Because I can’t stop. Won’t stop!
Willow is FIT. Like, ready to go run around a horse trials fit. I talked to Amy this weekend and told her that the goal now is to maintain and finesse. I’m really excited to shoot for a fall horse trials.
She also looks like Tina Turner and has decided that I am not to pull her mane. No way no how. Such a diva.
We had an awesome weekend! We had a great flat lesson (my first in far too long), which I’ll tell you all about in another post, and we went for a really fun hack/cross-country school with our adventure buddies Caroline and Crazy.
We wanted to go to a nearby farm for a XC school but could not figure out if the course was open, so I trailered the pony (who has learned to self-load. yay!) over to Caroline’s farm and we hit the “hack loop,” which was a lovely stroll through fields, woods, streams, dandelion flower beds and rock gardens, and a finished off with a little cross-country school.
The horses absolutely loved “swimming” around in Goose Creek, a perfect activity for a beautiful warm day. Caroline and I laughed and laughed as Crazy and Willow (the water was up to her belly)
stomped splashed around and submerged their faces for fun.
I’ve been itching to do a real XC school with Willow (we jump over random logs at home all the time). We did one last year, but her fitness and way of going has totally changed. There were a number of nice inviting BN-sized XC jumps on some good terrain and she was feeling good so we went for it and had an amazing time.
Willow is just so game and so willing. She was brave but really really careful (as evident in the below photo). She jumped me out of the tack once or twice, but we both hit our groove near the end of the school.
It was great to have Caroline’s eye and she gave me some very good advice: It’s obvious that I want to be forgiving and teach the horse to find its own distance, but I drop my shoulders in the last few strides when I should be confidently sitting up and moving more with her, which will give her more incentive to take the jump out of stride instead of lofting quite so much. This is a bad old habit I will need to work on. But it’s been a long while, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.
We also jumped up and down a bank and over a good ditch without a second glance (but with plenty of enthusiasm! Thank you neck strap!). And overall, Willow handled the terrain very well and maintained a good pace and held her own balance. She finished fit and looking for more. It was awesome.