My horse is supposed to be an eventer. He's a cute little dressage pony and a handy little jumper. He loves a good trail ride and is very sensible about all these things. The only problem is, I'm a Big Fat Chicken. When I think of eventing, I think of this:
Or worse, this:
In other words, not exactly an option for a bop around gal like myself. So when my Barn Friends (TM) invited me to go to a "pre-elementary" Derby Cross I decided to give it a shot. I thought, I could handle logs on the ground. When we got there, we realized that the pre-elementary division was too simple (telephone poles on the ground in a fenced field) for even a wuss like myself and went into the elementary division.
It took place on the real cross country course and still consisted mostly of logs on the ground, tiny banks (logs that stepped up and down into the hillside like big friendly horsey stairs) and one little "coop" fence.
It ended with a nice long gallop, or in my case big stretchy canter around a field.
It was SO fun. After warm up, Cassel was uncharacteristically spazzy and dancing around. "Where we going???" We bust out of the outbox at a spanking trot and pretty much trotted around the whole thing until it was time to gallop around the field.
We had a stop at the coop. He backed up a few feet. I just whacked him on the butt and he popped right over it and the rest of the course was gravy.
Here we are cantering over a LOG. I am dressed as a SMURF.
Here we are on course. See that stone wall behind us? We turned around and galloped (well fast cantered) beside it. He looks really excited, but if you look close, there is a loop in my reins. Even when he's excited, he never feels like he's going to take off.
This is the jump that my husband said: Don't you usually jump bigger than that? Yeah, but it was CROSS COUNTRY!