Hilary & Rocky - XC Training

So at last we get to cross country practice, Friday was a beautiful spring like afternoon and after a quick call to the lovely Richard Stacey at Rosehill and some begging of my husband to accompany us we set off to try some solid fences.

The going was perfect and there were lots of 70 cm and smaller fences for us to try and get a rhythm over. Rocky was very keen to get going he was so enjoying being out in the spring sun. There is quite a hill which we really should have cantered down but I have to confess I was too chicken to canter down so we just trotted, I figured that as Aston Le Walls is pretty flat it is unlikely to be a requirement on the cross country on March 5th so I convinced myself it was not essential to practice it!

My nerves are totally my biggest obstacle, my legs just shake and I feel light headed and dizzy we manage 5 or 6 jumps in a row and then I have to slow down and get my act together and start again. My daughters have convinced me that adrenalin will kick in in the actual competition, so I am hoping that, that port and rescue remedy will get me through.

We finished with actually cantering through the water rather than my initial very gingerly trot and Rocky took my by surprise with what felt like a huge leap out but to my delight I remembered to slip the reins and hold my balance.

Next weekend is busy with a family 21st and our local pony club show jumping so I won't make it to any more clinics so my plan is to practice my dressage and focus on canter work in the field and try to keep cantering for at least five minutes without stopping. Then the day before my event on March 4th just have a practice jumping over a few show jumps. The section lists are now up I am quite late on and the dressage does not start till 2pm so I have plenty of time to walk courses but also get nervous!

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