Yesterday was my birthday, and I got a great gift--I got to go cross country schooling with Caesar! As this was both our first official school and our first time off the farm, I was a bit nervous. We had jumped a few of the elementary fences at our farm this summer, but I was eager to go off the property and jump. We went with Megan and her Perch/TB cross, Wyatt. Wy and Caesar are quite the pair--Wyatt dwarfs Caesar! Take a look at their two hind ends on the trailer:
Caesar trailered like a pro and was pretty quiet for the tack up. Once we started walking around the property he got excited and wanted to prance. After 15 minutes of trying to get him to just walk (while baby Wyatt was chill as a cucumber), I got a bit discouraged--how in the heck am I going to be able to jump xc if I can't even walk the course? We did some walking and trotting on a large circle which totally helped to chill him out (duh), and then hopped over a baby log a few times. At that point, I think Caesar realized that indeed he was there to jump and he settled down even more. We had planned on schooling the elementary course which is in a separate enclosed field, but it was being used as a pasture so I had to be brave and do a few beginner novice fences; these are no big deal for Caesar, but I wasn't too sure. It helped that I had Megan "coaching" me and Mike encouraging me (as well as taking photos and videos). We chose 3 jumps that were pretty inviting--a half-coop of sorts, an oxer and double log and rode each a few times. Caesar was a real gentleman, being patient even when I was pulling too much. Obviously we have tons to work on (starting with me trusting him to do his job and not pulling him on the approach), but it was awesome to get out and see what cross country is like! The experience really helped build up my confidence for this phase of eventing. Hooray!
Here are some photos and video (1 and 2) from the day:
the baby log
the coop-ish jump
Mike sporting my safety vest :)
2 hours ago