I did end up going XC schooling today, despite not having ridden since Monday (how DO I set myself up for these things???) I had planned to ride last night and pack for schooling, but we had some massive weather come through and there was no way I could ride with all the thunder and lightning.
Two of my good friends hauled Saga in their three-horse trailer (a big THANK YOU to Duchess's mom and Lucky's dad) since my trailer was supposed to be going in today to get the lights looked at and the ramp reinforced (my poor ramp just can't handle all 1300 lbs of Saga). We arrived, tacked, and headed out to the field to warm up. Saga was a RAVING LUNATIC. I had visions of my rides on Cash dancing in my head - he jigged, he threw his head at the trot, but oddly enough, his canter was really relaxed and soft. Part of the head throwing was I think due to my running martingale being about 8 inches to short, so I took it off after about 5 minutes of riding. The head tossing improved dramatically after that.
As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that I'm about to fall asleep. So I'll try for a longer post tomorrow, but here are the highlights:
- I got one (ONE) picture that someone took. It's not at all good, but I'll try to post it tomorrow because hey, it's a picture. There may be some video that I can get my hands on, but I'll have to see.
- We did ALL of the BN fences and about half of the N fences. I ran out of horse about halfway through the schooling, or I would have done more. Fun fences included the novice drop to ditch, a bank up out of the water (part of a Training combo that we didn't do the second fence of), and a two step up jump. He was very willing, and we had NO refusals.
- I need some better brakes - an eggbutt snaffle is just not going to do it. Unfortunately one of my other bits is too small and the other was on Duchess, so I need to get another bit. I'm thinking a loose ring with a running martingale that fits and maybe a figure 8 noseband. I don't want huge brakes, just something where I can get my half-halt in and then GET OUT of his face.
- Balance is key. It's hard to get him on his butt and get him to wait for the fence, especially as he gets more tired. A bit that he can't lean on would help.
- I need better XC reins. Mine suck. They sucked 10 years ago, and they still suck.
- And gloves. My old green gloves didn't have the reinforced fingers and my hands got all chewed up. I actually have a huge blister/tear on my left ring finger. Owie.
- Saga can jump really, really big when he thinks he needs to.
- MUST.... WAIT.... FOR.... FENCE :)