My plan was to take Rosey to the x-c schooling at Fairhill, Md on Sunday. I had been away for work all week and had come down with a horrible cold but the work still has to be done. On Saturday evening a woman called who was interested in looking at Rosey for her 14 yr daughter and wanted to see her right away so they decided to drive to see her the next day at Fairhill.
Now this was Rosey’s first x-c schooling and for anybody who has ever been to a fairhill schooling you know it can just be mass chaos. Within the first 5 min walking down the main drive we encountered a cart being pulled by a pony. Rosey was having a panic attack and I could feel her heart pounding underneath my legs. Her first reaction was to turn around and RUN AWAY. I gently walked her in circles but each time I would turn to face the cart she wanted to spin the other way. It was all very controlled and not panicked but she was scared and that was very understandable. I suppose on some horses I would have gotten down but I know Rosey and knew she would be okay with a minute or two of circling. I was able to get her to walk past it but she really didn’t want to go and kept her eye on that cart the whole time. The people were wonderful (thank you!) and had just stopped to make sure the cart didn’t move as I was walking by it.
She was a bit jazzed up from this experience and of course the people who are there to see her were following me down in the car seeing all of this. I think they were a bit concerned but I thought she handled herself with amazing poise because a cart + pony is very scary. She kept her mind in the game the whole time and was listening to me.
When we got up there she was a big big eyed looking around. Fairhill is huge and you can see horses everywhere all doing something different. Although she was looking she went right to work and I had a w/t/c around the small area and then jumped a few warmup fences. She stopped at the first x-rail mainly because she was so busy seeing the world she didn’t know we were jumping. No biggie 🙂
They opted to ride her in the enclosed ring so we walked down there and were faced with our first loose horse of the day who came galloping right in front of her. That always is exciting but she didn’t seem to be affected by that. We walked what seemed like a mile to me (I was on foot) mainly because I was sick, hot and already exhausted. Rosey always amazes me with how brave she is. There is a concrete pad that water runs across and she walked right across without a blink.
The girl rode her in the ring and that went really well. She was nervous (of course riding a strange horse is hard!) but Rosey was very patient and they came together nicely. We pulled out a brick box and set that up in the ring and she jumped it from the trot and canter getting a variety of distances all of which Rosey happily jumped from. Rosey stayed very quiet and relaxed and you could see they were both very happy together.
I got back on Rosey for a brief schooling mainly because I was feeling yucky but wanted to do the ditches, water and banks so I could enter a BN with confidence. I should have known that nothing would be an issue with Rosey. She walked right over both of the ditches very nicely although the first trip down she was going OMG water in the ditch and stopped and then did a big leap.
She got a bit nervous with the big groups of horses so I just kept her moving. We trotted over to the water and she trotted right in and had the cutest face just as happy as could be. She loves water and frequently plays in the big puddle in her paddock at home so I suppose this was no big deal to her.
Ready to conquer the world
I don’t know if she had ever seen a bank before but the fairhill bank is fairly narrow and about 2’3″. She walked up it without a care in the world and then gently dropped off.
I ended with that and gave her lots of praise. She was quite relaxed until we came across the man riding a blue bike pulling a blue baby carriage. She did spin me around and I just chose to canter a circle and stay away from this blue bike. Heck that thing scared me no need to scare her as well.
She got a nice sponge bath and I unloaded by other horse and put her back in the trailer. She stood so quietly you wouldn’t have even know she was on there. Even when I rode back with my other horse she never even made a noise. She is the easiest horse to deal with and she has such a great attitude. I forgot to mention I jumped some very solid BN/Novice fences making me way from the water to the bank and she was so brave and jumped them with tons of scope. Man this girl can really jump and she loves it. I got a call that the people loved her and want to take her on trial so she will head off next week to see if she wants the job of being a pre-children’s jumper.