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Little bit of action on the side – Sarah

No, I haven’t written about Endurance much recently… in fact, not since Flesherton in July.  This may lead some of you to wonder what the deal is?!

Mostly, I am at the mercy of those kind friends who will offer me spots on the trailer to go to a ride.  And with most of the rides in August and early September being a bit farther from home, there haven’t been any spots for me on trailers.  Seriously need to work on getting a truck and gaining some independence!  I do feel a bit like I have been in another world… mostly because so to speak I have been in another world for the last month and a half – Eventing world!

I continue to work with Karen Briggs in regular lessons to cross train, it is very important and it helps keep us out of a mental funk.  Bentley has decided he quite likes our jumping lessons, although he has developed a bad habit of stopping when he sees a new jump.  Actually, it is my habit: when I get close to the jump, my eyes bug out of my head and I think “woah that’s much bigger than I thought/practiced” Of course, Bentley hears the first word of that sentence and complies… good boy?  He however, seems to like it, because after every jumping lesson he comes to greet me at the gate.  Conditioning or dressage rides he rarely even bothers to lift his head out of the hay feeder when he hears my car roll in.

So despite my cowardice in the face of a 3′ jump (laugh now Eventers and jumpers reading this, its a BIG deal for someone whose altitude typically comes in hill form), I humor Bentley and try hard to give him the cross training he wants… hoping that he doesn’t convert completely.

So we do this in our weekly lessons, I crewed for Karen in an Event that she rode in (to learn and ponder), jump judged cross country, and we have even taken Bentley Cross Country schooling and to a Hunter Pace.

I am going to share some videos now, and I apologize for them being raw and unedited.  I have seriously tried and failed with the video editing software.  2 times Windows Movie Maker has decided it didn’t like my input files and refused to convert (wasting probably a good 8 to 10 hours of my time total), and the Corel trial that I downloaded, although it would save properly, made all my videos choppy and had weird discolored pixelation (wasting another 4 or more hours).  So you will probably have to fast forward through slow parts and be patient – and seriously, please don’t judge when I do things wrong… I have Karen for that, and shes good.  Its better than you seeing only the best, in the worst quality video ever haha!  This is all pretty new to me, but it sure is fun to try!

Cross Country Schooling

This held a lot of first for Bentley and I.  First water jump, ditch, keyhole.  Karen was with her baby horse, so a lot of firsts all around!

We started off with the water.  Bentley was not very sure about it, hes happy to go in water usually when I ask at an endurance ride, but this was a weird puddle that we could go around easily and was dyed blue.  He must have thought I was crazy. A little convincing and he was in, a little unsure why we did this and whether or not I expected him to drink this weird water.

We slowly worked our way up to bigger obstacles

Then we strung a few together, and moved over to try our first ditch.

We went over that ditch so many times (Trying to lead Karen’s horse over) that eventually Bentley just stepped over it at the walk like it was no big deal.  FYI, the next week when Karen took him to the real event, the ditch was no issue, despite never actually getting over it this day.  Horses, seriously!

Then a little bit of bank play.  Again, a bit like the water, Bentley’s endurance training had him looking for the easiest solution, why jump up and down when there is a nice easy track beside?  It took a few tries before I drove the point home that this isn’t endurance, and he DOESN’T get to pick his path this time (and for me to really MEAN it).

Then we moved over to the other side (there were really 2 fields) with a new scary ditch and some other fun things to try.

Then we moved on to what was my Holy $4!* jump of the day: the keyhole.  I did get off to measure it after we were done, it was just under belly button height (so est somewhere just over 3′ tall) and about as wide as a very fat horse… a serious scramble to get over it as a human.  Of course when I measured this, I was about sure it was an olympic fence.  Karen assured me with a laugh that it wasn’t. (Just kidding, I know better, but I was told that in the grand scheme of the levels, its really quite small, which of course boggled my mind and garnered a great respect for those crazy enough to get to the top)

Much to my surprise, we cleared it on both the first and second attempt!  The third was not so great… we got over it, but it was a climb and not a jump.  Gotta love a trail horse.  Then several refusals later thanks to my lost confidence, I got a little help from Mr. Tappy and we were back in business.  Twice over and through and we called it a day.  Very proud of my gigantic trail horse, and he was pretty damn proud of himself too!


My garmin tracks for this ride:


PS.  I will get to the Hunter Pace in another post, thinking this one is full enough 🙂


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