Thanks to the hospitality of one Bitch Pack member, and the nagging of another, Crossbo and I did some jump schooling Saturday morning. And, with a little coaching from yet another, we had a very good morning.
When the idea of schooling this weekend was first suggested on Wednesday, and Jethrine volunteered her farm, with lots of jumping opportunities, I was a little ambivalent. The weather is still sticky enough that it’s tempting to find excuses not to ride. And I had an excuse. Crossbo was missing a shoe, Arthur’s shoes were loose, and my farrier hadn’t returned my phone call. I said I might make it if I got my horses shod, but it wasn’t likely.
With the same kind of persuasion that led to my purchase of Crossbo, I was told that it was time to start getting my horses fit and maybe I needed a new farrier. I thought that was just a little harsh, but I started wondering whether maybe it was worth trying to accelerate the farrier a little.
After some more consideration, I decided it wasn’t fair to Brian to let him take the blame for me not riding this weekend. When the email came Thursday afternoon confirming time and place, I left another message saying I needed to ride Saturday. Friday about noon, he called to say he had just left my barn and my horses were ready to go. No stinkin way I need a new farrier!!
So I dragged myself out of bed Saturday morning, and got Crossbo loaded (with a little effort and some grain), and headed to Jethrine’s. Along with a few more of the Pack, we had a very pleasant morning.
Crossbo and I had a little trouble at the start, mainly due to pilot error. With some coaching to correct my errors, we were soon looking like a couple of pros. I was very pleased with Crossbo’s performance, although not really surprised. I’d already gotten a pretty good assessment of his jumping ability before I bought him. What’s still unknown, and will be until our first hunt, is how he reacts under the pressure of a hunt, when everything is far more intense. His behavior today was a cause for optimism; he remained cool in a group of horses, didn’t seem to feel a need to be in front, settled nicely between jumps, etc. I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping he keeps his cool like that when the intensity gets turned up.