This week I had two days to ride before leaving on vacation, so I decided to make the best of one of them to use my XC schooling pass at Loch Moy, which expired the end of April. Plus, we needed to get out and working on some XC questions so we can get eventing for real. Naturally, the day I picked for Emily and I to go over dawned damp and drizzly. It was up in the air whether or not to go, but it didn’t cost me anything more than gas, and the pass was use-it-or-lose it, because I wasn’t going to be in the state again until May. So we loaded up and went over, and found the ground to be a pleasant surprise–a bit wet on top if you made any tight turns, and I didn’t even attempt anything down hill/down bank, but solid underneath.
We started easy, a few little logs, then on to the small bank complex. We’ve had no problem with any of these before, so it served as a good warmup. When she was filling good and cockily confident, we headed over to the water complex, which tends to be our problem spot. So we approached at a steady forward trot, and while she looked at the water, we marched right into and through the water! I was so thrilled that the lessons from last seasons were remembered over the winter. We did a bit more of that, including in and out over a small log without batting an eye, then popped over a couple ditches. She’s always been great about ditches, which makes me happy.
I finished off after some consideration of the footing, by popping over a Novice trakehner. It was pretty bit, particularly width-wise, and the ground wasn’t quite perfect. We didn’t have quite enough impulsion the first time over and it felt a bit sticky. Second time over felt better, but it still didn’t feel like we were really carrying enough pace to it, though we ended up with a big basculing hunter jump over it.
We ended feeling nice and confident, and I did our entry for the MDHT starter trials in May. Hopefully we can get out schooling one more time before then, but it really felt, by the end, that we were back in our groove.