Highboy was really strong the first round, but his second round was much better. It's funny to me that it takes warmup plus galloping and 20 fences before his brain really kicks into gear and I'm able to rate his speed. Here is his GoPro video from his second round.
This was Ferriana's first time doing a full course of cross country fences. She's been schooling a couple times, and put together up to four jumps in a row. However she'd never actually left from the start box, cantered around in the field, and jumped so many fences. The first time through the course with her I fully intended to walk and maybe trot, letting her look at all the jumps and get her bearings. However, she had been watching the other horses from her vantage point at the horse trailer and in the warmup arena, and had realized what we were going to be doing. She told me she wanted to canter and jump, so we did!
There were a few things that she'd never seen before, like a brick wall, a blue coop, water, and the bank, so I skipped those in the interest of keeping her confident and feeling like she could tackle anything. We'll get to that stuff before long, but for her first time out at an actual "mock event" I wanted her to think she was a superhero and that everything was really easy to boost her confidence.
Her second time through she was even better, with less looking and a very easily controlled ride. Here is her GoPro video.
I'm so pleased with this mare! She can still be strong to handle on the ground in-hand, but once we're riding she's an absolute rockstar. Going slowly like this and advancing her when she wants to increase the difficulty (which is actually pretty fast), has made her really confident and accurate in her riding. What a fun horse.
Thank you to Linda, Carol, Tim, and Sara for all your help - it's a lot of work getting two horses prepared, around a cross country course, and cooled out! Not to mention getting photos for me. I sure love my village!