Cross country schooling with the kids

Weekend one of cross country schooling, check! This weekend we headed to the open schooling at High Point Farm in Plantersville. They have a variety of friendly, introductory cross country jumps in a large field on a windy hill. This was the first outing with some of the kids, so we made sure to start them off right.

We made it about 20 minutes down the road and had a tire die. Ok, we brought the floor jack and we had a spare. A nice guy who saw the trailer roll up let us borrow some kind of tire iron, because of course it was the one thing we were missing. Wham bam. When I was digging around in the trailer I realized I left my helmet at home. Whomp. A really great parent ran back and grabbed it for me. Our barn family really is the bomb.

As soon as we arrived at the facility, we got stuck in the mud. I always forget how poorly the facility’s parking drains. It doesn’t help when you have seven horses in the trailer. Just sink in the bog. Luckily, while we were getting warmed up, the dads came to the rescue and got us on good ground.

All good life lessons for the kids. How to overcome haha. Anyways, we got warmed up and Knots and I went over the warm up oxer. I was getting a little bit left behind, so I tried to fix my position. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that I should have taken my stirrups up a hole until I looked at the pictures. Oops.

We started over the starter jump. I jumped over the beginner novice/novice jump and then over the training/prelim starter jump! Weeee

Knots wasn’t really snapping up his knees like he often does. We were doing a good job of getting to the base of the jump. I was still a little shaky following along.

After the starter set we moved to the tires and jumped over those. Not too exciting, we have tires at home. He is so handsome with his clip.



Next we jumped some barrels and played on the up and downs. I had a really good run through:

Things were going really well at this point, we jumped over the novice lattice thing, which gave us a little bit of trouble. I got left behind and landed hard, but we worked it out and had a nice jump.

We tend to jump pretty flat (right jump) but as we were getting a little deep Knots had to really round up (left jump). This was causing me a bit of trouble. About this point we realized we were running out of time, so we kicked it into high gear. I wanted to jump one of the novice combinations, the fake ditch and then four (?) strides to a bench. So off I went. I went off too quick for Robert to get a video, oops.

I jumped the baby ditch and got lined up for the bench and we got too deep. Knots rocked and jumped (a la pogo stick) and went over. Robert was watching and he said that Knots knocked me with the saddle in the air. Then we landed and as he cantered off he knocked me in the butt again. And down we went. I have a mental snapshot of being upside down looking at Knot’s hooves thinking, please don’t hit me as my head hit the ground and I rolled over my shoulder. Knots bucked up the hill until one brave mom stood in front of him and he was corralled. I hopped right up and went up the hill. My head was hurting, so I planned to be done for the day. I remounted and helped the kids get over the green box of death (which isn’t the ‘scariest’ GAG jump anymore).

I did a little bit more jumping when we got to the water, Knots and I jumped down in to the water a couple of times. Last time we were here, he wasn’t very into jumping into the water, but he didn’t care a lot this time. We finished up jumping the beginner novice/novice jump into stadium.

My head felt better, and I don’t think there are any concussion symptoms, so instead I just got to be a good example to the kids of what to do when you fall off. Another day in the life. We had a pit stop at sonic on the way home and finished out the day. Knots really enjoyed the trace clip, he was barely sweaty, except under the saddle (although, one of the dads pointed out he looked like a fat guy in a too-small sweater. oops). All in all a good day. We need some more work on going over higher jumps with appropriate stirrups. I need to keep pushing my butt back and bend a little bit more over the jumps. Thanks goodness for pictures. The new bit also made things more adjustable. You can really see it in the video, he was actually listening to the half half. I changed him from a regular snaffle to a slow twist full cheek. Now I just need to buy one instead of borrowing.

Dressage lesson this week and cross country schooling with Jellybean on Saturday, stay tuned!


Adventures in clipping

Knots is a fat, fuzzy, pony-like creature this time of year. It is also 75 degrees this weekend. And we are schooling cross country tomorrow…

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So fluffy!

Clearly something had to happen. I’ve been debating about clipping since last year. I thought last year was going to be the year, but it turned out to be pretty cold and we didn’t have problems cooling out. And we didn’t ride super hard either. But I digress. I’ve been shopping for some heavy duty clippers for awhile. And lusting after some Lister shears or whatever they’re called. But I don’t quite want to spend 150+ (this is a conservative estimate) on a tool I’ll use a couple times a year, if I’m not busy. Even my eBay alerts haven’t been helpful. These things just cost.

I have a pair of clippers:

wahl show pro

But I was concerned about whether they’d make it through a job. Until this weekend. I just decided it was happening. I took the precaution of buying a new set of blades (20 bucks) and went to town. Knots didn’t care one bit.

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First major pass

I cleaned the blades every little bit and stopped to chat here and there. The clippers got warm, but barely. I oiled them a few times in between and brushed the hair out, and they kept on cutting. He wasn’t particularly clean either; I wasn’t about to bathe and wait for him to dry. As you might notice, it got dark on me.

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He took a potty break, but he was still looking for cookies. 

I finished up the rough draft this morning, and then tried to kill most of the clipper marks. I think he turned out ok. I finished up by riding him, so this last picture is after the ride. Thank goodness, because he’s pretty sweaty on where the long hair still lives.

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Give me moar cookies human!

We had a nice ride. We worked in the side reins. He was actually stretching down at the canter without running off. I thought that was kind of fun. We start weekly dressage lessons this week, stay tuned for a few more rides 🙂

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