Cross country & show jump schooling at Elmwood

Jumping on grass, the ultimate test of nerve? 😉 Yesterday I took Dustry to Elmwood to do some show jumping and cross country practise on grass, it was his first ever session of jumping on grass in a big wide open space, and I was hoping it wouldn’t prove too exciting for him!!!!

cross country schooling

He was surprisingly underwhelmed by the whole situation I’m pleased to report. We warmed up over a couple of rustic show jumps and then went into the ring as if in a comp and straight round the course. He had 2 very genuine stops, one at fence 2 a white palisade which he has not yet encountered, and one at the 3rd element of a triple, where he kinda ran out of steam/got confused. In his defence asking him to pop through a downhill triple like ‘it ain’t no biggy’ was a little cheeky so I will forgive him for that. He flew round the rest and didn’t even think about stopping for the rest of the session.

We did variations of the course a few times through, working on me ‘repairing him’ in between the fences and concentrating on staying very soft with my hands, and ‘moving him round the course’ forwards to each fence.

He loved it and decided to celebrate with some signature back leg freestyle moves, I wish he would keep his thoughts to himself sometimes!

We spent approx 40mins in the show jumping schooling ring so when we wandered over to the cross country fences we only popped a few more jumps. He was good over a little house, log, roll top, and led the other horse we were with through the water. He’s still a little green though when faced with something new and he spooked himself by doing a big clumsy leap over the first part of a little double, so we kept that simple and jumped each part individually in a figure of 8 pattern.

He is a total ‘water baby’ and relished the chance to get into a big puddle and splash about with his front leg! Cue a quick application of leg just in case he decided that rolling would be a good idea!

Until we have eliminated all instances of ‘freaky leaps’ then we will stick to the ‘falling down jumps’ and concentrate on show jumping. To take him cross country before he is really confident in his technique could be disastrous if he scares himself. I have learnt from previous horses that repairing damage done is a lot harder than being patient so…slowly slowly catchy monkey 😉

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