THIS is what they've been waiting to do since forever. Training and getting in shape by galloping around hay fields and popping over hay bales. This is the third part of "eventing". Dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country.
Tuesday we trailered out to Cobblestone Farm to practice in their cross country fields. Most of the jumps are set up as a series from small to big like the one below (there's actually even more that are bigger that aren't in the picture). This allows riders to school over jumps that are appropriate for their level of training. Madison and Mata Hari aren't total beginners but since this was really their first time out, they stuck to the smaller jumps even though Mata Hari would have MUCH preferred to go bigger.
This was their first time schooling a step down jump and to say it was awkward would be an understatement!
This was one of the biggest jumps they did - great form for both them!
At the end, they did a "course" running both sides for a total of 10 jumps. Because it's on two separate fields of about 10 acres each, I had to film it in two videos with a small section missing while I ran from one field to the other!
Here is part 1. The "junk" you see beyond them at the beginning is what is left of a big barn fire they had about 2 weeks ago. Very sad - this place is beautiful and an amazing facility.
and part 2:
But this is how they started the evening:
Then they worked on "ditches". The first one isn't really a ditch at all but just built to look similar to the others but with no "hole" dug out.
Next was working on getting through the water. I didn't video "walking" through the water but that was very uneventful.
Next was trying the step up out of the water.
And finally, stepping down into the water.