Category Archives: cross country riding

Cross Country Schooling

It’s been a year since I’ve galloped around xc. Ok, so not counting the Irish adventure. But still, a full year since Georgie and I went to Rebecca and did the T3D. And that was our last time on a xc course. So, the way things were going with Macy I figured I’d just skip xc this year, which saddened me and made me a bit panicky (would I remember how to ride xc??) but I realized it was reality.

But then one day, when Sarah asked, “Do you want to go school the local xc course on the 4th?” I blurted out “YES!” before thinking the entire thing through. I’d be riding Macy.

Eh, I can always bail or just watch others jump.

So, we went. And I was nervous, which made Macy spooky and me tense and stiff and it wasn’t a great warm up. When Sarah sent us out to do three logs we got them done and I was SO proud of myself. SO proud, in fact, that I said “I’m happy to do Beginner Novice stuff today, but maybe nothing bigger. ”

IMG_5943

She was so happy. And confused why I was messing with her so much

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Sarah wasn’t going to make this mare jump small logs all day.

I want to say that Macy was amazing. She was SUCH a good girl despite my inadequacies as a rider. She was so happy to be out there. Happy for the both of us, because I was still a stiff, leg off, backwards riding passenger. And while I hadn’t ridden xc in a year, she hadn’t been out in at least two years, so she had every right to be a hot mess. But she wasn’t. She stood quietly and waited our turn, and was as easygoing as I could have ever hoped for.

The beginning wasn’t pretty. But the fun group of women I was with cheered me on like I was running Rolex. I forced Macy into stopping a Novice jump. I gave her no leg, became completely unyielding in the rein and she was like “I gots nowhere to go!!” It was a kind stop that unravelled well before we got to the jump. After that I got better. But there was lots of room for improvement.

By the end though, we were actually having fun. We jumped what I would consider a Training line. Corner to corner four stride, then a little gallop to a down bank into water, through the water and 3 strides to a chevron.

IMG_5946

Whee!

Macy was awesome. I was ok. And together we got it done.

IMG_5947

Chevrons are no big deal…

I spent three years riding the same horse cross country, and it was so fun. But I didn’t learn nearly as much as I did in this one lesson with Macy. And maybe that’s not completely true. Maybe I learned a ton on Georgie which enabled me to ride a horse like Macy. She’s not easy, but she’s honest. And I love honest. It’s easy to ride honest. I just needed to learn to trust her and let her do her thing, while supporting her along the way.

IMG_5945

Loving her here

It was SO great to get back out there. Well, the last 30 minutes were great. The first 90 were a bit scary. For no reason. Macy is “hot” and “sensitive” but if I ignore the head tossing (which weirdly minimizes when I ride forward instead of backwards) it’s actually a ton of fun.

I’m actually adding a video. Again, remember, work in progress, it’s not like this is what I think is ideal…

It was a great way to spend the holiday and I can’t thank Sarah enough for continuing to let me ride her mare and pushing my comfort zone.

Tagged , , , ,

Learning From Each

So much to report on and I don’t know where to start. I had wanted to do a full recap on Aspen Farms HT but I think it will have to wait.

Instead, I’ll give a recap on some recent rides.

It’s been Macy and Rapid and Smokey lately and all have been exactly what I needed at that moment.

Macy continues to make me a better a rider. I can’t say I always love riding her, but damn, I learn a lot. We have had two jump lessons recently and they’ve been great. I mean, sometimes  I am nervous and worried about her spooking, but overall, I learn a lot and she is actually a really fun horse to jump. She 100% calls me out on my mistakes, but she is honest to the jump and I can worry about me, which is nice.

IMG_5720

She’s 100% bored with me, but I’m what she’s got right now…

I got to do trot sets on Miss Rapid this weekend while Sarah was away. She is teaching me ALL about young horses. I brought her in and let her run around for a bit (she hasn’t really been worked all week since she came back from Aspen on Monday) and she wasn’t very interested in doing much. So, got her tacked up, and as we headed out I realized I forgot to put stirrups on the saddle. She was all antsy, so I decided to run her around. Thank God I did ’cause she was bucking and head tossing and full of it! I caught her after about 10 minutes and decided to hop on. She was still super antsy, prancing instead of walking, but I felt oddly safe. We got to trotting and mare was great. I really had to work on not tipping forward (there is really nothing between pommel and her head) and using my core to keep shoulders back and out of what I call the danger zone. She had some “green” moments, but was sensible and and I had a good time for the most part. Plus, not falling off is almost a goal with these youngsters, so I felt like I at least accomplished that.

