Max and I came to Aiken with a few cross country schools under our belts from last summer and having competed in a few starter mini trials at the end of last year our goal for this spring is some beginner novice horse trails.
It was a blast to concentrate primarily on cross country for a whole week…if only events could resemble our Aiken trip. I got my wish and we schooled plenty of friendly introductory ditches and some scarier ditches with water in them!!! and smaller banks. The greenest horses gave these obstacles good sized leaps and Max being an older horse but new to eventing trotted over the ditches like they were little cross rails and dropped nicely off the banks so as not to unseat his mommy which I appreciated very much. For those of you who have not met him apparently he won a lot of races on the track in his youth, but he has little interest these days in wasting energy moving fast. His main interests in life now appear to be food and food. I am hoping once he understands what cross country is all about he will find his inner racehorse again and until then I will kick on.
Our last day schooling mini cross country courses was fun and enlightening I was thrilled to feel him jumping out of stride and boldly even through one scary combination that was by far the most challenging cross country question he has faced yet. He is the first horse I have brought along and I have tried to take it step by step with him and build his confidence slowly so it was very gratifying at the end of the week when I felt him trusting me that he could jump anything I pointed him at and taking care of me when I didn’t give him the perfect ride. I am one lucky horse mommy!!
(Photo of our convoy of 5 trailers on the trip to Aiken, courtesy of WS Andrea and Jenny)