I have no media from this day of the clinic, or at least none that has shown up yet. It was a bit warmer compared to the day before and my time was 1:30 in the afternoon so I knew we might have a few difficulties. But after turning Remus out in the morning in the big field to stretch, I quickly helped with the barn chores (The barn was away at a show so it was a skeleton crew there!) and then brought Remus up for a bath. He was DISGUSTING so he got his first/last bath of the season (I kid, other people have bathed him this year just not me!). Once he realized I had the warm water on I think it felt good and he relaxed and let me scrub him up. He smelled better for this day of the clinic than the day before at least!! His tail has grown out again after being banged just a few weeks ago. But I didn’t mess with that and we just loaded up on the trailer again and headed to clinic.
After arriving I tacked up and got changed and ready to go. After getting on it was time to head to the ring. I was in a group of four and that included two kids on their very nice larger horses (one a Paint, one a QH) and one spunky kid on her Welsh pony who was so much fun to watch (but also sharp as a tack hahahha and I sure would not have ridden him). And then there was Remus!
So we started out chatting about leads and legs, and so on and Hilda kept asking the kids stuff. THANK GOODNESS SHE ONLY asked me one thing and I got that right. WHEW. It was like being in school. On horseback. I swear I felt like we were all on Thelwells. In fact we may have been. The below almost happened to me for real! HA
We popped over a crossrail. And then she streamed together a small course. Hilda was NOT messing around. I was already staring at some of the jumps because this ring is smaller than most (Dressage court with jumps in it) the jumps were bigger than I was comfy with, of course.
She had a Swedish oxer set up that had me having heart palpitations and a Spider jump that was like an X jump. Note from web: Swedish oxers, where the front and back poles slant in opposite directions, are especially useful. The centre point, created by the V shape where the poles cross over will help with straightness and the lift and tuck of the front legs. Um, sure whatever. Again higher than I liked it. After we jumped those a few times she put it up again. Both of them. I wanted to vomit.
Remus was still sticky at the canter and bucked a few times. In fact he bucked right before the Spider jump and I thought we were going to biff that one but nope over it we went. After jumping some more and working on striding and halting and turns, we were done in the stadium ring. We were then heading to the cross county field I hopped off as I had to put on my new Racesafe Provent Vest. I have to say that it was all it was reputed to be. When I first unpacked it I was a bit unsure as it seemed really bulky and heavy. But imagine my surprise when I can zip it up on my own and also once on, it did not feel heavy anymore. Also I did not sweat to death under it during riding unlike how my Tipp was. Not sure what voodoo magic was done but dang this vest is pretty amazing.
We headed out to the cross country field where she promptly made us jump a small coop and some stacked logs and then a big ass log that was more BN than it was Intro. We did those fine. Remus was tripping out there some and he is actually due for the farrier next week so that might be some of the issues but he definitely a bit not right. Again need to start some maintenance on him.
Then she headed us over to the ditch. Now remember guys, my idea of a ditch is the Fair Hill one I jumped in Intro. Baby baby ditch. This one we jumped (or tried to jump) was not a baby ditch. See below!
She started us over a board with flowers (again NOT a ditch), no problems there. Then the one we jumped was of course not this big (as below photo) but pretty damn close. And it had a board across it diagonally. But anyway. To say we jumped it is not true. We had issues. I think Remus read my mind and was like nope. And I was saying nope. I finally got off and he followed me over it and almost fell in it. Then we managed to get over it at a walk with me on him. Where he almost dumped me leaping it. We gave it a rest then. And went on to more fun (You see the sarcasm yet?). I was not the only one who had issues either so even though the combined age of the three kids was still probably less than I am in years, I still felt okay about it all.
We moved over to the Novice-Prelim field. There was a LOT of stuff to look at and as we were finishing up she had us canter around the field and then she wanted us to pop over this spooky effing coop at the top of a hill. EVERYONE had issues. One kid almost fell off. It was spooky. I barely got my horse around the field he was refusing to canter and spooking at everything. That is when I gathered up my courage and went NOPE. Not doing it.
I knew we were going to have huge issues even getting up that hill at a canter let alone jump an almost Novice-size coop at the top of that hill. NOPE. I shouted to Hilda I was giving it a pass and cantered around again trying to get Remus a bit more forward. She agreed with my wimpiness and I was done. Like that. Not the way I wanted to finish but I knew (and she agreed) if we opened that can of worms it would take forever to get him over and what was the point. We jumped some big things, he was kind of short stride and not 100 percent. We were done. I would like to say it was the greatest jumping lesson in my life. It was not. Not Hilda’s fault. Mine. But we enjoyed ourselves (mostly). Notes to take home: NEED TO TAKE PHOTOS OF JUMPS for blog purposes and NEED to get braver.
Now for all of you who trekked through all this text. Here is your reward. Remus in dressage. He was such a good boy. I will ride with Hilda again for sure. It was a great lesson even if I was a bit overfaced (me not my horse). Sigh…..
4 thoughts on “Hilda Donahue Clinic: Show Jumping and Cross Country”
Ah nuts. I’m sorry the jumping didn’t quite go as planned! But Remus in dressage was so cute!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I give you props for doing almost everything even if you were feeling afraid. This is the story of my jumping life so I feel you! You also will likely NEVER find me jumping any of those solid cross country fences, so your score on the weenie meter is way better than mine!
LikeLiked by 1 person
so happy i ran across your blog. great content 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person