Despite Oh So trying to thwart my plans with a lost shoe (for the first time in months) on Friday, we made it to a cross-country schooling at Gordonsdale on Sunday. Thank God for my wonderful farrier, who came out on Friday at 7pm before he was due to leave for a conference at 5am the next morning!
We started out with a good, strong trot around the property. Oh So was really extending his trot and had lovely suspension that I wish I could get at home. We popped over a few warmup fences, then went for a good 450mpm canter around the same track. We put together a string of training height fences so we could get a good gallop going at them, and he actually tried to buck! It was pretty hilarious, but he focused once we got to the jumps. I wasn’t completely happy with the effect of the pelham snaffle, so I’m bringing the Myler pelham with me to Southern Pines just in case.
We popped down some banks into water and had a lovely ride over a new trekehner, four strides to a roll top. I know he’s going to be strong at Southern Pines, but I guess I’d rather him be that than backing off a stronger bit, so I’m hoping he’ll be respectful of the snaffle pelham.
I’m trying to keep my expectations low for the event. I’m not going to be gunning for time, and I’m going to just work on keeping a strong lower leg. As for dressage, I’m feeling confident after some nice rides these last few weeks. The only tough part about Southern Pines is the insane warmup ring. It’s kind of a shock for both of us to go from riding mostly alone all winter, to sharing the ring with 50 horses.
Since we haven’t been to a jumper show since last November, I’m also keeping my show jumping expectations low. If I can get to each jump in a good rhythm and not screw up my distances, I’ll be happy. Hopefully he’ll get his feet out of the way.
My plan when we get down there on Friday is to school a bit then hack, then walk my cross-country course. We’re expecting a random snow storm on Wednesday, so I hope I can get a ride in tomorrow and Thursday. What a winter!