Sunday Funday, XC style

There was a bit of drama organising this session, getting a course was harder than I expected but I found a course and off we went on Sunday morning.

The course we went to hasn't been used for competition for a few years and was starting to degrade, but new owners have seen new fences and course improvements. I hadn't been to the course since 2016 so I was a bit dubious but it was amazing!
We love jumping all the things!

The first paddock was full of new fences ranging from 65cm up to 95cm. Perfect for baby horses and warming up. We started by trotting over a tiny roll top on both reins. Coolie was very good and just popped it. We then cantered over it and again Coolie popped t with no fuss. From there we built up a small course to start getting the flow and adjustability. Again Coolie was super, I just had to ride more forward!
Too small for sassy pants!
Wee Apex!

We moved onto a ditch, first trotting over it, then cantering, then including fences on either side to make a coffin.

From there we did some up and down banks, and a ski jump, then added an apex. Coolie was amazing and happy to jump all the things! Terrain wasn't a problem, down the bank 2 strides to a fence wasn't a problem, adjustability wasn't a problem. We just felt super!

From there we moved out into the big XC paddock. Out here we practiced opening out the stride and jumping more forward. I started over a small pink log, turning left to a bigger log stack in the shadows and then over a trakhaner, before continuing around over the log stack again to a bigger trakhaner. First time to the log stack I shortened the canter a little too much and didn't quite get the flow. The second time through we nailed it! Coolie jumped everything no problems.
Pink log = too small

Log stack = not so small

Trakhener still too small

We moved on to a mound with several ski jumps and a variety of fence types. Coolie and I started with cantering up the mound over a log at the top, down the other side before turning left back up the mound and over a ski jump. Then we went back over the mound to a skinny chevron before adding a drop fence, 5 turning strides to the chevron. I was expecting a little bit of difficulty with the drop fence and chevron but he rocked it, turning smoothly and making it seem like a piece of cake! Then my coach had me canter over the 105 ski jump and it was perfect.
Log drop

Ski jump!

Next we went to the billabong water jump. There was sadly no water but it was good to practice fences in a dark environment. Again my coach challenged us, first dropping in down the 95 drop, then round over the 105 log and back up the drop. We did it twice as I rode a little conservatively the first time but the second time was prefect.

We ended there but I was so happy with how we did. Coolie was incredible and it felt like he was up for anything. It also helped my confidence immensely. I went in to the day feeling a little... hesitant. Now I feel like we are better than we were at the peak of the last season. Each year we start the season better than ever but this season we are starting as though we haven't stopped.


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