The plan was to take Katzimo and Crazy but I really wanted to ride Letterman. Sometimes you just want to ride you own horse and there are plenty of opportunities coming up to get Katzimo out. He will actually be heading to a combined test this upcoming weekend so that will be fun.
We headed up to Tranquility Manor in Monkton, Md for the paper chase. I have evented there but never done the paper chase. It was a 6-8 mile course with lots of jumps, water crossings, up and down hills and so much more.
It started out a bit hectic for us because when we got the horses off the trailer a donkey started braying, horses were galloping by and then a rider came cantering up right past our trailer and jumped in and out of the dressage ring??? Letterman was quite wild at this point and all the horses were a bit rattled. Jess was doing her first paper chase on a green horse and at that point I could tell she was very nervous.
We walked up to the start point where there was a ring and got on there. Crazy was looking around but very quiet. Once she got on she relaxed and Kurt and I were just praying we would stay on for the 15 min it always takes our goofy horses to chill out. We were very very thankful to the steep hills we could trot up to wear them out 🙂 Our plan with our two horses is always to just get them moving. Letterman and Junior are the types that do much better when you just go forward. Put your hands down, heels down and move on.
Jess relaxed as soon as she realized she was the one on the sane horse 🙂 Our horses were cantering and bucking going up and down hills and Crazy was just trotting on a loose rein looking around. He was totally unaffected by being in the back and at times he was way behind Junior and Letterman and couldn’t care a little bit. We would go cantering up the hills and he would make his own way up.
He is getting much stronger and he did an excellent job of cantering the whole paper chase! We had to navigate some tricky hills both straight up and straight down, mud and several water crossings. One or two came down a steep path and were really mucky. He didn’t even care!
It was so hot and humid so while we did a lot of trotting and cantering we also tried to walk in the woods and let them cool down. Crazy wasn’t as fit as our boys but he was holding his own.
Crazy and Junior are so darn adorable!
We were passed by some riders and we passed another team or two. None of the horses got worried about that which is always nice.
We tried to stop at every water crossing and let the horses get a drink. Letterman and Junior have figured out drinking while riding. Crazy wasn’t too sure and just wanted to stick his head in the water and play.
This is Letterman’s happy to be in water face.
We were all thrilled with just how good Crazy was the whole time. Our boys can be a bit silly but Crazy never even paid attention to them. I even raced Kurt up a hill and Crazy got to pick up maybe a hand gallop and we all laughed so hard. He did win some races but it is hard to believe as laid back as he is now.
We all were feeling very hot and thirsty. Jess said she was really thirsty but we didn’t think too much of it because we all were. We were so happy to get back to the trailers. So hot! We started untacking and Jess went to the food stand to get some water and hose down Crazy. Kurt and I were hosing our horses down near the trailers and then Kurt went to get our drinks. He found Jess sitting down holding Crazy. Yep, heat got to her and she had passed out while holding Crazy. Apparently he was a saint and just stood there looking at her concerned. Some people were helping get her cooled down and some food into her. Kurt came back with Crazy and then we got Jess back into the cooled down truck.
It was a long hot ride so we should have had some water. Lesson learned for next time.
We still all had a great ride and Jess left us with a good story 🙂 We are hoping Crazy finds his perfect person. He is just so much fun to ride.