IMG_5543

Such a poser…

And then Smokey. This was the ride I needed. Meg may have gotten a serious sunburn yesterday and can barely walk, let alone ride (#irishburneasy), so she asked if I would get Smokey out.

Ah, to ride an uncomplicated horse. My brain needed to relax and just enjoy the ride. Smokey is as honest as they come to a fence and I just love jumping her. It was fun. I haven’t had fun in a while. I really like that mare and am thankful Meg let me take her out for a spin.

IMG_5721

I mean.. the cutest

I learn something from every single horse I ride, and I am so thankful to have them to ride! I am headed back east this week and then bringing baby Junebug home!! Ahh, I am so excited! I have been in touch with a foundation trainer and she is going to help me with ground work for the next few months, since I have never had a baby. I have some things I really want to work on with her, and am excited for the guidance.

So, lots of fun, lots going on, and I can’t wait for it all to continue!

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Lesson That Never Ended

Alternate titles: The First Time I Fell Off Macy, Lessons within the Lesson, or, my favorite: The Sh*t Show

Tuesdays lesson was set up for disaster from the beginning. I had asked for a jump lesson and we decided days ago to go out into the new jump field and hop over some of the xc jumps that had recently been placed out there. I told Sarah I wanted to see what Macy was like jumping out in the open.

It was so windy. I mean so so so windy. I couldn’t keep the end of my reins from flying all around. But, because we are eventers, and because I am stubborn, I thought, “It’ll be fine, I need to practice jumping in a new place with less than ideal conditions. What will I do if it is windy at a show? I’m way too cheap (and proud) to scratch.”

That was MISTAKE #1.

Macy was on fire from the get go. I couldn’t hear a thing Sarah was screaming at me, so it looked like I was just ignoring her. It is INCREDIBLY frustrating to know you are not doing what your instructor wants but you cannot hear her and change anything. On top of that, the beast you are riding is trying to gallop back to the barn and/or feels like she is about to EXPLODE internally.

IMG_5223

A moment that looked nice

Then, when I could actually hear Sarah, she was telling me to kick Macy forward, but it is petrifying to kick a horse forward (or do anything other than grip uncontrollably with every body part) a horse that you think is going to EXPLODE.  Or it is for me at least.

This was when I realized riding Macy, a hot unpredictable TB, was MISTAKE #2.

What I would have given to have the safety and comfort of Georgie. Instead, I felt like I was going to fall off, be reared off (she never reared, just felt like it) or shook off by her enormously strong neck. I DID sit up and ride and TRY to make things better, but in order to hear Sarah I had to lean in, or cock my head ever so perfectly, and that would throw everything out the window. We did this for about 30 minutes but it felt like eternity. I was miserable and wanted to just throw in the towel with the mare.

IMG_5224

I’m not smiling

But I didn’t. And my intelligent instructor decided that yes, we would jump, but we would work on relaxing the horse (and rider) by trotting jumps AWAY from the barn.  Before we get into that, I would like to share two classic quotes from Sarah that I was actually able to hear  during the lesson:

“Well now she’s just being sour. KICK HER!” (When Macy was running through her shoulder and essentially trying to tear back to the barn)

“No, that’s just what she does. She’s a bitch.” (When Macy was not listening to a thing I was asking and was dragging me around the field and I asked if I was doing something wrong.)

So, we started by jumping a small barrel thing. It went fine. I actually think we did  begin to relax. I was able to work on my position. On the backside of the jump I need to stay up out of the saddle, continue to let my elbows move and ignore her head tossing, bolting, crap.

