So Close – Part 4

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Everyone was still in the game after dressage and show jumping.

Cross country was next.

It was going to be an interesting day. The order was Veloci-T training, SpiderWoman Intermediate, and then 3 in the preliminary FoxxyCleopatra, Poison Ivy and The Zebrasaurus.

To be honest, I had the least amount of concerns with the baby.

This little munchkin is hands down the most pleasant guy in the barn.

In all 3 phases.

He doesn’t pull, you don’t have to kick. He never ever spooks. He just does exactly what you ask him to do.

He cantered around his course without a single bobble and finished on his dressage score.

Best baby horse ever.

SpiderWoman was next.

I was concerned about a chevron combination on a hill.

It was a forward 4 that bent around a tree and completely set you up for the drive by at the B element.

I told the Fearless Leader I was concerned. He said, “Just get it done. If you try to be too careful that’s where you’ll get in trouble.” (This will come up again later.)

The jumps were super skinny but big enough if you went too slow you might not get over them.

There was a fairly good amount to do out there.

It was going to be a decent prep run for our CCI3*L next week.

One of the things that’s really hard to practice at home is galloping big tables at competition speed. Are you noticing a theme?

We came out of the start box and galloped jump 1 & 2. Jump 3 was on a tricky bend and we walked all over the jump & tipped a bit. Fortunately we recovered! Someone else fell at that jump. And I immediately thought, we really need a way to practice gallop fences at these speeds……..

We got to the chevrons on the hill and made them look easy.

Other than the bobble at jump 3 it went perfectly.

Box checked. We are ready for our 3 star. (Looking for my big girl panties.)

My first Preliminary horse was FoxxyCleopatra.

This was our first prelim in 6 months. We had attempted a 2 star in the spring and it was not our day. We went back to training level, and have been working our way back up.

Things have been going well, but you just never know.

We came out of the start box on fire.

Other than trotting the B element at the first water

she was a rock star.

Are you keeping track? That’s 3 clear cross country rounds.

Poison Ivy was next.

I had some concerns. We’d had a rough week.

And we’re still hoping to get to “the big one”. In order to pull that off, this round needs to go beautifully.

We came out of the start box and jump 1 was perfect. Jump 2 she walked on a bit and I thought, “oh no”. Jump 3 was a bit of a long spot. This is where I realized that if we had one more less than perfect jump she might quit me.

Horses only care about how they feel in the moment, and awkward jumps only take money out of the confidence piggy bank.

I decided every single jump after that had to be a perfect distance.

We slowed down and I made that happen.

She was great.

Phew!

That’s 4 clear rounds………….

I was finishing up the day with my own personal unicorn. The Zebrasaurus.

He’s a dinosaur. He’s huge. He’s massively scopey. And we tend to leave strides out everywhere.

While that usually works out,

at a certain point leaving out strides will get us in trouble

so lately we’ve really been working on not doing that.

We started out, and I already had the plan to put in one less stride in most of the combinations than I had on the other two.

The first combination was a straight 5 or a bending 6. I did the bending 6 on the girls. I went for the 5 on The Zebrasaurus and nearly made it a 4.

Oops.

But things were going well, and we were taking the more direct riskier lines everywhere.

I was counting the jumps.

I had 100 numbered cross country jumps between 5 horses to do.

We came to the next to last fence.

Jump 99 for the day.

It was a 5 stride.

We could easily have done 4, and it probably would’ve been A -OK. But I didn’t want to chance it and decided that I just had to get the 5.

I lined up the combination and started taking tugs. This late in the course we’re seriously on a 20 foot stride.

So I tugged, and tugged, and tugged some more.

I never actually gave him the go ahead to take the jump.

Don’t you hate it when your perfect unicorn does exactly what you ask him to?

I literally pulled him to a stop at the next to last fence.

I was So Close to 5 perfect rounds. And I completely blew it one jump from home.

Bad Eventer in the house.

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