The ground seemed fine enough, tho I worried that it would soften as the temperatures rose. Plus I was pretty close to last to go of the BN division - probably somewhere in the vicinity of 60-70 riders. So much of the course walk was spent assessing footing and choosing tracks. As it was, tho, the course started off incredibly inviting and only got more fun from there!
|Fence 2 came hot on the first's heels, and is another familiar face. We've seen this and it's novice version both before. Izzy easily floated over.|
Isabel never even glanced at the ditch - she was locked on to the bothy immediately and carried us straight down the line. Good mare!
|Brita said she angled her jump over it and recommended I do the same. Done and done, Isabel couldn't have cared less.|
|Then we immediately continued to loop left (lots of left loops and uphill jumping on this course!) to catch BN's A-B combo: this funky roller coaster looking thing. A roll top for the in, with a large earthen mound immediately upon landing.|
|Then continuing uphill to fence 13, the stick horse. We got another good jump here, and I immediately brought the horse back down to trot, then walk, with the water coming up fast on landing.|
|And this is maybe my favorite thing about running cross country with Isabel - she can be FLYING across the ground hunting for anything that might even look like something to jump. But if I ask her to whoa, she whoas. Every time. Good mare!|
|The water was super inviting - only complicated by being close to the landing side of the last fence. And obvi still frozen when we walked the course that morning haha.|
|I think she likes this job!! :)|
Be sure to check out the helmet camera video for the full perspective. And this might be the first cross country course in a while where we didn't come down to walk at any point (aside from briefly into the water), so it stays a bit more fast paced throughout.
|wick has a shoulder to lean on!|
There were some errors in my ride that will definitely cause problems as complexity and height increase, and I need to improve my overall strength and mental fortitude. Doing that at heights well within my comfort zone just makes everything go smoother.
Obviously Isabel will be ready and willing to move back up asap - but good mare that she is, she'll also happily jump around whatever little bumps I point her at.
So. First event of the season is a wrap. We knocked some rust off, figured out some specific areas for improvement. and reminded ourselves why we love this sport in the first place. Oooh. And got some sweet satin. What more can a girl want?!?