Day 2 Cross Country
Day 2 was our second cross country lesson, and I felt really confident after the prior day’s success. Unsurprisingly, when I got Foster out on the field, he felt sluggish- the poor thing was tired! But he put his game face on and rallied (for a while). Since he felt so relaxed, I allowed myself to finally relax too, and felt a big difference in the ride. I could follow with my elbows more, and pay a bit more attention to the task at hand. Because I was feeling more confident, I asked Holly if we could push the envelope a bit, and boy did she deliver! We hopped over this rather large training oxer (right after the rollback in the video), and did a super fun bank combination. Foster particularly loved this, and launched himself off the bank with all the boldness I could ever want in an event horse!
When that went well, Holly asked if I’d like to try the ditch/up bank combo. It’s a bit hard to see in the pic, but there is a shallow ditch behind the ground line- and I was super stoked to try it! Foster flew up it without hesitation- it was very exciting!
The themes of the day were continuing to allow him to come forward, and keep my elbows soft (though this was improved over the day before). I definitely need to add more pace to bigger fences (such as the bank above, and the training oxer in the video), and keep him straight/allow for a straighter approach to the jump. Also might try lowering my hands, as with show jumping.
Unfortunately towards the end of the session, Foster had decided he had had enough, and put in a couple of naughty run outs. These were all to the left, and it’s my job to pull him right if this happens. No matter what! Things were going so well, I definitely let my guard down and he slipped out on me a couple times. I honestly think these were due to him being fully exhausted, and while that’s no excuse, I’m still proud of him for all the good work he did over the weekend. We ended on a good note, jumping over a small vertical into the water, and called it a day!
Summing it Up
All in all, this clinic was hugely helpful in re-establishing the basics and getting us back to where we need to be with our confidence. It was a nice, laid back atmosphere with fun people, and left us with a manageable amount of homework. I’m excited to hear that Holly will be hosting multiple clinics this year, and I am already looking forward to the next one!