There was still some water left in the water jump from the previous weekend's schooling show, so we took advantage of it and schooled there first after warming up.
Sidney and Linda had a great time. Sidney is still a bit strong on a cross country course due to having competed for so many years before Linda got her. They are going carefully together and slowly Sidney is realizing that we can do cross country jumping without too much worrying or speed.
Silver and Gillian made the whole thing look impossibly easy. Silver enjoys this type of riding and Gillian handles him so well that they are really precise in their technique. They usually get their lead changes and Silver jumps the fences quiet accurately in regards to height and distance.
Here are some videos of Silver doing his short courses.
Daisy and Jasi did really well. Daisy is still new to jumping, and specifically cross country jumping, but she remembered the water jump and the work she had done there last time.
When we started schooling other jumps she overestimated a few fences at the beginning. By the end she was jumping short courses of three jumps really nicely.
Here are some videos of Daisy
I enjoyed riding Highboy today too. We spent the first part of the ride just walking around and coaching, sometimes stepping up and down over the elementary level jumps to show the other horses they were walk-able.
I did pop Highboy over a few of the novice, training, and prelim level jumps and lines to give him a reward for being such a good coach to the other horses.
At the very end of the course there were a couple prelim fences that were set as a line with two strides between them. Highboy jumps stuff like this all the time at home with even more complicated footwork, so doing this combination was super fun for him and felt like an appropriate reward for being so good earlier in the ride.
If you zoom in on these last few photos and look at Jasi's face she has her mouth in a perfect "wow" as she watches my goofball gelding finally put it together and look like the upper level athlete I've known he could be.
Here are Highboy's videos:
Because we had Rozie the dogs got to come and hang out with us. They were on leashes of course, but they totally knew when I was going to run and jump versus my students. That's why there's so much more dog-talk during my runs with Highboy because they firmly believe they should have been let loose to run beside and help me like they do at home.
The other interesting occurrence during our ride was the police chase. When we initially arrived and took the exit for the Archer complex, there was a car pulled over on I-80 with two police cars behind it with lights flashing. An hour later while we were schooling around the water complex we saw a man in street clothes and a red ball cap and shoes. He came running down the hill, through the field we were riding in, climbed through the barbed wire fence, and continued running up over the next hill, frequently looking back over his shoulder towards where he had come from. It didn't much look like someone out for exercise or a casual run. In jest someone in our group said, "just wait, a cop car will be here in a minute!"
Sure enough, shortly after the man disappeared a black police car drove into the field. It stopped when the driver saw us, he hopped out and shouted, "Which way did he go?!" and everyone in our group pointed up the hill. The policeman ducked through the wire fence and took off running after the guy. When his partner arrived he followed suit.
Not long after that all three people reappeared over the hilltop, with the runner in handcuffs. They made their way back to the police car, put the man inside, and then drove off. Jasi thought she heard one of them say to the guy, "We were going to let you go, but then you had to run." I guess the guy had been pulled over and then panicked (who knows what a guilty conscience can do?) and took off. At least they caught him, and Kim H caught the whole thing on her camera.