Eventing Camp Day 2 dawned bright and early as sleeping in a tent means you’re up at the crack of dawn. We were so tired the night before that I passed out super fast, so fast that I said screw it to a shower. I felt bad for Andy, but we when you’re married being stinky together is part of the deal. 😛
The first group that went was schooling the BN/N questions and it was really fun to watch my buddies go and listen in on what Trainer A had to say. The more I watched the more I was thinking “this looks super fun”. Andy kept commenting about how fun it looked too and how the XC field would make a sweet mountain bike trail.
The “baby” group from Day 1’s stadium jumping was the last group to go so we were able to watch a bunch of others play in the XC field before having to tack up. Spot was much better this time in the warm up ring, but once we headed out to the course she started to get amped again. Ironically, she decided she had to lead the group out and powered walked/jigged her way out. I think the wide open spaces and running around with several horses reminded her of polo again. I haven’t played polo in so long that I forgot what she was like to play and I honestly got a bit nervous which most likely fed into her.
We started off with a simple tiny log on the ground, which at first Spot totally balked and was like “NOPE!”, but once we got over it she decided it was fine. Mares. The only problem was The Flying Potato wanted to take off after each little jump and thought it would be fun to throw her head and be a little hot potato. Not fun when you’re already nervous about your first time going XC.
The whole time on the XC course I really was trying to keep Spot in check and not let her run off with me. She was getting pretty strong and my soft, gentle dressage french link wasn’t quite giving me enough breaks, so we decided next time we needed a flash and a running martingale. Spot is so strong now from so much dressage work that she can use her big neck and booty against me. Besides her wanting to gallop off and her small broncing fits, she was great otherwise. She jumped all of the things I pointed her to and didn’t refuse a thing! Color me impressed for The Flying Potato’s first time XC schooling and 2nd time jumping.
Then we all went over to the water complex. Oh, the water complex that I had been slightly dreading/nervous about all weekend. The last time I tried to get Spot into water she promptly bucked me off because she was having none of it. I really didn’t want to repeat that experience but Trainer A and B (and pretty much everyone else) was pretty confident we would be able to get Spot in. All the other horses went straight in and Spot and I hovered on the edge of the complex with the very tips of her front feet touching the water. We danced along the edge a few times when I encouraged her to take a step into the monster filled lagoon when Andy and Fallon came over to stand by us to see if we could coax Spot to follow Fallon. Surprisingly enough, it kinda worked! Step by step we got all four feet into the water and when she put her head down to sniff the “lava” she realized it was just water. Spot started to paw the water quite vigorously and when I asked her to walk on she moseyed her way across the lagoon like it was no big deal.
After a few times of walking through the water, we got brave and trotted and cantered through it! This next video is pretty funny…I thought I would steer Spot towards an opening we hadn’t gone through and she slammed on the breaks like there was a monster living in that part of the water.
We eventually made it over to the “scary” side of the pond and had a few more canters through the water without a hitch. I was so proud of Spot and proud that we were able to conquer all of the things that day. She did everything I asked her to and she trusted me enough to do it. Nicole took most of these amazing photos, but this one is my favorite by far:
In fact, when she sent me this photo I pretty much burst into tears. My horsie mom heart couldn’t take it and it gave me all the feels.SO SO PROUD of my little potato. I thought we would never be able to go through water, let alone canter through it, and we accomplished both. I thought Spot wouldn’t like jumping, but boy was I surprised.
I had such an amazing time at Eventing Camp and I’m so glad I was able to go. I learned a ton and had so much fun. Maybe this is the start of a new eventing career for Spot and I?! Maybe!!