Considering Saturday was our first lesson on grass in about 6 months it didn't go too bad. Murphy was up for it (XC is his most favourite thing) and attacks the fences with (what feels like) the speed we would need to go around Badminton. I had forgotten this XC pace and have got used to the slower, more gently SJ canter so I was quite tense. The main aim was to just knock the dust off and we did that. I was rigid through my shoulders which meant Murphy was a berk at times (understandably) and the fences weren't too pretty. But we Jumped the fences we had worked up to last season and then some. I am really lucky as Murphy doesn't have an issue with Steps (up or down), water (he's like a toddler in a puddle), ditches and light to dark and vice versa. He does still need to be ridden and if you take your eye off the ball or have a 'erm' moment, he tells you he's not doing it, sometimes far enough away 'he writes you a letter' other times at the very last second. So were back to working on confidence and relaxation especially as my inbuilt tape measure seems to have gone a little off again.
Today (Sunday) we have a hunter trail, it's a pick and mix class and the focus is on completing a course and building on that confidence and relaxation, and really just getting used to XC again. Our aim is to do at least some of the 80 course but as I said, its more about completion and having a good time.
Huge amount of positives to come from the hunter trail and a number of learning points. It took us a while to get going so had a number of stops, but once we did he flew. We missed out a chunk of the course (not intentionally but as it was a pick and mix class it was fine) and we didn't do as many of the larger fences as I had intended but the plan changed once we had a few stops and it was more about getting going forward and having a positive run which we eventually achieved. Once we did get going he was back to the big gallopy Murphy that eats up the fences that we got to at the end of last year so the result may have looked like a cricket score but a really positive run.
Need to put our lessons into practice for next week, our first ODE of the season. The height shouldn't be a problem just need to find a rocket for the start box :)