We certainly had Irish weather today for cross-country schooling. Rain, rain and more rain. And it was COLD, too, which was not the most fun we could have had. But, we all did well, and more importantly, had a good time, so it was worth the chilly, inhospitable weather. Eventers do it in all weather, anyway, so no time like the present to get used to it.
It took two trailers to get us and four horses to Deep Run Hunt Club to school over their really nice course. lots of fences at all levels (well, up to Training level, which was more than we really needed anyway). I wish I'd had my camera, but I didn't want to risk falling on it, or having it get soaked. So, no pictures for this post, sorry.
After tacking up in the rain (yuck), and getting out on the course, we started with a small log pile, which we jumped several times. No problem there. Then to the Novice level water complex, where we practiced just trotting into and through the water. Champ was NOT about the sound of the splashing, and didn't like getting his belly wet, and for a few minutes, I thought he would end up dumping me in the water, but we were able to successfully trot though it, and jump the fence on the other side.
From there, on to another log pile, where I needed to work hard at sitting UP after the fence. Too-slow recovery almost got me unseated. Oops. After that, another wooden fence built with landscaping timbers, and a teeny tiny gate set into a fence line under some trees.
The, the barrels. Dun-dun-DUN!!!!! Uh, no, says Mr. Princess. I am NOT jumping those things with all that muddy slop right in front of them, and no way, no way, no way! Three or four tries, and then I slipped my reins, whacked him a few times with my crop, and made him step over those stupid things. It was more like setting up for a small rocket launch, since he decided he would step over part way and then LAUNCH himself over like they were going to eat his legs or something. Seriously, horse. But, yay for me! I stayed on!! Thank goodness for nice thick knee rolls!.
The last fence was a small, see-through-ish log frame set on the hillside so that you had to come across the grade of the hill to go over it. Once again, the Princess did not like the muddy approach, nor the wet cedar branches hanging down near it, nor the fact that he was soaked. Once again, reins-crop-stepoverityoudummy!! He did. It's because he loves me. Frankly, at this level and at this point in time, I could care less if he walks over every single one of the fences. We just have to get over them, between the flags, no matter how we do it. I'm not looking to win, I'm looking to finish with a number, not a letter. If we do that, goal accomplished!
Let's just all hope for dry conditions, though.
Trailering home was fine, although Champ decided to get out of the trailer by the side door, instead of the back door, like he's supposed to. What a butthead! I can't believe he didn't hurt himself.
Soon, we'll be back to the barn for a vaulting lesson for the girls. I will be happy to be able to stay warm and dry, although I think i will be oiling and cleaning my tack while they vault.
Can't wait for next Saturday!!