We moved on to the next jump. It was a narrow coop with two standards that had wooden cutout  watermelons on them. At the beginning of the lesson, all the standards had blown over so Sarah put each upright as we went to the jump. Same routine for this one, trot to it, land and halt.

Great! We trotted to it and about 3 strides out, the standard blew over, towards us, and Macy came unglued.

IMG_5219

Do you see where my foot is??

And I landed on the ground. Totally fine. But on the ground.

Macy took off and after making sure I was ok Sarah said “She’ll probably gallop back to her pasture. We can go get her there.”

MISTAKE #3: Don’t ride a horse whose owner knows where they run to when they have dumped their rider.  😉

Got her, got on her and came back to the STUPID watermelon standard. I made Sarah stand there and hold it upright. We got over it. Not pretty, but together.

I then jumped this stupid jump like 6-7 more times. It went ok, but Macy was getting agitated on the back side and making it tough on me. It just wasn’t fun. At all.

I felt like we had been out there for hours, but the lesson was literally 50 minutes long start to finish. I’ve never been so miserable in a lesson to the point that it felt way longer than it was.

When we got back to the barn and out of the God forsaken wind I was able to process all that had happened. I really don’t care that I fell off. I’ve basically been waiting for that to happen and know it will again. But I just wasn’t sure I had it in me to deal with the bullshit of the lesson. I hate spooky horses. I have a tough time with hot horses. Put them together and I’m clearly totally miserable.

IMG_5220

Looking sweet and innocent after the lesson

But then I realized that I’m completely starting over with Macy. Not only am I starting with a new horse, I am starting with a completely different kind of horse. And that isn’t going to come easily or without a serious learning curve. Do I want to take that on? Yesterday I wasn’t so sure.

Today the answer is yes. (Is this MISTAKE #4???)

IMG_5213

I do love this shot from the end of the lesson

I’ve already learned how to be a better rider in just the few weeks I have been riding Macy. I REALLY want to be able to ride a hot horse for the mere fact that it’s a great tool to have in my toolbelt in case of needing to problem solve for the future. But I want to do it on my terms. If its windy AF I don’t want to ride Macy in the wind in an open field when I KNOW she is going to be batsh*t crazy. I don’t have anything to prove with this mare (and she certainly has nothing to prove with me) and I’m not riding her so I can teach her a lesson or get her to be safe in situations like that. I’m riding her so I can learn from her. Safely. And see what might be fun to do with her. She’s not my forever horse, she is who she is, and hopefully with that arrangement I can still have a good time with her. Does that make sense? I guess in the end I feel like I need to change the way I look at my partnership with Macy and it may not fit into my normal plan. And I think that’s ok.

I’m still signed up for the recognized show in June, but honestly, if I get there and she is crazy, I’m not going to force myself to ride just because we are there and I paid for it. If I get to a lesson and she’s crazy, I may ask Sarah to hop on her and work her a bit for me. I just want to be safe and have fun. And I think it’s possible, and as I get to know Macy better, I think it will become easier.

So, that’s where I am today. And we’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings!

 

Tagged , , , ,

2017 Goals

Hoping everyone had a very happy holiday season! If nothing else, the holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and friends and it marks the end of one year and sets in the hope and excitement of what’s to come.

So, here we go. Looking forward to a new year, new season and new habit of setting goals. Lets see how well I am able to stick to them and get them accomplished!

I’ve separated my goals into three categories. Personal, Riding and Competing. Day to day riding is very different to me than competing is, and I don’t want to lose focus of that by just setting goals that are competition based.

img_1760

I want to enjoy these views more

Personal Goals:

  1. I decided on this one while on my run this morning… Do a 10k. At first I was like “sign up and finish a 10k race” but to be honest, I’m not sure I want to enter a race and spend the money. So, my goal has been revised to just getting a 10k done. By July.
  2. Remain fit and continue to make fitness and health a priority. I’m 10 pounds into a 20 pound weight loss, but I want to make sure I don’t lose sight of staying fit. Being active makes me happy.
  3. Balance your personal life with your equestrian life. I want to hike more. I want to say yes to more things that aren’t horse related. While still being a dedicated equestrian. Let me know if this is unrealistic… 😉

