It’s been a while since Henry and I have been out on cross country. The last time, in fact, was at our last show at the beginning of June. And before that was the derby in May. You have to go all the way back to April to find our last actual XC schooling. Whoops. Where does the time go?
Of course, doing much of anything with Henry in the summer is hard, given how badly he handles the heat. So on Saturday we were up bright and early (ok it was 4:30am, so technically it was dark and early) to head up to MCP to meet Trainer for an early morning school. We’re now less than a month away from our first recognized T, and given my schedule over the next month (i.e. crazy) this was my last opportunity.
Even at 8am it was still pretty hot and humid, so we kept everything pretty brief. It took me the first few jumps to remember the more forward XC ride (it always does… why so dumb?) but Henry was totally game none the less.
Honestly he’s kind of the ultimate professional these days. We schooled a double ditch combo, the Prelim down bank combo, the Prelim Weldon’s wall (which is an option at Training and I swore I’d never take it because the ditch is huge and terrifying. I tried to hide from Trainer when we were near that jump so she’d forget about me and wouldn’t make me jump it, but let me tell you how futile THAT was), then jumped the trakehner the Prelim way (the approach is a bit tougher from that direction, you end up on a slight angle), and a few random T fences. Henny never blinked at any of it. Definitely not challenged in the least.
I did notice though that when I’m concerned about a jump and trying really hard not to look down, I get “tappy” with my whip. Like it’s physically impossible for me to just be still, and if I don’t do something I’ll end up staring down at it and tipping forward. So there I go, tap-tap on the shoulder those last few strides, like some kind of nervous tic, to keep myself occupied.
Henry just kind of flicks an ear at me like “You know I’m jumping that no matter what, you idiot.”. If a horse could roll his eyes, he would. And he’s not wrong. But he chugs right along like a trooper, ignoring how dumb his mom is.
Apparently that habit is limited to jumps that worry me, because I only did it at the Weldon’s and the trakehner. In my defense, they’re both terrifying. If you’re asking me, anyway. Henry obviously disagrees… extra cookies for that boy (and yes, he did get plenty of cookies).
I’m glad that he’s feeling this easy and confident about things, headed into the fall season. Hopefully that means we’re ready. I’m excited to finally get back to the recognized shows and see how we stack up!
Oh and… there is video but I think the person’s camera was having some kind of zoom issue. Anyone know a way to help make the video less nauseating?? I recommend Dramamine before clicking play: