Cross country solves everything

How much difference can a week make? A world apparently! This weekend Henry and I went to our riding club. It was our second rally there and I was a bit on the fence about going, we have been out a lot of weekends in a row, but it felt important, I really wanted to, and husband said it was ok, so off we went! 

I signed us up for a show jumping lesson and a cross country lesson. Our cross country lesson was first and it was Henrys first time jumping XC fences since 2020. That’s a long time!

We started out with the water and Henry was very hesitant, which is normal for him. He walked through after a good look and a little convincing and from that point on he was 100% game for everything.

After the water we jumps a little ramp fence, then an upright to a roll top and a pig roll top. All the jumps were 80, nothing felt big or scary and I pretty quickly was having so much fun. We put together little courses and it all just worked as it should.

We headed out into the big, open paddock and jumped another little course, the first time I opted to jump a smaller fence that Henry thought wasn’t even worth much effort so decided I had better do the bigger one and we cruised over. Like who even am I making that choice and feeling brave and confident???

Then we went to the ditch. I walked over it once and he went right over like it hadn’t been 3 years, So then we jumped the ditch to a roll top type thing, then the other way to a 95 house! We did the twice, improving the second time.

We finished on the bank. Hen once again walked right off then cantered off, then cantered, turned and jumped a skinny, coming around to then jump another fence then rolling up to jump the bank again.
It was all so easy! I thought I might jump a few 65s and be happy with that. I did not expect to pick up right where we left off in 2020 like the years hadn’t passed, like I never lost my confidence, like I never had a baby. It was AMAZING.

We had a short break then we came back for show jumping. The coach had 5 fences set in a line in the middle of the arena. The first exercise we did was to ride straight before and after the jump, walk before the corner, turn, pick up canter and jump the next jump in a big box shape. We had to be straight, the horses had to be listening and it was quite tricky.

When we had mastered that we jumped each jump in the line, trying to get as few stride in between like it was a jump off. Henry and I went last and we managed 4 strides between each one. It was so fun. I came out wishing the jumps had been bigger, they had been at about 60.

Honestly, it was the best day, and I am so elated. It’s funny how my nerves didn’t transfer onto xc, even though I though that would be scarier and more nerve wracking. I think I am used to just getting on with xc, gallop, jump, move on, gallop, jump, keep going. Its easier to get a good flow, and to get Hen in front of my leg.

I have resolved to ride show jumping more like cross country. My position was more solid out there too and I was just more focused on what I needed to do but less stressed about it.

It has made me want to go to an event so bad, I think we could pick right up where we left off. Maybe we will one day, but for now, I’ll keep plugging away at show jumping and dressage, but with renewed vigor. I cant wait to jump again! Maybe I’ll put my fill out. Maybe I’ll put my jumps up.

This weekend we have dressage club. That will be exciting too, keep chipping away at our elementary work, since we have competed elementary now. Sideways bits are way more fun. 


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