This past weekend tested my trust in my horse so much.
Saturday morning I went to my lesson and we did some cross country stuff. First we just trotted back and forth over the ditch and Ben went, first time, with just a little peek:
Then we put a couple of little courses together and as I was turning to the ditch, I just decided to suck it up and canter it and let whatever was gonna happen, happen. And you know what? Nothing happened!
The courses were not exactly beautiful, there was quite a few short spots, some long spots, he needed more leg in a few places, a couple of times I half-halted too strongly and he broke, but I was just so thrilled with how good he was!
And then, when I thought that I couldn't trust my horse any more than I already did, we went on the hunter pace yesterday. One of the scariest things I have ever done. Ben was an angel, he didn't buck not one time, and only thought about it once. He was a little jumpy and spooked a couple of times but he was just so wonderful. We started out in some fields where we mostly walked and trotted a bit and popped over some low fences. Both horses were a little nervous and we figured we'd do more as we went on. But then came The Hill. The Hill that everyone told us about explaining it as "Its weird really. Just a really steep hill right in the beginning." So, we're thinking it's just a long, steep uphill. No. Try a twisty, turny, muddy, rocky, rooty, insane hill. The only way up was to gallop it was so steep. One of the scariest things I have ever done.
The footing in the woods was so awful I'm shocked my horse is sound and still has all of his shoes. Tons of uphill and downhill and all the downhills were disgustingly muddy. Tons of extremely soggy areas with standing water and mud up to their knees. At one point Ben fell on his knees it was so bad. So, needless to day we did a lot of walking, some trotting on the dry level parts, and no jumping in the woods because the footing was terrible. The fun part came when we got back out into the field at the end. That's when I galloped and jumped quite a bit. That was a lot of fun.
We were thrilled to be back, however, and I am sure we were very far over the optimum time. I would say that overall it was fun and Ben seemed to enjoy himself very much but I felt bad making him go through all that muck. But it was also great to realize I had my horse back. He was pulling me to every fence I pointed him at (and some that I didn't point him at!), and he was jumping fantastically. It was nice to end the season with a successful outing and I can't wait for next season!