Friday, September 23, 2011

Ditches and Banks and Water Oh My!

Today was Flint's first official off the farm cross country schooling. After a brief discussion about behaving himself pre-trailer loading we were off to Holly Hill Farm down in Benton, Louisiana early this morning. *side note* For all of you Arkansas eventers out there, you know the best part of going to Holly Hill is stopping at Burge's in Lewisville for a turkey salad sandwich and a fried pie - that way you feel so amazing when schooling...nothing like fried pie sitting heavy in your stomach! *end of side note* Flint behaved himself quite nicely once we got to Holly Hill. It is very easy for me to forget how slow of a warm up he needs at a new place - usually a good 15-20 minute walk to make sure all the buttons are working before we trot and canter.

What I love about this horse is that he is brave - this horse lives to jump. From the first starter-novice jump to the last novice jump we cleared he was extremely honest. We schooled ditches and banks for the first time and he was a complete rockstar - I couldn't have asked for more, he always knew where his feet were 100% of the time. The only slight hiccup was the water, which I've known is an issue. Once he gets his feet in the water he is okay, will trot through it willingly, it is just getting him to take that first step in...I may have to get creative at the event in October on not getting a refusal. He has come a very long way from rearing and spinning when asked to go into water though, so I'm not complaining - the key to Flint is to not pressure him into situations where he is uncomfortable (water), but allow him to progress forward at a pace he is comfortable with. It only took a few minutes of standing with a loose rein square to the water and asking for literally one step at a time before he marched right in, through and around the water complex. Overall I was very proud of little Flinter today - hopefully we can make it to our local eventing venue (Jubilee) at least once or twice before the show at the end of October; between that and our cross country jumps and various ponds throughout the farm we should be ready!

(I apologize for not having pics or video...I'm quickly realizing how much I miss my mom coming along with us! She is the best show/clinic/horse mom ever! - hmmm, an idea for a future blog post!)

No comments: