do any of you experience this? It’s something I need to work on for sure, otherwise why go school jumps if you aren’t going to school them?
Here’s to lots more xc jumping and lots more fun.
And thanks to my friend Jennifer Card for her amazing photography!