Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cross Country Time. Weeeee!

Wearing the color of winners?
Once I was all finished with that dressage stuff, I tied my horse up and we wandered over for our prime horse show food and to walk the cross country course. I was a little worried because the last time I tried to leave the Bacon tied to a trailer, she panicked and reared and pulled back and slammed into the trailer. But, to give her some credit, that was our first ever show and Papa had left and we all left her and she was losing her mind. Sorry horse.
I've never been bad. I don't know what you are talking about.
I told Linds that she was going to have to learn one time or another, so we left the beast with a hay bag. We both kept checking to see if anyone was running over to the trailer, or to see a tall bay giraffe escaping the premises. But, nothing. We walked out into the big field and took a peek at Bacon. She stood there, leg cocked, eating her hay. No weaving. Apparently she is a pro at this eventing thing now.
Bacon had some new admirers at the show!
I looked around the field and surveyed the jumps. I thought some of them looked kind of big and really cool. Turns out they were MINE. Oh boy. Bowels, please stay put. The first two jumps were easy peezy regular old jump standards and poles and crap. The next two were logs. They were a bit narrow, but still, they were logs. We can do logs!
Yeah. We didn't give a crap about logs at Rafter K.
And then, since we forgot to bring the course map, wandered around looking for number five. And number five was some weird old wooden bed frame thing with straw thrown over the top of it. It was odd looking, and pretty narrow, and just damn sketchy. Linds gave it the ole side eye looked and me and said "Just try to keep your leg on and forward over it". Got it.

Next was a more inviting table, with a somewhat tight turn to it. With more straw on it. Then back the other direction over a chord of wood. And then there was another regular jump in there I believe, followed by a wagon with a bunch of wood on it.
Warm up oxer.
And something about up a bank, over a cabin, left to a chevron jump looking thing, and then the twisty jump of doom/show jump option. Now, I don't know crap about cross country really, and even though this was a beginner novice course, it was my first one and some of that looked pretty damn intimidating. Especially since I have been sick and hardly riding and hadn't jumped anything close to this since mid July. So, this course was going to be a true test of my skills, as well as my pony's. Lastly, we had to jump a ditch, and go through some dark ass shaded water across another ditch and gallop to our finish.
Warm up over little xc jump.
I was worried that Bacon would forget that water was ok and that when I point her to a weird object, to just jump it. I was afraid that I would get too tired trying to go through this course, or lose my way. But, before all of that had happened, I had promised myself that I would make my grandpa proud that day. I have been missing him terribly, as he was one of my best friends and his death still hits me like a ton of bricks to the chest when I think about it. But he was the toughest person I think I will ever come across, and I will fight with all I have to try and show that some of that strength is in me somewhere.
My wonderful harley ridin' grandpa Bob.
We got my horse tacked up, and she was as cool as a cucumber once she realized we were jumping. We warmed up over a few fences, and Lindsey kept telling me that I had jumped bigger than all of those fences out there. Bacon was game, and I felt ok, so it was about time to get in the start box.

I watched the others go before me and they made it look so fun. We toodled around the start box while they raised jumps, and then it was time. I had inhaler and water at the ready. 3.2.1. GO!
Shiny pony, tired rider.

Silly jump, we don't care about you. We are honey badgers.
Fence one and two were easy, but I felt like I needed more pace. We came up to the logs, she twitched her ear back, I told her it was ok, and over we went. We came up somewhat slowly to the bed, she asked me again, and I told her go. And she did. And then the table. And then everything else.
Or narrow logs. Please.

The most awkward jump over an awkward jump.

Go forth, fiery beast!

Damn pole, taking all of the attention...
It was amazing to feel how adjustable she was underneath me. She didn't really pull, bowed up like a race pony, and let me determine everything. We could go faster, or slower, or jump this or that. I was getting a bit tired, but not dangerous. Up the bank we went, over the cabin and chevron, and then we aimed at the twisty table. I was not afraid and the show jump option would have been an embarassment. Over (awkwardly) we went! Then the ditch (which she almost missed as we were cruising in a bit fast) and even though she questioned me hard about that water, she still went in. I was so happy. And I had so much fun. I have no idea what our time was, but who cares.
I'm sorry. Apparently I failed at releases that day.

But look how pretty!
My favorite jump.

Up zee bank we goooo


Even more weeee!

Extra weeeee over the twisty table of death! No touching!

About to head down a bank into water.
And a gallop to the finish

I did it. We did it. And I hope my grandpa would have been proud.

All done! Thank you Bacon!

A blue ribbon for surviving!


  1. Congrats! Those jumps are biiiiiiiig and y'all owned them :)

  2. Srsly sketch jumps there. ;-) Yay for you and Bacon!

  3. Ugh I just love Bacon. I love everything about her.

  4. congrats!! y'all look great out there! and major kudos for getting through a big, challenging course after not jumping much for the past few months ;)

  5. You two are total badasses. I would weenie out in a second.

  6. That background scenery is gorgeous, and of course you guys look amazing too! That twisty table thing looks terrifying. Yay for finishing!!

  7. Look at you two out there! I hope you realize how impressive it is how quickly you've advanced :)

  8. Sounds like you guys pinged it & totes did Grandpa proud!
    I hope it didn't take too much out of you and that you are feeling better for the experience. The photos are class and it sounds like you both learnt a lot about yourselves and your partnership.
    Onwards & upwards ☺