Cross Country Clinic

Not the best weekend ever … I came away with a bruised ego, a black eye and a very sore back! 

Honestly, the whole day started off on a bad note for various reasons but walking around the field allowed me to settle. I was quite excited when we started as we were being coached by a top eventing rider and it is my dream to be able to event. 

First red flag (which I only see now) was that this was a class for ‘babies’ and we went and started out on some larger upright logs. Max was not impressed and ducked out immediately when faced with the first jump. And all I truly remember is being yelled at – not something I am used to! We attempted the same jump a few times and eventually, after much yelling from the instructor, got over it. We managed a second jump too, also with loads of yelling, but we did it.

After the upright logs, which were a good 60-65cm we moved on to some painted logs with stone walls- these were definitely bigger than 60cm – at least they seemed bigger. We followed a lead horse, who had no issues jumping any of the other jumps, but refused the wall. The instructor had Max and I trot into the jump, which he refused. She made us walk up to it, confident that he could “step over it”.

Well, he didn’t, but I ended up on the other side.

Falling on my head and compressing my back like a concertina, my ego was the most hurt. I didn’t feel okay enough to get back on, thankfully Megan was there and offered to ride Max so that we didn’t end on a bad note. At the beginning of the clinic we were aiming for the eventing competition at the end of March, but by the end it was clear that we weren’t taking on a cross country course anytime soon. 

Although the clinic did not go the way I expected it, I learnt something so incredibly important that day.

I wasn’t comfortable going into the wall jump, I didn’t speak up and I absolutely should have. I am my horse’s voice, his advocate and if I am not comfortable asking him to do something, I will speak up. It is something that I would like to pass on to other rider’s, in any discipline. So please, any rider who reads this: 

You are your horse’s voice, their advocate and if you are not comfortable asking they to do something, you SPEAK UP.

On another note, Max and I are entered into our first Show Jumping competition on the weekend. I am a bit unsure after this experience but we will take it easy and if we can just get into the ring it will be a win.

Until next time xx

Erin & Max

Warm up with Belinda & Wills

Some love from Granny!

Body protectors, although the most uncomfortable things to wear, are absolutely necessary when doing x-country.

Our first jump, after many attempts.

Action shots captured by my brother.

Thankfully I came away from a pretty nasty fall without any serious injuries.