Adirondack NTF - Schooling Cross Country
Chrissie and I headed out to Greenwood
to school this past weekend. Both of my
almost 4 yr olds were out. If they seemed
in a good mood I thought we'd pop them over
some of the smaller jumps out on course. I'm not
sure that I mentioned this to Chrissie before we
got out there....
click here for pics of Thistle out schooling

Adiron's calm about getting ready, 
but does worry a little about where his trailer mate is hiding.

Wind gusts up to 25 miles an hour. We thought the wind was supposed to calm down, we were so wrong.
So I started out fairly brave. Unfortunately that went a bit downhill. I'd forgotten that it's not best to take a horse to their first cross country school on a cold and windy day.
Yes, I'm off the horse. The horses weren't sure about the dead TreeBeard tree in the middle of the warm up area (it must have walked there and then died). No big deal for me to hop off and show it to Adiron. Once he sniffed it, he wanted to walk over it, so there you go.
A bit of warm up before heading out to walk around the course.
He was happy to be trotting on. I got rid of the whip pretty quickly. He was forward and listening without it. 
We got comfortable with the warm up area pretty quick.
I knew walking over wouldn't be an issue.
Letting him trot on and getting a cute little jump.
We took some time showing them the jumps on course. After the first couple they started being a non-issue.
Even though I'd tense up, Adiron stayed steady and kept up with Thistle.
It wasn't as windy when we were in the woods.
Up the bank. Adiron feels like he'll try to go over anything.
Here's where I started to lose it. When Thistle went up the bank he hit it and made a loud bang. Adiron behind him shied away from the noise. I didn't like feeling off balance. I stayed on and we continued, but I was too nervous to stay on at the rest of the jumps. If Thistle hit one, I was worried that Adiron would startle.
Walking over a log out on the trail.
And trotting. Maybe a bit extreme in the two point for the little log, but he needs to get used to the feel.
Pretending I'm brave and leading the way down the little mountain.
Chrissie taking him over. We'd trade back and forth at the jumps. I knew he was up to it, but I know from previous horses, that the first time out I sometimes could only handle walking the horse around. At this point I'd done as much as I was comfortable with.
It was nice to see his second try was more forward and relaxed than his first. He doesn't hesitate or wiggle on the approach, but he does need to learn to be more forward on the landing side.
You'd think this was the same as being out fox hunting for me. For some reason it was different. Not the larger group of buddies and glimpses through the trees of running and jumping horses. Oh, and that darn wind was loud and whistling and the leaves were always rustling.
A nice easy jump. No cantering away yet, but he seemed to enjoy the jumping part.
Opps, the next time over he decided to conserve his energy.
But Chrissie still got a canter out of him.
Heading on to the next field. Adiron usually has to trot to keep up with Thistle's big walk.
Chrissie taking a call. Adiron getting bored and thinking he should play with the ropes on the jump.
Following Thistle through the water. By this time Adiron wasn't paying attention to the other running and jumping horses in the field. I was still nervous about them, but he only gave them an occasional glance.