RF dressage

Riding Goals:

  1. Be able to do trot sets for 15 minutes in jumping position by the end of the winter. I think I can do this one. It’s just a matter of getting out there and getting it done. I can be pretty lazy about trot sets.
  2. When I ride, remember to ask more of Georgie in each ride. I need to stop being complacent as to where we are at in our training. She’s at the point where I can ask and expect more of her. And I should.
  3. Sometimes, just enjoy the ride. Go for a hack. Explore a new trail. Don’t make it all about training all the time.
  4. Get the most out of each ride. If I’m going to work on jumping, how about I work on multiple things, rather than just one thing. If I am going to ride for 30 minutes, how about I spend those entire 30 minutes working….
  5. Enjoy stadium jumping. Figuring out a way to keep my brain from spinning out of control would be awesome.

 

img_1954

Competition Goals:

  1. Go Prelim at a recognized event. I have to make this a goal since it’s on the table now.
  2. Let Georgie jump the tables. I need to just let her jump out of stride at a gallop. Even if at first it feels uncomfortable and makes me wince a little.
  3. In each element of the competition, give Georgie a thoughtful ride. In dressage, think about your next movement, on xc, think about the next fence and how to approach it, and in stadium jumping, just think. I think that if I can do this, we are going to be a really successful pair.
  4. Have fun at the competitions. This hasn’t ever been a problem, but if it becomes one, I think it is time for me to hang up my hat.
  5. Do not care about where you placed. Look back at the competition and think about how your rides made you feel as a rider. You are only competing with yourself. Sometimes a high or low score can dictate how I feel about a ride. And it really shouldn’t. I have no idea where those other riders are in their training, or what their expectations are for themselves. I can and should only concentrate on my ride with my horse.

So there we go. While I’ll admit my goals aren’t as specific as they might be for some people, I think they give me something to work on and something to achieve.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR and let’s go have fun with our ponies!

IMG_1526

Tagged , , ,

Adventures in Ireland Part 2

Ugh. Vacation hangover.

Definitely the vacation of a lifetime. It exceeded all expectations and I can’t even express in words how much fun we had.

So let me try to convey all the fun in words AND pictures…

img_2670

Guess what? I brought this saddlepad home. Yay!

We were riding at a place called Dartfield, and as I mentioned before, the owner is a renowned horse man. He breeds Connemaras and Irish Sport Horses, but also gets a lot of them as babies and he and his sons bring them up. I can’t say enough about his horses. Athletic and SO sensible.

img_2637

They stand around like this for hours. Three of them tied to one post by their bridle. And not a one pulled back

I will admit that our first day Sarah and I were a little “what have we gotten into??” They tie horses by their bridles, horses aren’t immaculately groomed, and they never asked us once our riding ability or experience. Just put us on horses and off we went. What we quickly learned though, was that they knew what they were doing and we could chill out. Willie has been tying horses by their bridles for 60 some years. The horses grow up doing this. They don’t pull back and they don’t hurt themselves. They have this thing called sense, or life preservation, which makes it so they don’t do anything stupid. Am I going to begin tying Georgie this way? Hell no. But she isn’t a sensible Irish horse who grew up with the expectation that if you are an idiot, off you go to someone else. As for the grooming, I kind of appreciated it. It’s always raining and muddy in Ireland. Time is better spent elsewhere and horses can be a bit muddy.

The horses. I can’t say enough good things.

We started with Lady Grey and Jacqueline. The first day they would jump anything. And then stop. They knew the routine. Get the rider over the fence, then walk back to the pack. (By the second time we rode them we knew we could ask more of them, and they were super fun. Way more forward and willing to gallop after the jumps). After a fairly large down bank, Jacqueline fell to her knees and struggled to get upright and out of the mud. I waited it out and up she came. It was only a few seconds of terror, but Willie was impressed with how I rode it, and perhaps deemed me a worthy enough rider to foxhunt the next day on one of his nicest horses.

