With Poplar this upcoming weekend, I was a little worried that we weren’t going to get a chance to school XC at all but I got lucky and found the XC field open. YAY!
I had one goal with Gus for this schooling, build more confidence. Well, I’m not sure if we failed or if we met that goal unfortunately because it was a very rough schooling. It all started with this railroad tie fence:
Some version of this fence was up last year but I swear they added another tie to it. We were coming around to jump it and all of a sudden it looked much bigger than it ever had been before. Despite that, Gus jumped it. I didn’t like how it felt though so we came around again. I guessed, figuring he had already jumped it once, that this was going to be no big deal and took the gas off. We came to a creeping halt before the fence. Oops.
So third time I brought Gus around. He jumped it, but again it was awkward and now how I wanted to leave it. Forth time was another refusal and this one a hard one. Fifth time, even harder refusal. Now we were both getting frustrated. So I switched to the little log next to it and jumped that a few times to regain our confidence before trying the railroad ties again.
Thankfully, that did the trick and I left that fence just happy we got over but not happy with my riding. I know better. I can’t just leave him to his own devices.
The rest of our ride was just like that. Gus was spooking at everything, even little log piles he could walk over. I had to ride with a lot of determination to get him over the fences.
Finally, I came to the BN tables. These are something I have wanted to go over for the longest time but I’ve been so afraid to. Well, this time I was determined to do them.
The first thing I did was size them up and see if I could get to one of them without doing both. Luckily I could. Unluckily, I didn’t ride the line very clean and Gus’ first attempt we slid right past it. No one to blame but myself. The second time though was awesome. And when I went for both of them, there was no hesitation. I was very proud of both of us.
We finished up by crossing the ditch into the trails and took a nice walk back to the barn. I think I really learned a lot from this session and I do think Gus did great. Hopefully I can get one more quick session in the field though this week. I think we need it!