Today we landed at Lory State Park for cross country schooling after being deterred by pelting rain and terrible wind up north. The scenery was incredible, the horses behaved really well, and we had a wonderful time. Gillian and Silver are really making some amazing progress together.
Raven had a good time, too. I rode her while I was teaching and she casually cruised around at the walk until it was her turn to jump things. Then she hopped over everything I asked regardless of any difficult distances. She even did some pogo-stick maneuvers that she pulls out when she's having a really good time.
And then celebrates her accomplishments with a little party!
The entertaining pogo-stick stuff Raven does when she's playing is at 0:30 in this video
Sidney and Linda came with us as well. Sidney has been really worried about cross country jumping, getting herself worked up with sweating and jigging, so we've been trying to help her relax and realize it's just a quiet trail ride and we may hop over some friendly fences while we're out. So far she's not buying it. She wants to run and gets really concerned when we insist that she can walk over most of these entry level jumps.
The other piece of the Sidney puzzle is the saddle. It fits Sidney really well, but the flap and seat are designed for a much taller rider than petite Linda. We do have a different saddle ordered, but it won't get here until October, so in the meantime we're doing the best we can with a less-than-optimal fit for the rider. The unfortunate result in the interim is that Linda struggles to get her leg where it needs to be to have really good balance on landing. Sidney worries about off balance landings quite a bit. I have really high expectations for the new saddle coming this fall, and while we wait hopefully we can convince Sidney that she doesn't need to be so concerned when she gets dressed up for cross country.
All three horses finished the ride more confident than when they began, which is one of the most important factors in a successful cross country day. I have lots of plans for all three horses as wildfires in Colorado hopefully die down and our air quality improves, and with any luck covid will pass and we can get to competing again.
Thank you to Kimberly Hale Photography for the amazing shots, and to Sara for taking the video for us.