I’d be totally lying if I didn’t admit to being way nervous about XC, but for totally a different reason than in times past. Virginia is extremely hilly and Leo doesn’t have stud holes (that’s about to change), so we figured he’d be fine as long as the course was on the drier side. Which it was when I first walked it. Then it poured two days before and the whole Virginia Horse Center was sloppy. And the one day divisions ran and TORE UP the ground before and after all the jumps. Then it poured AGAIN the night before. Trainer B and I were scheduled to walk it the morning of my XC, and I steeled myself for the possibility of having to scratch.
But while it was definitely a bit slippery, it wasn’t as bad as it had been before, so we decided to go ahead and run. And I was puuuuumped.
Leo knows when it’s XC time. As soon as we turned the corner and he spotted the course, he was like YAAAASSS QUEEN and put on his fancy pants. We warmed up mostly alone on the flat across from the crowded jumping area, then when that cleared out a bit, headed over to jump a couple. Where Leo promptly tried to run away with me 3 times. And then flip his lid when another horse decided he couldn’t EVEN deal. So it wasn’t the greatest feeling on the way to the start box, but as soon as we were on course, Leo was ALL business.
The horse was so perfect there’s not even words to describe how much fun I had. He went right into the water, didn’t so much as blink at a single jump and our real only imperfection was doing the 4 stride in, um, 3.
We had one speed fault, but an otherwise amazing clear round!
And my awesome people got some great video
He definitely came off XC strutting his stuff and almost as proud of himself as I was of him. And while he definitely loves some XC, when I got him home and he dropped to his knees to roll, then got distracted by all the grass and tore off mouthful after mouthful until I forced him to get up.
Until next time, Virginia!