- Warm up stadium fences were awesome.
- Hannah was totally game for XC.
- For the most part I kept my cool.
- I did lose my nerve at several fences, and Hannah completely took care of us!
- We got through ditches, banks, water, and terrain all without issue.
We started off with a quick longe in the ranch's jump arena. Hannah was calm and gave the facility a good look, especially at the loose horses in the field. I mounted up and we had a great warm up on the flat and then hopped a few stadium jumps. She was completely businesslike and I felt comfortable and secure.
Then we headed into the cross country field. I could tell she had no clue that we were jumping, and I found myself saying "we're jumping, girl! we're jumping!" as we approached the first fence. Luckily it was small raised log and she popped right over it. It took another time or 2 before it really clicked for her what was up.
And she was game. But perfectly mannered. We went on to do several Intro and BN sized jumps without any issues. Surprisingly my nerves didn't get too out of hand, although I did opt to do Intro jumps before their BN counterparts whenever possible.
We moved on to an area of the field where several loose horses were hanging out, and both Hannah and I got a little nervous. She got a tad tense in her body and gave the horses the big eyeball. We had one refusal but it was NBD. Then I got anxious and lost all sense of proper speed and basically had us crawling to and over jumps. There were times when I just stopped riding several strides before the jump, and Hannah took care of me and jumped them anyway! Good girl.
At one point we were jumping a log on an uphill incline, and I got very fearful and anxious. Sweet Hannah surely knew I wasn't okay, but she jumped it anyway, and patiently waited for me to get my act together and actually ride. She graciously tolerated my defensiveness and awkwardness. What a good girl.
Overall I'm proud of myself for getting back out there and overcoming my nerves. I'm so impressed with Hannah and how she took care of us. Several times she could have easily just refused or dodged out, but she didn't. I could tell she appreciated it when I rode properly, but she didn't get upset when I was tense and riding poorly. She was a fantastic partner. And at her first XC outing! She's a keeper, that's for sure.