Alex was amazing. This horse (as well as all the horses our group rode foxhunting) would jump 4ft walls like a champ. If we were in the back of the pack and the wall had come down a bit, he was smart enough to jump over the rocks on the backside and not injure himself. He could gallop fences, trot fences, keep up with a crazy day of galloping and jumping, and stand quietly while we had a beer at the pub afterwards. And yes, I’m not stupid. I asked how much he would be to purchase. And yes, he is well out of my price range. Whomever ends up buying this horse will have the most amazing partner. We did hunt 2 more days but they were quieter and not nearly as exciting as the Tuesday hunt. We did find out later, after making some friends in the hunt field, that Tuesdays hunt was considered one of the best hands down. Personally, having grown up foxhunting, I thought it was the best thing ever.

When we weren’t foxhunting we were riding different horses over cross country jumps. There was only one horse I didn’t love. Dear sweet Homer was super safe but also terribly on the forehand with a mouth of steel. He would land and his head would go to his knees. I worked so hard to keep him uphill and finally told Sarah “I’m on vacation, I shouldn’t be working this hard.” The gal who rode him after me, the following day, fell off after the first jump as she wasn’t prepared to be launched down and forward… Would jump anything, and so sweet. Just, tough.

I rode Willy, and Lilly, and Jacqueline a couple times, but by far my favorite horse was Buttons. Oh man. He was a 5 yr old ISH and SO FUN. When I put my leg on and kept the contact he would soar over any jump. Such a comfortable canter and just a lovely, honest horse. I really considered figuring a way to bring him home, but it’s not in the cards. I kind of hope an eventer from America buys him so I can follow him.

There were a couple things I came away with as a rider. Sarah and I have been working on getting me to ride more defensively. I know Georgie will jump and get a bit lazy sometimes… at the end of this trip I said to Sarah “All this trip has taught me is that horses will jump anything.” So much for working on riding defensively… But I did get to ride lots of different horses and see what I liked, what I could do to improve the ride I was on, and man, I haven’t jumped a horse other than Georgie in 3 years, so I was really proud of myself for jumping lots of horses I didn’t know!

Also, Willie said something in passing that really stuck with me. He was so complimentary of his horses and you could tell he really loved them. If someone had a problem he would reassure them that the horse could do what was being asked, just ask again. At one point, he said something along the lines of “Any of these horses could jump around Rolex.” Could they? I don’t know. But the fact that he had that much faith in them, stuck with me. I find myself doubting Georgie sometimes. I worry she will have trouble with Prelim tables, despite Sarah telling me she won’t. The fact that Willie believes his horses can jump a 4* made me think that I need to believe in my mare more. She’s never done anything to indicate there’s anything she can’t do. So, if I believe in her, and ride her like she deserves, who says there’s any limit on her ability? Sure, we probably aren’t going to do more than Prelim together, but why should I believe that’s her limit? I now believe in her as much as Willie believes in his horses.

img_2748

Foxhunting selfie. Needs some work

If any of you are considering a visit to the Emerald Isle, I highly recommend this trip. I’m happy to give you more information and have a gazillion pictures and videos. Now, back to the real world and getting Georgie back into work. I saw her yesterday and the first thing I thought was “Man, your head is small.” Small, compared to the giants we were riding, but perfect nonetheless.

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Adventures in Irish Riding

I’m still planning on coming home Monday, but it’s going to be tough to do.

img_2737

Jacqueline. I rode her on day 1 and 3 and she is a fun horse to jump!

Sarah and I began the riding portion of our trip Monday and it certainly hasn’t been a disappointment. We have had to get used to the Irish way of doing things, and Irish time. Apparently 10am means 10:20, and no one is really in a rush to get much done. The riding stable is as authentically Irish as they come. The horses are amazing, all large Irish drafts or Irish Sport Horses and they know their jobs so incredibly well.
Willie Leahy, the gentleman that runs the facility is probably in his 80s and has been around horses his entire life. A nicer man cannot be found. He has a great laugh, and he takes us out riding and when we do something right he yells out “I love ya for it!”
He basically plops us on one of his horses and tells us to go jump something. You don’t say no. He trusts us more and more and gives us nicer but younger horses each day. It’s been amazing. I hope to write about each of the horses when I have a bit more time and am not so exhausted from riding all day.
img_2746

Surprisingly my favorite horse thus far. While I LOVED my hunting horse, Alex, Buttons is a really fun, keen youngster. He jumped anything and was super duper comfy. I jumped some really fun stuff with him and trusted him wholeheartedly.

