June 23, 2013

Cross-country Machine!!!

Woo hoo!!  This pony loves XC!!!  Connor has officially started taking his job as an eventer seriously.  Or maybe not seriously at all.  Today was a big change from the last time we went XC at Greater Dayton.  I said in my GDHT wrap-up post that it felt like he figured out XC half way through the course and really locked on and enjoyed himself there at the end.  Today totally confirmed that feeling, as he confidently and strongly jumped everything I pointed him at for the first time, and almost acted like he knew more about it than I did.  He had so much fun today!  And had no brakes.  Cheeky pony.

"He looks a lot different than last time," one of our younger riders told me, "He looks like he's really having fun and wanting to get to the fences now."  That's exactly what it felt like, as he went straight at the fences rather than sideways.  And three times, after this one particular fence that took us from a narrow path in the woods into an open field, he took off bolting and bucking with his ears up and his eyes bright.  I stuck them, but barely the second time - he's getting athletic.  It was such a sharp action that I thought he stung himself the first time, but no, he was just full of himself.  I did a lot of halting in a straight line...eventually...and my trainer said that we may need to think about a different bit for cross-country if this is our new XC machine.

There was one little coop with an uphill directly behind it at which we had our only stop of the day (woo hoo!  Progress!) and I'm not really sure what happened because I gave it what I thought was a good ride but he fizzled to a stop and sort of slid his forelegs sideways across it.  It took him a second to recover, but I circled like nothing happened and he popped over it fine the second time.  Unfortunately it was here that a big storm blew up so I never got a chance to talk to my trainer about it, as those of us who were mounted high-tailed it through the woods back to the trailer.  It was honestly a lot of fun, five of us trotting briskly through the woods together as the wind whipped around us, and Connor gave me an 8 or 9 trot that I can only dream about attaining in the arena right now.  Sigh.

Even if our day was cut short, it confirmed to me that so much progress has been made, and I was happy.  It was the first time that I've felt like he knows what his job is, he's not afraid, and he's REALLY enjoying it.  He was almost pulling me to the fences, he was so excited.  This is a big change from the last time we schooled at the HHP in May, his first time there, when he rode like a broken shopping cart to everything.  I am so excited to see how he handles his next XC run at Leg Up - I think it's going to feel a lot different from GDHT!


  1. Glad you had such a positive school! That's a great feeling!

  2. Fantastic... like you said, he knows what his job is now!
    It's amazing when they suddenly grow up - although bucking & tanking off are not usually signs of maturity!

  3. wow - sounds fun (except for the bucking and the storm...). I always thought that CC would be the most "fun" for a horse - galloping out in the open, soaring over jumps... :-)

    Sounds like Connor's confidence is growing by leaps and bounds (har!) and you guys will be total pros soon!

  4. oops - I meant to write XC instead of CC (so totally a western person, lol)