Back at it! XC schooling edition.

On Saturday I loaded Henry up and went down to Pine Hill to meet up with Bobby and Trainer for an XC school – Henry’s first time out on XC since JULY at Coconino.

The plan was to just hop around some Novice stuff, get back in the groove, and see how he felt. Henry on the other hand did not seem to get the memo about an easy, laid-back schooling, because he was Super Pumped from fence one. The Novice stuff was like Bam. Done. Easy. Boring.

You insult me with your tiny fences, puny humans

Henny was in beast mode, for sure. So I pointed him at the Training ramp that I hate so much and he locked on, said “Bish, you best hang on” (honestly this was kind of the theme of the day) and absolutely LEAPED over it like he was channeling his inner Ballynoe Castle. Well, alright then. Guess Henny came to play.

I’ll be back here slipping my reins and trying not to effing die. You do you Henny.

After that we didn’t waste his effort on the Novice fences anymore (except for when Bobby and I tried to tandem jump the N log into the crater and kind of sucked at it. The video is amusing.). Mostly we just stuck to the Training combos, which I haven’t jumped before. Most of them were one-and-done, no prob, because my horse is a badass. Except for the Irish Bank of Death… it rides so awkward, I just could not get it right.


So we jumped through that combo (brush, down the hill, up the small bank, one and a half strides, off the cliff of death) several times, until I was marginally less terrible, then called it a day on that one. We’ll come back to it again later (unless it gets bulldozed before then, which I may or may not be willing to pay someone to do. Just saying…).

Then we went over to the angled feeders, which I thought would be tougher than it was. There’s really only one exact straight line through that combo where the striding works out, and it means that both feeders are jumped on an angle. Trainer said just line up with the tree beyond it, which worked out perfectly.

Straight line through the angled feeders

After that it was over to the up bank combo – train car, up the hill to the bank, one stride, bank, three bending strides to a skinny. I was a little intimidated by this one but it rode really well… it was my favorite combo of the day.

We wrapped up our day with the water. We jumped the Training tiki hut and ditch in the woods (which you can’t see in the video) then came out to the water combo, which is a little jump, two strides downhill to another little jump landing in the water, then through the water and out over the little chevron. Henny is always bold at water, no problem there either. We called it quits after that.

I was very pleased with how good Henry felt. He came out guns blazing, very professional, and stayed that way. He was forward (I mostly just tried to stay out of his way, really), he didn’t get tired, and he felt really strong and plenty capable.

And then Trainer and Bobby started giving me shit about moving up, and then somehow they talked me into filling out an entry for the January horse trial on the spot, before the post-XC glow wore off. So… I guess we’re running T next month. If I die I’m blaming Bobby.

Henny has the right idea

Yesterday we went for a long walk and a stretchy trot, and Henry felt great. Maybe a little TOO great, there was some leaping and squealing involved. I guess he handled the schooling just fine…

38 thoughts on “Back at it! XC schooling edition.

  1. ha i’ve definitely filled out entries while still pumping full of adrenaline from xc schooling…. only to question my life choices a little while later lol. seriously tho Henny looks like a badass out there – looks like all that rehab and pool time did his body GOOD!


    1. I think the confidence he got in Arizona combined with the strength he got from aquatred combined with the loosening up he got from the chiro/acupuncture has all added up to put Henry in a pretty good place at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad Henny is back to his normal bad-ass self 🙂

    Also, the little girl on that fluffy pony at 0:18 totally makes the video, just saying.


    1. Ha, that’s Piper. Her mom was schooling with us so she came along on her pony. She totally got walked away with at one point and Trainer had to go retrieve her from behind some bushes.


  3. Don’t undersell – the Tiki is prelim. You probably didn’t notice since Henny was in total control but she put more wood on top of it and there was a pretty green number on the fence.


  4. Sounds like he stayed nice and fit during his rehab! Hah, I’ll never forget when you first started sharing some of your XC videos and pics and I was like … “Wow, that horse REALLY loves that!” I mean, even I could see it. I’m so glad that Henny has found his true calling ❤ ❤ ❤


  5. Very fun to watch and enjoy sitting home with a sinus infection. I had to cancel my jumping lesson on Sat since i was so freaking sick so it was great watching this (However eff no not ever jumping anything that big ever!). HA peer pressure again gets you!! Can’t wait for January! 🙂 Henry looks great though! Good job! He definitely has a gleam even more so than he did before the recovery! Hold on!


  6. I cannot tell you how jealous I am that you are schooling xc in December. And showing outside in January. Henny looks awesome.He has really figured cross country out!!! Is there anything better than an honest and brave horse on xc?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. (I must first apologize for commenting 20 years after you posted this. I’m a little behind on life.)
    I’m so excited for you and Henry! It’s like that little lay-up just made him stronger. Can’t wait to hear all about your first time at training!


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