I got off work early on Saturday and we loaded up and made the drive. He hauled great and hopped off the trailer like a pro (not what I was expecting!). We hand walked the ponies around, set them up in their accommodations for the night and went to our hotel to sleep. My group went first thing Sunday morning and I really could have gone either way on what I thought he was going to act like. Much to my surprise he was even more relxed then he is at home when we go xc! He warmed up super well and had his game face on. We started over some baby logs and worked our way up to some BN jumps and then began stringing things together. He was confident and knew his job. What an awesome feeling! He even jumped up a bank like a normal horse! He also was handling the group atmosphere (aka: horses cantering and jumping around him while he had to wait) SO much better then expected. That was a huge bonus.
Cut out fences, jumps out of the water, jumps up hills, the coolest pirate ship jump, all without any problems!
On that note we headed to the next field. To the ditch 😳 He has been 100% solid to the ditches at our barn. Recently we introduced him to the much wider novice ditch and he balked at it but was easy to get over. And has been solid to it since then.. but still. Would he be okay to a ditch at a new place? Not only did he jump it first time but he jumped it normally and without even really looking at it 🎉
We then jumped the training trakhaner (it was a novice height) easily and moved on to yet another field. In that field we did some combinations with some log stacks, barns, etc that he negotiated quite easily. By now he was getting a little tired and was a little harder for me to to adjust but was still being very good. We ended at a second water jump where we practiced mini 4 jump courses involving the water. I am very thankful that he is brave about water! Then, as a grand finale, we did our first jump in the water. Our first approach surprised him as we had been cantering right by the jump previously and a lack of riding on my pet almost ended with me in the water 😂 thankfully he stood still as I shimmied my way back in the saddle and came at it a second time. This time with my legs on! And this is what I got:
What a boy! It was a great outing for us and left me feeling even more ready to tackle our first novice at Rebecca next week. Now to get packing for our journey up to Montana!!