Saturday, May 6, 2017

XC Schooling!

We have mostly been focusing on our flatwork and preparing for our dressage test, but took a little break today to go cross country schooling at the Horse Park!  My trainer was on foot coaching, and we had another horse and rider to keep us company.  Cupid was good standing tied to the trailer while I tacked him up.  He got a little antsy when we mounted up, but nothing bad.  We walked down the road and started walking down a track on the course.  Cupid spooked once when he saw another horse, but was not prancing or getting too quick.  I tried hard to stay relaxed in my body and not let my reins get too short.

We went to a spot by a water complex.  We walked around a few times, each direction, then crossed the water.  Cupid did not hesitate walking in, but did paw a little in the water!  My trainer was worried he wanted to roll!  But he kept walking.  We walked through it several times.  Then we trotted around the water, and eventually trotted through it too.  I didn't really feel ready to canter at first.  Cupid was being very good but he was looking around a little.  I kept focusing on breathing and trying to stay relaxed, and not choking up my reins.  We had a few nice relaxed moments, when I could sit back and I felt Cupid come round a little.

We took a little break while the other pair did a little canter work.  Cupid stood very nicely next to my trainer, very relaxed.  Then it was our turn again and we did a few transitions between trot and walk.  I was feeling good and brave enough to try a canter, and Cupid was perfect and relaxed!  We cantered a bit circle around the water.  Then we changed direction and did it all to the left.  Again Cupid was perfect.

I was tempted to quit while we were ahead, but my trainer wanted us to jump a little log.  We trotted up, I tried very hard to sit up.  Cupid smoothly and calmly hopped over, cantered a few strides, and came back to the trot when I asked.  Yay!!  We did it a few more times on a big circle around the water, and Cupid remained relaxed.  Then we did it the other direction.  We added another log on the circle.  I was super happy with Cupid, I really couldn't have asked for more!  He seemed pretty happy too.  Afterwards he wanted to go to my trainer, and rested his chin on her shoulder which I just read is a sign of affection.  I think he was proud of himself!  We walked back to the trailer on a loose rein, and I gave him an apple.  What a good boy!!

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