Horse Shows

Chatt Hills HT: Cross Country

After our disastrous (to me, because I overthink things) SJ showing, I spent the night questioning if I should run Leo XC. Maybe I just needed to go home and work on stuff some more. Maybe he needed to get “fixed” by Trainer B before I attempted to jump him again. If you can’t tell, I desperately don’t want Leo to be a stopper.

My XC time was 12:47 so I spent the AM packing, helping the team and trying not to think of how a couple fences would definitely get me eliminated on P. Old habits die hard, yo.

Jump one had a lot of horses peeking at the mulch below
2 was straightforward but P has stopped at Windridge’s replica of this
Jump 3 was the same for T and N, and caused issues at all 3 levels, though I’m not exactly sure why
The only filler that consistently seems to spook Leo is straw at the base. So great that straw was the filler for the only combo on course
5 strides to the out
Then you crossed a road and jumped this. It was next to the T version and looked teensy
So…neither Leo nor I have ever jumped this kind of jump before
Oh the water. Wait til you see the helmet cam
And a little boat jump a few strides out of the water
I had to walk all the way to the back field a second time because I could not for the life of me remember where this jump was, it was so nondescript
Another little table
I’d be lying if I said this jump didn’t give me some pause. I was wishing it was next to the T version
This was another jump that had N and T versions and caused all sorts of issues.
I accidentally took a picture of the N one, and didn’t realize until my photographer friend told me yesterday that BN had the option of jumping the hanging log on the left of the BN ditch. Booooo.
2nd to last jump was a little boring, TBH
I don’t think Leo has ever jumped brush, but otherwise it was similar to jump one

Luckily on my way down to XC, which was quite the hike from the barn, I rode with another adult ammy in my division and we got to chat about our horses, which made me way less nervous about the potential for Warmup Leo to return. And thankfully warmup wasn’t super crowded and I was able to nip in the bud a few antics and have a not-so-bad warmup, despite the announcer saying things like “elimination” and “jump 3 has ANOTHER stop,” and “a big spook at jump 12” (the table with wings). I was wishing for some ear plugs at that point.

Then it was our turn and we were off for our first BN together!

This was the 3rd time ever that I can remember having fun DURING the course. The first time was of course with C, the horse that started the plan for Leo to begin with. The second time was Leo and I on XC in VA last October at the starter level. This horse just really seems to love XC.

With Trainer B back in FL. He just has this expression all the time on XC.

Except…that water. Oh my, the water. I was SURE they were going to give me a 20 for that. Leo’s always been a little iffy about water, but has seemed to be ok with “regular” looking water, aka, not dyed. He’s given me no issue in either waters at Carolina Horse Park, and gave me no issue in Virginia. But he HAS taken hard looks and/or done the sideways thing at Trainer B’s water, and at both HTs in Florida- all which are dyed turquoise. He jumped that oxer thing so well that it didn’t even occur to me that he wouldn’t go, so it really took me by surprise.

One second all is well and we’re heading straight into the water
And 4.2 seconds later, we’re behind the water

The rest of the course? In love with my horse. Jump 3, which claimed all sorts of victims at BN-T, Trainer B proclaimed to be perfect. The winged table? He didn’t look twice. He’s always seemed good with ditches, but has never seen one like this where it was wider at one end and narrower at the BN side (still kicking myself for not realizing the hanging log was an option), so I sat back and squeezed and he was like, “Oh, faster? Okie dokie.”


Now, it wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and here’s why. I have NO IDEA how fast I’m going on this horse. Like, none. He’s floaty so I think we’re zooming, then I see video and we’re moving in slow-mo. I didn’t wear a watch on course and I thought for sure we were going to get speed faults (I always did on P). WE WERE THE SLOWEST PAIR IN OUR DIVISION/SECTION.


And I guess because we didn’t go BACKWARDS at the water, they didn’t give me a 20, which saw us move back up to 6th!

The most handsomest rabid antelope there ever was


20 thoughts on “Chatt Hills HT: Cross Country”

  1. hey as long as you dont go backwards on a jump with no height i wouldn’t call it a 20 ๐Ÿ˜›

    excellent finish and hopefully the good result will give you even more confidence for next time!!


  2. I love it and love Leo omg! So happy you finally have a partner that feels equally enthusiastic about reaching the other side of the jumps!! Heโ€™ll figure out the water eventually – seems like for a lot of TBs it just โ€œclicksโ€ one day!!


    1. He was so enthusiastic and it was the BEST feeling! He totally couldโ€™ve gone right around another round or two after we crossed the finish flags


  3. An open oxer on the BN course? You go girl! I’m so glad you guys are having so much fun together! He is the cutest rabid antelope ever!


  4. HAHAHAHA Your approach to the water!!! That was hysterical!!!! And I love how Leo’s just strolling around the course…no big deal…. honestly thats pretty awesome…you’ll figure out the pace later but he’s so damn good… If you find go out to get Leo one day and he kinda looks like Chimi….well I didn’t swap them ok? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lol JK I’d find some other dark bay b/c I’m kinda partial to my big guy ๐Ÿ™‚


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