On Tuesday we foxhunted. It was absolute insanity. Essentially we were thrown into the pack and had to keep up. We jumped 20 stone walls in an hour. Probably 40 in the course of 4 hours. The gal that was with our barn, visiting from NY, fell off at the first jump and broke her ankle. Because she was in the middle of nowhere, she had to ride with a broken ankle for about 2 hours. It’s essentially survival of the fittest. AND I LOVED IT!!!!! You gallop and stop. Gallop and jump crazy ass jumps. Gallop and then listen to the bugle of the hunstman calling his hounds. It’s incredible.
fullsizerender
One gal was riding side saddle. Foxhunting, side saddle. At one point we got separated from the pack and were in a field with Maria, the side saddle rider, and some young kids. Maria took us galloping through fields, and over stone walls until we caught up with the hunt again. She did it all side saddle. On a horse that had hunted twice. And we were flying along, not stopping, no looking back.
I told her she was my hero. Because she is.
img_2685

So calm and relaxed. SIDE SADDLE. 

At the end of the day people were buying us pints at the pub. And then Willie picked us up in his lorry  and drove us home and we raved about his horses and told him all our stories. He ate it all up as he was once the field master, and is still very connected to the hunt.
original_url: 7D74680D-82B2-4FD0-89D3-B579348B5D0D

Sarah with Chester and me with Alex. Such great horses. Worth their weight in gold. And yes, Chester lost a couple shoes over the course of the day…

We are hunting again tomorrow. Willie had us jumping some crazy stuff today that I hope to share video of.  At some point. Right now I am just excited to still be awake past 9pm…
Tagged , , , ,

Georgie. My Almost Prelim Horse.

The alternate title for this post was going to be “Well That Didn’t Go As Planned.” For those of you who don’t stalk scores, Georgie did not complete her first Prelim.

I knew the weekend was off to a rough start when I went to the office to pick up our packet. Georgie’s number was 13. Sarah said she liked number 13, but I do not.

Dressage wasn’t until 4pm, which was a bit annoying as it was supposed to be hot and Georgie is beginning to get a winter coat. I spent Friday braiding lots of horses, bathing Georgie (3rd bath in 3 days..) and watching fellow competitors. Sarah hopped on # 13 and they had a lovely warm up.

I was really pleased with the test considering Sarah had only been riding her for a little over a month and they had never competed at an event together. There was one rider error and one bobble when she broke from the canter, but there were a lot of lovely movements, too. Her leg yield left was gorgeous. Her one loops in the canter were lovely and her canter transitions really showed the work Sarah has put in. Her score was a 35 something and she was in 9th. Overall, I was happy and I think Sarah was pretty pleased too. Georgie didn’t care one way or another but was happy with the treats she got.

img_1951

Looking like a Prelim team

Mid day Friday, before dressage, Sarah and I walked the course. I had walked the course by myself the night before, and when we got to jump #3 I told her that was the jump I was the most worried about. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t technical, but as Sarah said to me “Yeah, it’s looky as shit.” And, much like the jump Georgie was looky at at Inavale, it was light colored and kind of just sitting there, ready to be spooked at. The rest of the course looked awesome! You can actually see a write up about it on Eventing Nation here: Skyline Prelim Write Up on EN

img_1952

Screen shot of stupid jump #3

There were some really great questions on course and some jumps I was SO excited to see Sarah navigate. Like an open oxer, (I think that’s what they are called) which I have decided is my new favorite jump to be scared of.

