Sunday, 20 April 2014

XC schooling at Tweseldown

Buddy and some of his friends trotted off to Tweseldown today for his first proper XC schooling session. We've done bits and bobs here and there but nothing totally XC focused. I was excited and terrified in equal measures!

We warmed up and it soon became evident that I had lost my XC riding mojo and I sucked! I haven't ridden XC properly for a fair few years but as I've been showjumping (and we had an awesome session on Thursday) I thought I'd be ok. I can't tell you how awful I was - I was just thinking completely backwards which is not what you need for XC - and then the more I messed up and the more I saw my friends doing well I just started to spiral into a place I haven't been for a long time.
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Neither of us totally sure what we're doing!
I semi kicked myself but still wasn't quite getting the right pace and wasn't making Buddy's job easy but he still had his ears pricked and was thoroughly enjoying himself. He popped off his first drop like a pro (I did think he'd launch into space) and was really well behaved - anything he did 'wrong' was because I was riding like a total wally and he had no choice but to stop.

We then went to string a series of fences together and after watching the others go it was my turn. I had a 'thing' about a chair which shouldn't have caused us any bother but I just couldn't get over it, on the third go I knew I was the problem so bypassed it on the way to the next fence. I then pulled Buddy up and asked if the people with me could stop watching me as I was just being rubbish. I'm such a wally as they really don't care but when it goes wrong I still struggle to stop myself thinking like it. 
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Starting to get the hang of it
My lovely YO suggested I take some 1-2-1 time with Buds and get my mojo back. I gave myself a virtual slap and told myself to stop being a knobber and actually ride! As soon as everyone disappeared I managed to pop all the fences in a proper rhythm without a care in the world - what is wrong with me?! Anyhoo, my mojo was found and then I went and joined the others again. We then did the water and strung some fences together, into and out of the water. I rode, Buddy flew and my YO said it was the best we'd been all day and I think we even got a 'good'. Finally!
My favourite pic of the day!
As I was so rusty I am going to get out again very soon as I cannot go eventing riding the XC like a lemon and I want to enter my first event. My show jumping was like this and we have found our mojo there so I'm hoping we will be ok with another session under our belts. Buddy loved it and was really towing me into the fences towards the end which, funnily enough, coincided with me riding positively and trusting him. Gotta love Le Donks - he's such a star!

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