|attention fear gerbils|
I mean... Courage does open space and trails, no problem. He's been exposed to all the cross country elements, no problem. He jumps, no problem.
Clearly, I am the one with the problem.
We wandered around warm up.
We watched other horses go by.
I did some walk/trot transitions with him and tried to incorporate the little bit of terrain into my riding plan, but mostly I was in full-on brain panic mode "AHHHH GOING TO DIE DO NOT WANT MORE BROKEN BONES AHHHH GIANT SOLID XRAILS OF DEATH."
|HULLO JUMP JUMP WORLD|
|always duck when you re-present|
I'd like to say I'm writing a book called "Pulling Your Way to Success: The Way Ammies and Green Horses Don't Get Around XC", but the truth is I just had total brain freeze, took my leg off completely and pulled all the way to the fence.
|obviously he was terrified|
We circled around and hopped over it. He landed cantering, so I pulled some more, though I did manage to kick just in time to get him over #2.
Because this was going so well.
We walked our terrain change (crossing a road) and said hello to our fans, but I never really got him in front of my leg. Not at all. Not even a little bit.
|He didn't think it looked dangerous, but I said it was|
Oh, and he slipped, which was all "DANGER COURAGE ROBINSON DO NOT ATTEMPT". I presented twice and then was like "screw it, not fighting him over a crossrail and BRAIN PANIC WE WILL SURELY DEER LEAP AND DIIIIIIIIE"
|pull, pull, pull your horse slowly to a stop|
So we skipped the jump. We made it over the next one, then the course doubled back on itself. Here's the thing. If you take a smart, older OTTB and tell him that the little black cross rail is dangerous and then don't ever bother to kick and just let him camp behind your leg, you aren't going to "trick" him into jumping the X the other direction on the basis that he doesn't know it's the same jump. He totally does and you are an idiot.
So we skipped it again.
|merrily, merrily, merrily he will bail you out|
So anyways. We trot/cantered the rest of the course and he was a total star even though I continued to not kick and usually pull. I don't know why. I can say quite authoritatively that riding backwards isn't incredibly useful, but I think I'd already done that survey before.
So there you go. If in doubt, kick instead of pull.
I guess I'm not sure where that leaves me. In hindsight, I probably should have put redheadlins in the tack for the weekend because she would have gotten him around and I could have seen him do it and maybe calmed down. I didn't do that and I can't change it.
I'm really frustrated with myself for my total inability to just get out there and ride like I know I can. Courage showed up and did great. I'm not sure what more I could expect from a green horse who was totally guessing on what he was supposed to do... like if I ride completely opposite of how I do at home, is he then still supposed to do the same thing or change?
PS If you're asking "wtf sprinklerbandit, don't you want to do hunters? If you suck at XC this much, maybe it's time to give it up. Why are you still trying?"
That is a good question.
I don't know.