A Little Out of Breath

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:

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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.

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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!

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3 thoughts on “A Little Out of Breath

  1. nice job finishing strong! sometimes i (maybe somewhat perversely) like a rough-ish schooling before an event. just rough enough to remind me that i have a job to do as a rider (obvi not so bad that we destroy our confidence). perhaps this ride will serve as that perfect preparation to keep you sharp at your show? good luck all the same!

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