I had been nervous on dressage day (which is super weird) and on xc day my heart was in my throat. I kept myself busy by taking video of other rides and telling Georgie what a good girl she was. Sarah was riding another horse and coaching a bunch of students so I didn’t see her until about 20 minutes before she was supposed to get on. And, in typical Nadia fashion for cross country, I had Georgie ready to go 20 minutes early. I just can’t help myself! I walked Georgie around to loosen her up and then handed the reins to Sarah.

img_1950

Off to xc #13 goes

I walked Sarah and Georgie up to the startbox and said “So, you’ll whack her before 3, right?” “Yup,” she replied. I  then realized the bike that was supposed to be left for me wasn’t at the start box, so I had to abruptly leave the two of them and literally run to the water where I wanted to video.

I got to the water and three seconds later heard the announcer say “There is a hold on course. Rider fall at jump 3.” I looked at my friend who said “It was a grey.”

“Shit”  I thought. “Well, there was a grey right before Georgie too.” I had no concept of who was on course in the time it had taken me to run to the water.

In that moment I look up and the grey horse that was on course right before Georgie was approaching the water with its rider.

“FU**!” I started running (again) to jump 3. I found someone holding Georgie in the parking lot and ran up to them. I explained it was my horse, took the reins, looked her over, loosened her girth and headed to Sarah, who was still on the ground.

Georgie was completely fine. Not a scratch on her and she wasn’t even breathing hard despite one spectator telling me “Your horse is really fast, she whizzed past us.”

Thank you for that information. I’m glad she runs away quickly and not at a lope.

Ugh. Sarah stood up when I arrived. She was ok and EMTs released her. She hit her head hard, but thank goodness for helmets!

So, what happened? Well, it goes something like this: (Keep in mind this is second-hand from Sarah so may not be exactly accurate.) Sarah and Georgie were galloping along at about 520 mpm and as they approached stupid Jump 3, Georgie began to run out her left shoulder. Sarah stopped her, but was a bit out of balance because of it. Georgie jumped the jump a bit twisted, and Sarah tried to get back in balance, but Georgie wasn’t used to the unbalanced rider and basically took off on landing and Sarah couldn’t recover. Sarah on ground, Georgie galloping very fast.

img_1955

Another sweet screen shot. Sarah appreciated me telling her she should ride in the middle of the saddle

So, totally a bummer. And totally not what I had anticipated. A run out? Maybe. But the thought of Sarah falling off hadn’t even crossed my mind. I’m hugely relieved everyone was ok and also, am happy about the following:

  1. Everyone is ok (it deserves to be said twice)
  2. The fall wasn’t because Georgie stopped. That would have made me really sad. In fact, Sarah said that even with her half off of her Georgie jumped beautifully over the jump, so she can clearly go prelim if she can jump with major rider interference, lol
  3. Sarah kept Georgie from learning to run out. Thanks Sarah!
  4. I know my horse. I knew jump 3 was going to be a bitch
  5. Georgie is completely unfazed about all of this. When she got home, after a 6.5 hour trailer ride, I walked her and put her in her paddock to take her standing wraps off. I carelessly left her gate open, as she had grain and hay to eat. As I went to put her one wrap away, she trotted out the gate and galloped around the property. In the dark. Prelim fit. It’s a problem sometimes.

Things I’m bummed about if I’m being honest:

  1. I was really really looking forward to this.
  2. There were some jumps on course I REALLY wanted to see Sarah ride Georgie over. Like huge ass tables. So I would know she could do them easily. And now I don’t have that.
  3. I wish, for Sarah, that she could have had a great run. She and Georgie are a great team. They’re both way better than a RF indicates.

I will say I am really really looking forward to going down there in the spring and schooling the course. There are a lot of things I want to take Georgie over. (Like big ass tables and an awesome bank complex). I’m also considering doing the event there in the spring. To redeem ourselves. And get over that damn jump 3.

img_1954

You better believe I walked Georgie out there when xc day was done! She needed to see what she was missing! Maybe next time she won’t think about running out so she can jump this jump.

We all know horses and riding is a gamble. Some days are better than others. I’ve had a ton of good days on Georgie, so I can’t really complain. Oh, and I’ll be in Ireland next week, riding Irish ponies with Sarah. So I kinda feel like that will make all of this seem really insignificant. Georgie will get some time off and if  when I return, we’ll get back to business. My nearly a Prelim horse is ready to redeem herself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,