We’ll start with Thursday.
Friday we were going to Tryon for some XC schooling, so Thursday night I wanted to keep it light since we had jumped on Wednesday (where P was phenomenal). I had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I dragged Husband to the barn in case of a medical emergency, but I shouldn’t have worried.
**You HAVE to listen with the sound on for Husband’s commentary.
My horse is awesome. And so, so unimpressed with my shenanigans.
Friday morning, we hauled 2 hours to F.E.N.C.E. in Tryon for some XC schooling with Sara and her trainer, J. Since schooling at Windridge was such a success with mostly the 2’3″ fences + a smattering of BN fences, my hope for the day was to do mostly BN fences with at least one Novice fence.
We started warming up in the field and a few minutes into trotting, P stumbled slightly, then kept going. A few seconds later, Sara asked J to pick up a horse shoe that was on the ground. I turned around and…sure enough, right where P stumbled. J picked up his feet and lo and behold, front right was missing.
So we drove 2 hours for 6 minutes of warming up. Cool.
But then I remembered that there was a hunter show going on, so J drove down to the show office to see if they had a farrier. She was able to get a farrier who was there watching his granddaughter compete and just so happened to have his truck there to come out to the XC course to tack back on the shoe. Sorry, P.
Before we all say “Awww, what a kind, old nice farrier,” let me tell you he charged me SIXTY DOLLARS for his 5 minutes of tacking on the shoe. I almost ripped it back off when he told me the charge.
But instead, I cried a little inside and got back on my horse.
THEN a schoolbus full of children pulled up, and the kids went traipsing through the woods. Excellent.
Despite his absolute belief that this was a bad idea, P warmed up just fine. This time with bell boots that I found in my trailer.
The kids were in the woods just to the left of this log, and while P handled himself just fine, the next jump- the tiniest green table you’ve ever seen, was cause for alarm.
It took well over a minute for him just to approach the thing. I was so disappointed. This was supposed to be WARMUP for BN/N fences. He finally jumped it, but I won’t lie- I was a little crushed.
Then put the warmup log and green box together.
Next we made our way to a little feeder jump. Again, P was super concerned about the children and refused at first.
Then jumped. Back to old Pilgrim ways, I suppose.
Then we headed to the water, which thank goodness wasn’t an issue. Not that it ever has been, but you never know with P.
And then I turned off my helmet cam to save battery, and forgot to turn it back on for a good long time.
P despised the skinny box and gave me more problems there than it was worth.
The tiniest up bank, despite up banks never being an issue before, including the BN/N one he was fine with 2 weeks ago, caused much snorting and backing away. Until it didn’t.
So we strung together the bank to a small red table. And that went ok.
At this point, I was frustrated. We’d been at this for awhile, and P was acting like he’d never been on an XC course before, let alone dominated ALL THE XC JUMPS THIS ENTIRE MONTH.
I’ve said it before, but P has never been the most fun to school in a group with. He doesn’t do well with the jump, stop, wait, rinse and repeat. And while he’s fine when it’s just him and I, even if we’re in a sea of strange horses/riders at shows, he seems to know when we’re with friends and gets very attached to the other horses we’re with. So J sent us to the beginning to string together a course- the feeder, through the water, over the box, up the bank, and over the red table.
And, well, it worked. P seemed to have found his mojo. Noted.
Then we continued up the super steep hill to a BN rolltop. It was a little uneven terrain, which caused some steering issues, but he got over it.
Then hit up the final part of the course so Sara and Gem could jump some jumps. They’d been incredibly patient (Ok, Sara was, Gem…not so much!) waiting for P and I to get our acts together.
We hopped over a little log pile a few times each way. And thankfully there were no refusals here. Even though it’s tiny, P doesn’t discriminate against height when it comes to stopping at jumps.
So then headed to the other side of the brush to jump another little red table.
And then we decided that P needed one more small course to finish up. We started with the little log pile going downhill, to the NOVICE (finally) rolltop, bending line to the BN rolltop.
Individually schooling it, he kind of sucked. Or maybe it was me. When I went past the N rolltop, I had to avert my eyes. The thing looked un-jumpable.
But put it together and…voila!
P got a rest day on Saturday, then Sunday we headed to Trainer B’s to work on…dun, dun, dun, dun, one strides, since last week P wasn’t too confident about that.
After jumping the 2’6″ gate separately, P refused the oxer (2’6″) multiple times, before sucking back through the exercise.
$1 million to anyone who can guess what Trainer B told me?
Kidding. I won’t actually give you $1 million because it’s too easy. P needs to be more forward.
Wait, where have I heard that before?
Oh yeah, Trainer B. Because the poor guy has to tell me that about 10,000 times per lesson.
But each time we went through, it got better and better. Both ways. So Trainer B started the whole decorating and adjusting of jump cups stuff that he likes to do. I CAN SEE YOU RUNNING WITH THE ADDITIONAL POLE, TRAINER B.
When we finished, P had jumped the 2’6 (or maybe it was 2’9″ by the end, I can’t remember) oxer to the 3′ gate. And rocked it. I pushed him past my comfort zone and he responded. Even the owner of the barn that Trainer B trains out of said we looked way different than when we first started with Trainer B. In a good way.
I love it.
And despite our non-perfectness, I guess I still love him too.