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x country preparation?

(48 Posts)
MitchiestInge Sat 09-Jul-11 19:06:13

hoping to do this course next week, if ground soft enough (last time we asked they said was only pretending to be soft and was actually very concretey about half an inch down) but is there anything I should do to reduce risk of death? Is there much point doing extra jumping in school, for example, given how completely unlike cross country it is?

Ideally you will all say 'go and have lovely time', I mean what is the worst that can happen?

marialuisa Sat 09-Jul-11 19:51:55

Has your dhorse jumped/ worked in open fields before? DD has been doing some xc with dpony and he's found being in a big field with just 1 or 2 jumps VERY exciting. If he hasn't can you try that at home, even if the jump is a regular show jump so you get a feel for where your brakes are?

MitchiestInge Sat 09-Jul-11 20:00:53

Yeah, we have 'cross country field' at home (horse's home not my actual house) but it is v small and technically a bit shit as only four of the sixteen jumps still standing. Also some of our farm tracks are sprouting jumps here and there which is more like actual course I suppose.

In the past he used to do a bit of cross country, um, used to lose his head and rider and end up banned. But that was long time ago, when not in regular work. Is older and calmer now. Mostly.

marialuisa Sat 09-Jul-11 21:27:02

Hmmmm....have you considered a shot of sedalin?

Seriously though,you'll be fine. Have a good time.

MitchiestInge Sun 10-Jul-11 16:53:49

Someone today said course still not open because hard ground, but we are only five minutes human walking pace away and quite a lot of our ground is ok. sad

SilverSky Sun 10-Jul-11 17:46:34

Sounds like wasn't meant to be! sad

MitchiestInge Sun 17-Jul-11 16:58:24

Hopeful for tomorrow, but have just realised that my stupid (horse) shoes don't have stud things. How essential are they for wet grass?

SilverSky Sun 17-Jul-11 17:05:16

Depends if the ground is undulating or not! If take off and landing ate surfaces should be ok but you'll need to go steady! No steeplechase fences flat out! grin

MitchiestInge Sun 17-Jul-11 17:12:03

I'm going to die aren't I? There are some downhill jumps, steps, that sort of thing - starting to wish had not roped loads of people in, we will ALL have to be sensible!

SilverSky Sun 17-Jul-11 18:01:58


Hold on tight and if in doubt KICK!! grin

cedmonds Sun 17-Jul-11 21:15:34

We evented up to advanced with no shoes on. I know it is different than having shoes but the were always fine.
We never puts in frount any way when they did have shoes on and 9 times out of 10 he would pull his back shoes of any way.!!

MitchiestInge Sun 17-Jul-11 21:53:16

We've got road studs anyway, not sure if they will be much help. Barefoot must be better for traction?

cedmonds Mon 18-Jul-11 10:26:01

Yeah we found it far better. When he had studs and shoes he would slip but when he was bare foot he didnt

MitchiestInge Mon 18-Jul-11 19:51:25

Well it was too slippery today anyway, but not too disconsolate as have show jumping to get excited about this week - indoor so less chance of weather ruining things!

Apparently drier days coming after Thursday smile

MitchiestInge Tue 19-Jul-11 16:14:49

Just creeping out from under my crushing sense of failure to say that have been. Jumped ONE THING TWICE and spent rest of time being a failure as a human being, until my reins snapped and I got off and walked all the way home dripping sweat and misery.

He went in to each fence so enthusiastically but every single time he stopped dead and skidded, I did give up quite quickly. Well after about three hours!

Butkin Tue 19-Jul-11 16:35:56

Were you doing this in a group? I'd be cautious about doing it by myself in case my horse did the same thing but I think if in company he'd go round really well (usually do the pairs at Hunter Trials for this reason as you can take it in turns to give a lead).

SilverSky Tue 19-Jul-11 19:30:46

tinge is this xc or sj?

MitchiestInge Tue 19-Jul-11 19:50:54

XC. That's what I'm going to do next week, go round as one half of a pair! It should help now i know the course a bit and what is round each corner and where the exciting bits are. There were two of us today but mine kept veering off sideways at speed - my companion came off twice which did nothing for my confidence though it didn't dent hers! I was all 'oh look, a stoat' when I suddenly took off, bucking, and didn't see friend for a while!

