After my showjumping round from hell, I dejectedly made my way over to the cross country field. I won’t lie, I was seriously pondering if I should just focus on dressage after embarrassing myself so badly. But putting my pity party aside, I was still going to go run that course- because shamefaced or not, I was not going to give up when I was literally there.
The trainer had told me I needed to put my hands down and get him in front of my leg, even if it meant taking a couple galloping fences in the warm up to get it. So I did- attacking the tiny log in warm up like a dog attacks a bee (that is to say, erratically and awkward to watch) until we were jumping out of stride, he wasn’t getting hollow and he wasn’t tearing away from the fence like an idiot.
A few more efforts in the warmup to confirm that it wasn’t a fluke and we headed out on course. Below is a video of the first 4 fences, and the last 3.
Fence 1 was a max ramp that several folks fell at the show before, which lets you know that the course designer was taking no prisoners today. A little tap from my bat and over he went, before a dog leg turn away from home to 2, wonky bend to 3 and rolling over to 4 which had a downhill descent away from the fence.
Fence 5 was at the base of the hill, then it was a long hill up to 6AB, a pair of stacked log fences on a right angle to each other. Jack was booking it up the hill, and so we didn’t have quite the smaller canter I needed to make the turn well, but thankfully he was honest and though we sliced the hell out of the B element, we made it over.
I had hoped in general that the course would be a more confidence boosting type, but I found myself using my stick more than I’d hoped. In a couple cases he was spooking at insignificant things not related to a fence- a puddle next to fence 10, and ant hill after the last fence, that sort of thing.
I ended up through the finish flags having gone clear, but probably not as fast as we normally do thanks to the extra time eyeballing all the things.
Despite all the ugliness and my efforts to sabotage us with shit riding, we finished 2nd out of 13. Since then I’ve had a couple CTJ lessons that have been really helpful- but that’s for another post!
Good job for picking yourself up mentally and getting the job done! One of my favorite little things about eventing is that it doesn’t always have to look pretty. It just has to get the job done.
OMG Thank GOODNESS we don’t get points for style! I would have left SJ wearing a dunce cap…
Good for you for getting out there and riding that course. Lessons post-crappy ride are always a big help.
OMG the lessons have been EVERYTHING since that show. I hope to get a recap up soon, so I can share the love and cement it all in my brain!
It’s so hard to recover after a bad ride, so you should be really proud that you went out and did the thing!
Thanks Tracy- very hard to feel proud but definitely glad I did it!
glad you got through it all.Oh Jack shying at ant hill 😦 Something REMUS would also do. I hope next event feelsbetter for you!
Oh yes- different colored ground gets him EVERY TIME. XD