They are used to immaculately groomed flat footing at the track, so it can be challenging to learn to look where they're going. No need to worry on this score--Courage and Diva walked, trotted, and cantered all around the fields like total pros and weren't even a little bothered by deep grass and the slight undulations. Win!
With that sorted out, it was time to jump. Again, it was more about introducing them to the idea of jumps being in unusual places on funny footing and that being ok. At this point in the game, I'm not too concerned about height or strides or anything overly technical.
In case you have a lot of time on your hands, there is video!
Our first course was a little rough--we added some decor to the ground poles in the second field and it completely surprised him. What I like about it is that he gave me the same reaction that I got at the show and didn't respond well to. This time, I was able to ride him through it and continue on. The biggest thing was just that I was expecting him to chuck his head and down and start bucking... which he didn't do at all. I rode better, he understood the job better, the video is pretty damn boring. Sorry.
We picked it up and did better the second time. Take away for me--when I know something's going to be new and different, I need to be really sure I have him balanced and then let him take a little look and ride slow and steady to the "fence". He's not unwilling, but everything is very new at this point.
We hacked around the field to cool out. Our photographers caught some really cute shots.
Also, check out someone's hunky self at not even 7 weeks off the track. He's filling out and putting on weight and looks downright respectable. He was definitely ready to be a sporthorse. Maybe next year he'll even have a tail.
|We conquer xc!|
Super psyched for our clinic on Saturday! Courage is going really well, and I'm confident we can go and have another positive experience.