Thursday, June 5, 2014

Willy's X Country Schooling Adventures

Ready to rock - in his new blue Boogaloos!

 This last week has been pretty fun on the horse front.  On Sunday we headed to Touch A Rainbow where they hold a few horse trials a year.  They were having a Cross Country Trials event.  At this event, you are scored on optimum time only.  You can have as many stops as you want, go around jumps, etc.  William and I did the Pre Entry and the Entry course.

  He was much better behaved when I mounted this time than at his last (and first) event.  He was a little balky but quickly walked out of it.  He started off great in the warm up.  Very forward and no nonsense or nappiness which was nice.  We trotted up to the warm up X where he proceeded to slam on the brakes then leap straight in the air over it.  Not off to a great start but I gave him a smack with the whip and cantered him on around the ring a few times to get him going onward and forward.

  When it was our turn we set out at a good forward trot.  He was very looky and spooky going towards the first jump.  We managed to get over it and then down the very scary dark laneway on the way to the rest of the course.  William was good but still a bit apprehensive going around the course.  The Pre Entry course is mostly in the woods so he was blowing his nose and snorting the whole way around.  We had two stops....if you can call them that.  More like - will not approaches.  One at a cord wood and one at the last fence, barrels with flowers.  He went straight over both on second attempt.  

very scary indeed

  It is because of this lack of understanding of cross country that I am thinking of keeping him at Pre Entry for the season.  I went around the Pre Entry course a second time as then he had seen the fences and I could ask him to canter around and jump out of stride - try to build up some confidence.  This time he was foot perfect.  We trotted the first fence and then picked up the canter and quietly cantered the course, jumping boldy over each of the fences.  I was really pleased with the second round and looking forward to the entry course albeit a bit nervous.

  They were allowing you to go out in pairs or teams of three as well as on your own.  I asked Alayne if I could follow her around the entry course on William to help build his confidence.  Well, what a great idea because it definitely worked!  We had a nice strong canter behind Alayne and Paige and jumped everything out of stride.  No stops, no spooking, I just got into my galloping position and was soft and allowed him to canter on towards the fence.  We even did our first little up bank!  Some of the jumps were max and we did a huge Pre Training size brush also! Going in tandem was an absolute blast and really helped Williams and my own confidence.  

Alayne and Fidelity flying around the Entry course!

 Despite not even timing ourselves, we did pretty well.  I was third in Pre Entry and Alayne was first in the Pre Training on Paige out of a large group of riders.  That was a nice surprise because we weren't trying to go for the time, just trying to have a good schooling experience.

  Yesterday William and I went out for some more schooling, this time closer to home at Fallowfiled farm.  Already I could notice a difference when warming up in the show jumping ring.  He was bolder and more forward to the fences.  We jumped all the scary jumper fences, and did a few lines of in and outs at 2'9" and 3'0"!  William was flying around the showjumps, and getting all of his lead changes.  William is starting to feel like a normal rideable horse now and it is really exciting.  I'm not sure where we are going, but it feels like we can actually at least get some where now.

the water at Fallowfield

the little stairs

After our warm up in the show jumping ring, we moved onto cross.  We schooled all of the pre entry, entry, and even some Pre Training fences.  We did the water, the ditch, and the steps up and down.  At the end we did a course incorporating all of the fences we schooled.  William was foot perfect and so much fun.  I can feel an immense difference in him from just these two outings.  It has really helped his confidence.

  We are going eventing on Sunday to the Ottawa Horse Trials in the Pre Entry division.  I am feeling very prepared now and excited.  All we have to do for the final prep is to run through our dressage test a few times and away we go!


  1. What a lovely course. :-) glad you were able to have a good experience.

  2. Sounds like a great boost of confidence! Best of luck this weekend!

  3. YAY you two! and smart work with Alayne too :D

  4. Sounds like a great day! Beautiful course too!

  5. What a great idea to help xc school greenies. I wish we did something like that near us!

    Glad you had such a great experience! :)

  6. What a beautiful cross country course!

  7. Looks like a great course, and good idea riding the course with a buddy!

  8. Building confidence is so important! Good job!


Please leave a comment if you have something to share!  I love hearing from readers <3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...