I have to be honest and admit I wasn't sure I it was going to go once we got out there on the XC course. Steady had just not been acting like himself so I just didn't know what he would do. He pranced the entire way down to the course. He apearantly forgot how to walk the whole weekend. I will skip the mishap with the boot/socks where I ended up barefoot on one foot and him crow hopping. I did a quick dismount handed him off to my friend and fixed the issue the remounted a dancing horse, gawd, I can imagine what he was like at the track and why he did so well. We start over an 18 inch coop and do it over and over and over again working toward getting a calm, relaxed approach and gallop afterward. It took a while to get it. There were helecopters buzzing us (the park is surrounded by the military base) and I had to learn to let him GO!!! Joan kept telling me to stand up and put my knuckles in his neck. It is so counter intuitive to release when your horse clearly just wants to run. But it worked when we would get it right. A few times yes he did just take off but after a while I figured out how I could better control his speed with my body and my hands just make him want to go faster. Once we got what we wanted I asked if we could move on to the rest of the course. J and D gladly obliged. I am not sure if they were thinkng I was a nut ball for wanting more or not but they went along with it. What happened next I could attempt to just a bunch of big and fancy adjectives and adverbs to describe it all but I am not a good enough writer to do so. So will just go back to the 7th grade and give you a simple, "It was TOTALLY AWESOME!!!".
We started at the BN/N log and made sure we got the same results with did with the tiny coop. We jumped a beginner novice roll top and pheasant coop. We added in our first ever table. Now this is where the only blunder of the day was and it was ALL my fault and it is simple inexperience on my part. We had been approaching everything to this point at a trot to help Steady embrace his inner zen. About once stride out from the table the thought when through my head, "we do NOT have enough forward, for this jump" but Steady is as honest as the day is long and just did with it what he could which was kind of a deer hop to get over it. I came up out of the saddle and back down somewhere between the saddle and his neck in a huge heap of a person. He just cantered off nice and calmly and I know he did that on purpose. If he had an evil bone in his body one quick turn or change of speed would have surely been my undoing but he did nothing of the sort. So I quickly got my bearings sat up and went on laughing. OK let's try that again with a little more forward mometum this time and he sailed over it like a dream. We did a beginner novice rolltop combination. Hopped over a ditch just to show me that, well ditches are not an issue. We then came to the hanging log down to a ditch which is a training half coffin and I wanted to do it. I went over the ditch by itself for good measure and then to combo. PERFECT! I am high as a kite at this point. Steady is still up when we are walking in between jumps but he was being managable. His biggest concern the whole time was the huge group of screaming boy scouts just behind the tree line. There is something about screaming children that just unnerves this horse. It has happened before. I tend to think it is because of my kids and it is the 'Lassie' in him that is just concerned when for them. We move on to some banks and they were lovely. On the double down bank he had a very slight launch on the first one but nothing big. We then did a BN square hanging log. The approach and jump was beautiful and then the gallop afterward was amazing. I just let him keep going. He was rythmic, straight and enjoying himself so I went with it. He made it clear that he was in his element now and we were just connected finally. I knew I could trust him and he knew he could trust me. I was beyond happy and ready to head back, have a little gallop and hop over a few jumps on the way and call it a day. J and D asked if I wanted to try the Novice log. I thought, um, of course! We get up to it and I think hmmm that is a BIG novice log and we jump it beautifully. Then we have a little discussion and come to find out it was not novice it was training. Oh, well that makes more sense, can we do more?! So we strung together a training coop to the log. Hahaha I tell you what I was on TOP of the world!! Here is where you add in all of those descriptive words, instead I will say it was TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
Sorry for the crappy cell phone video and it is sideways...lol.