Wednesday, April 23, 2014

XC Pictures!

I don't think there is enough color in our group...
Surely we could be wilder...  Maybe?
What color would you add to this motley crew?

Leading the pack!

We started the day with a trip around the perimeter.  A brisk trot took us around to the back side.  I was uncertain how the Fancy Pony would behave in the group, so I tried moving her around to different positions; in line, side by side, closer to the front, closer to the back, waiting for others, catching up…
She was cooperative, so I was game when we stepped it up to a canter!  She was, too!  In spite of feeling fresh, she was willing and elastic.  At one point, we were falling behind, so I pushed for more gallop.  She obliged with enthusiasm!  Once we caught up, she was ready to charge on, but when I insisted that she come back to me, she reluctantly complied.  I was ecstatic!  It was time to start jumping!
We reviewed some of the things we learned last time...
I think she likes ditches!

This one always feels easy!

 We reviewed some that weren't so successful last time...

She doesn't seem fond of this particular bench...

But assertive/defensive riding persuaded her...

   And we tried some new stuff, too!


I had to keep reminding myself that this was only her 4th trip over a XC course...

Sometimes we had to investigate a little...
It’s important to instill confidence in your horse before challenging them on the cross-country course.  We started over a baby bench…  Which she ran out on…  Seriously, Pony?  It’s tiny!  What don’t you like about it?  We proceeded to jump it several times to make sure she realized what today’s objective was…

But this Fancy Pony is willing and persistant!
Remember the log we fell into last time?  I told Coach I wanted to do it.  She recommended, “Only if you are sure she will do it…”  I determined several strides out that my pony was not yet focused on the job at hand.  She had not zeroed in on the fence.  So, I circled to establish consistency in my canter, get her between the aids, and realign to the fence.  This time, she locked on to the jump and carried me forward.  She knew she was jumping it.  I knew she was jumping it!  We sailed over it so easily!  And away we went!

We didn't fall into the box, this time!

And I think we had room to spare...
Yup, that's a starter fence...
In facing a new challenge, I established my pace and commitment over something familiar.  Then, we went for the new bench!

We've got this!
We also took this ditch-and-wall on the first try - sight unseen!
No, not the bigger one that Skippy is jumping...  The smaller one behind him!
These horses!
Coach is an inspiration to us all!  Without her guidance, we wouldn't be as successful as we are!
Coach shows us how water is done!


  1. Fun! I can't wait until I get an eventing horse and ride an XC course, even for fun or practice.

    1. No need to wait for an 'eventing' horse! Any horse should be able to do Starter, and probably even Beginner Novice! :D

  2. I love her hind end enthusiasm! And I can't blame her for giving benches the hairy eye. Those things freak me out, too.

    1. I always thought benches looked fun! However, that one is rather creepy looking...

  3. Great photos! Go Arabians!

    1. Thank you! I need to find a way to express my gratitude better to our volunteer photography crew!! They really do an amazing job!
      Arabians seriously rock! ;)

  4. Spots!!!

    Looks like you all had a blast!

  5. Love her tail in all of the jumping photos!

    1. Oh, the artsy crops that can be done with her tail over fences! LOL
      My favorite is the white spot on the middle. I think her tail has gotten longer and fuller in the last year!

  6. I love her 'thinking' cap pictures when she's investigating :) Smart girl!

    1. You are so right! She really does think about the questions. I love that she actually consideres whatever she is investigating rather than just try to avoid it! Every ride, investigations at strange jumps get shorter and shorter. She is such a quick study!!



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