We had a cross country schooling day yesterday, and I took both of my boys :)
Stepp was kind of lazy at first, but I think he was still a tad bit sore because he worked out of it nicely. Our downhill ramp jumps are still the bane of our existence... It's funny because it's this ONE particular jump that we have problems with...
It's far more downhill than you see in this (old) picture. Yesterday we had 3 runouts in a row from it, then we continually circled LEFT (running out to the right) and took it about 5 times that way. So at our next event, basically, we'll just have to circle left and approach that way I suppose. It was awfully infuriating... I know it's my fault, because I have a mental block in my head about this fence, but I feel like he takes advantage just that TEENSY bit and game over. GAH.
We did a mini sunken road type question, and he was absolutely fine with that. I have a video somewhere from earlier this summer...
We jumped in over a log, went down, up, and out over a log. He was a complete rockstar. We also did some down banks... Lord almighty, I cannot do down banks to save my life! He absolutely saved my ass. My trainer thinks the issue with a downhill ramp is that he can't see what's on the other side. We did the one at South Farm (wasn't a ramp, though) and it was alright... Sigh. Hopefully we can squeeze one more XC schooling in before winter. He's never been one to run out, so I'm just not sure how to handle it (I know how stupid that sounds...)
On the bright side, in the afternoon I took Vegas and he was very very good! We got off the trailer, hand walked around for a while just because it's been ages since he's traveled, and then hopped on. We spent about 20m just walking around, he spooked at one of the prelim fences but was great after that. Cantering up and down the hills was hilarious, uphill he was all manly and tough, then downhill you could see him go "Oh crap, I have to USE MY BUTT MUSCLES." It was a lot of fun and great exercise for him. If he's feeling it half as much as I am today, I'll be giving him a massage later ;)
In fact, he was so good that my trainer suggested we try a few small fences. :) We haven't jumped in a long time, because he was on and off and on and off all summer. Every time we would get him fit and ready to get back O/F, he would pull something or twist something and have more time off. We started off over a small X (about 1 foot) and it was on a very slight incline, we trotted that twice and the first time I was preparing for a big launch... Yeah, he stepped over it. :) Yay!
After that my trainer suggested we try the tiny (1 foot) coop, and unfortunately at this point our XC buddy was up on the hill in front of us, and a horse whinnied about 2 strides out so he kind of lost concentration, launched himself from a loooong spot, and I got left behind. I accidentally sat down on his back upon landing, which he DOES. NOT. LIKE. .... Cue bolt/bucking fit. I stayed on (yay! Saddle Tite!) and we halted. We then trotted some figure 8's and circles to get his brain back, and the second time over the coop was MUCH better. I had forgotten how round he is... He's not an easy horse to jump on, he easily jumps you loose. We also trotted an intro level rolltop twice, the first time we had another exuberant display of JUMPING. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!! and then we ended on a good note, a nice calm trot in, canter out, Mom stays off your back fence. :) He was so good, I was very proud of him. We also walked up and down the sunken road type question, not jumping of course but just a new challenge for him. He was an old pro :)
I'm so excited! (knock on wood) On Tuesday we're going to have another lesson, I'll ride most of it but I'm going to have my trainer ride for some of the O/F portions. I just would hate to slam him and have HIM lose his confidence when we're just starting back. I will actually try to get some pictures this time :)