Want to do the Friday night SJ thing at Topthorn so am going tomorrow or Thurs, I think, to have a trial run. They've got a nice little xc course and working hunter too. Need to pull myself together because I was really miserable and he was actually a million times better behaved than I expected. Argh except for the bit when he head butted the owner and started churning up their drive - I was hoping to borrow some reins or even baling twine for journey home (we are just over the road luckily) but think they just wanted us off their land. blush

Loshad Tue 19-Jul-11 23:54:55

mitchy, apologies if i'm teaching you to suck eggs, but if you stick to the small ones on that course - 1'6" then dhorse could step over them so really must not be allowed to not jump the fences. does sound like you could do with a better lead horse. I would pick fences with a forgiving profile, but once he's stopped a couple of times then just keep him facing the fence and leg on and if necessary he can clamber over it to start with. I assume he is jumping a fair bit higher than this in the school?
Don't think studs are essential at that height, i only stared using studs at BE novice (3'6") and above, and only in hinds - tho' like cedmonds we are without shoes these days - although old age, fatness (mine) and lack of time means it's a BE100 job - ie all less than about 3'3".

BathildaSaggshot Wed 20-Jul-11 01:00:58

Someone wasnt thinking 'over' the jump.....grin
Were you just the teensiest bit nervous? Maybe he was sensing this, and being a perfect companion by reading your mind and keeping you safe?

MitchiestInge Wed 20-Jul-11 09:42:15

There was nothing much, if any, higher than 3' which is fine for him (even with me) although yes I was a scaredy cat! Why do fixed jumps look so much more frightening? I think I will just be a 1'9 international sideways show jumper instead blush. My head filled up with everything everyone ever said about him being banned from PC and RC activities in his youth, dumping his rider, bolting etc and it was so unhelpful but I couldn't switch it off, so every time he did the tiniest excited buck I thought 'i'm going to DIE'!

I went for the middle height because I have never got the hang of getting him over tiny ones (he runs out) and I was scared of the bigger ones - the whole thing just drove home what a total passenger I am really. Lazy. I let him charge about when he wants, amble about when he wants, jump what he wants when he wants or zig zag round if he wants (on hacks, not in school). As with everything that ever goes wrong I only have myself to blame!

Back to lessons and making An Effort for a while. Would love to take him hunting so we need to form more of an actual partnership first.

Loshad Wed 20-Jul-11 22:56:52

aw Mitchy, you'll get there with him - think if you can afford lessons they are really useful (money trees alwasy a helpful addition thoughgrin)

AlpinePony Thu 21-Jul-11 09:22:38

Loshad/cedmond I am fascinated by the fact you've both competed barefoot. My nag is barefoot and I was wondering if this might actually hold us back x-country - which is daft really as it doesn't hold us back when popping over something on a hack of course. Did you find the organsiers behind you or were you treated with contempt for your modern, liberal hippy ways? wink

mitchy The best book I ever read on x-country tactics and techniques was this one: by Captain Mark Phillips - it's as old as the hills, but it's v good.

MitchiestInge Thu 21-Jul-11 09:39:17

Thanks Loshad and AP, have ordered a 1p copy from Amazon - I saw the £85 version but thought lessons might be better investment, got one today to see how we get on jumping indoors. Will have to hack there with head collars and lead ropes draped over one shoulder, should be interesting.

AlpinePony Thu 21-Jul-11 09:43:45

mitchy Yeh I'm amazed it's just a penny, I'm getting one too! grin I used to take it out of the library, I was the only ever user! I shall read it on my maternity leave with tears rolling down my fat cheeks.

As for hacking with collars & ropes, you can either put the headcollar on under the bridle (loosen bridle obv.) and then lightly tie the rope around the neck - or, I prefer to tie the rope up like you get in the tack shop and then clip the whole lot to the d-ring on the saddle. Or rucksack? Rucksacks are good, room for drink & sarnie too.

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