Nothing like making riding plans for both days of the weekend and then checking the forecast only to see 90% chance of rain both days. Luckily for me, they were only halfway right.
The main objective of the weekend was a jumper show on Sunday, which Trainer and some of her students were going to. She told me to enter the three Prelim-height classes, which left me going “Ugh, I have to learn three different courses, really? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.”. Which shows just how far removed I’ve now gotten from my h/j roots. But at least I wasn’t feeling dread about the height or anything… maybe that’s progress? Then she texted and said “Funday at Pine Hill on Saturday too, if you’re in!”. You will never ever ever have to ask me twice about a funday at Pine Hill. Yeah we had just been there on Monday to XC school, but we got cut short because of lightning. There were a few more things I wanted to school, so hell yeah, let’s go hang out with some friends and finish what we started.
I think Henry is liking this “XC school once a week” kick that we’ve been on. Three weeks in a row and he’s thinking that finally I’ve figured out the secret to a happy life. He’ll be sad to realize that this was only a temporary stroke of luck.
After a couple warmup fences we headed to the same Prelim downhill drop/bending line thing that we did last week, but this time we had to do the 4 instead of the adding 5. That meant I had to keep his stride open down the steep hill but still reeeeeally keep his balance back so we didn’t literally die over the log pile at the bottom. We managed to get it right on the first try, which we’ll totally pretend was due to skill and not to the fact that when we started I was like “Okay Henry we’re doing that drop line again, and we need to get 4 this time.”. I’m 99% certain he understands.
After that we jumped the Time Warp combo again, smoothing out the curve and also leaving out the extra stride we had put in on Monday. Those Prelim combo’s, man… they are forward.
From there we went to the crater again, with the log pile down into the crater, around the blind corner to a skinny. Henny’s got that down pat almost to the point of being cocky about it.
After that I asked if we could go to the boat… it’s a table that literally has a boat on the front face. This jump had caused a ton of trouble at the spring recognized show, so I was curious about how it rode. The jump itself isn’t bad, but you basically come blasting out of the woods and have to make a REALLY sharp turn to the right in order to catch the table. I can see how it would be easy to skirt right past it when you’re going Prelim speed. I basically had to set Henry on his butt and square the turn out of the woods so we could get straight to it, but we popped over it fine.
I have to be honest, I didn’t feel like I was riding particularly well that day. Some days all the distances just come right up, no problem, and I mostly execute what I’m supposed to do, and my brain actually feels like things are firing and my body is responding correctly. This wasn’t one of those days. I felt kinda floppy and discombobulated and my eye was off. BUT… it’s good to know that even on a day where things aren’t clicking as well as they can, we can still answer the questions. Henry was definitely stepping in and making up for my shortcomings, which is good to know that he can still do at the bigger fences. Granted, I would also really like to have fewer non-clicking days so that Henry’s job is a little easier.
After the boat we went to the water, which I had to do twice because the first time was just a bit sticky and underpowered. I was on such a roll with the water for a long time, but I think since my horse is so good about water, maybe I’ve gotten a little more complacent. I still have to ride in a bit more aggressively. We went up to the bank combo after that and kinda the same thing. First time through was just kind of flat and blah, so we had to do it again. I think it didn’t help that by this point Henry was pretty hot. The humidity was killer, and he just doesn’t handle it. But also… I wasn’t helping enough.
We had a really big group with us (because FUNDAY) so they got some video. Thanks guys!
Afterward we hung out and ate food, and Henry went back with me to a friends house so we could stay the night there and hit the jumper show the next day, since it was nearby. And then they cancelled the jumper show, which is fair because it definitely DID rain on Sunday.
But hey, at least we got to enjoy one nice day, and another fun XC outing. Things are feeling pretty decent in the XC department (at least, ya know, when I’m not riding like a sack of potatoes) so we definitely need to focus on the showjumping. That’s for sure our weakest phase at the moment. Hopefully this rainy weather will go away and we can at least get some lessons, because the fall shows are OPEN and it’s time to start sending entries in!