Training Plans and Cross Country Schooling

Back to school has been really exciting in lots of ways. Finishing bench work, teaching biochemistry, new internship, teaching riding lessons, and riding five days a week. Jellybean and Gracie both have new partial leasers. Much more to come about the leasing soon! This post is about Knots and I schooling at Pine Hill this morning.


I can smell them.


Maggie and I loaded up as early as possible, but we needed to get a hitch for the bumper pull trailer, and some stores aren’t open as early as we were ready. Whomp. So we drove down and ended up being a bit late, but Knots was cool. We cantered around the warm up logs a couple of times and then got right into the lesson. Unfortunately, Bear decided to be lame as soon as we got down to the lesson. Not a fun day with silly Bear deciding he wasn’t trot sound. Maggie was a champ though, and walked him around and watched. We’re trying to decide if we think abscess or the need for back shoes.

Knots and I ended up jumping all the beginner novice jumps on the course, which was awesome :). I wanted the confidence boost, and that’s what worked out. First the welcome log, then the welcome coup. Then we went over a red mushroom, up the “mound” (there are fake hills in this area of Texas :p), over a log, then down down down to a coup. Off to another log, and then we were doing well enough to get to start jumping the novice jumps. Check out the beginner novice jumps here. Just click on the number, and a picture of the jump will pop up.

The red mushroom

Its always better to see the jumps from horseback first, because sometimes I see the jumps from the ground and freak myself out haha. From horseback, 2’6″ and 2’9″ look pretty similar. For example, this 2’9″-3ish table would have scared the crap out of me if I saw it from the ground first.

The water complex was where things got more interesting. The water was fairly deep, so as we were cantering through, Knots was giving me a shower. Not such a win haha. So much water… We jumped the brush jump, then over through the water, out of the water and over the log, then up to the coal car and back around over the roll top through the water again. Whew. The coal car is fun looking:

Knots didn’t look at the jump, but I did, so we ended up jumping it a few times as I made a mess of it. There were more big jumps in the woods, and we finished out over a novice mushroom and a trakehner.

Overall, it was a really nice day to appreciate how much hard work we have been putting in. The time spent focusing on my position has really helped Knots be more relaxed coming to jumps. We went around the entire course with a snaffle and the running martingale. I didn’t wear spurs, and I dropped the stick before I even mounted. I think the lack of spurs is making a difference. I also think Knots is going to get front shoes before the show, as there are some places with a lot of gravel and he was a bit ouchy going through. There isn’t really any reason for me to not make him more comfortable.

I’m really looking forward to the show. I don’t feel like we are going to be especially scrappy going through. I’m hoping to score in the low 40s in dressage (or even gasp! break into the 30s). While I don’t think those scores will be super competitive at Pine Hill, I think we are looking to make some personal bests this next weekend. I’m really proud of how far Knots and I have come in the last couple of years. Stay tuned đŸ™‚

Snacks after the ride


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