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We Are Flying Solo

August 3, 2010


When it hasn't been hot, it's been raining. Sometimes it's hot AND raining. Pick your poison.

BO has been hankering to take Ben, her baby OTTB out XC schooling since he's never seen anything other than the odd log. When she gave me sad doe eyes, I gave in, as she needed Solo to be the chaperone to convince young Padi'wan Ben that the water complex will not suck him in and drown him.  I'm a sucker for the sad eyes, but at least I'm a helpful sucker.

Pro: It wasn't hot. Con: It was raining. But hey, we're eventers, we gallop on! The owner of the XC course was out there digging a new Training/Prelim ditch/trakhener (oh MAN, I can't wait till that's done!) in the rain and waved and hollered when she saw us: "Y'all are REAL eventers!" Hahahahha, yes we are!  And we thanked her profusely for all her hard work, because this place has phenomenal footing, even in the drizzle.

Solo was just THRILLED about being the Steady Eddie: It's raining on me. Which I hate. And I'm just STANDING here, WTF is the point of that? And did I mention I am getting rained on?

Solo:  Hurry up, kid, it's only a stupid puddle.  
Ben: OMG, OMG, it's SPLASHY and WET and OOOOOO, it's FUN and I'm a horse GENIUS and OMG, I'm so BRAVE and this is AWESOME!

Solo: I'm soo impressed. Really. And I'm still getting rained on.

Solo also shared his great wisdom on banks: See, you just go off. No biggie. Well, actually, you leap off, but for some reason we are walking today. My mom is weird, but then, what's new?
Ben: Ohhhhhh....

Ben, to his credit, took it all in stride and had the time of his short little life. And Solo finally got to move on to his reason for living: JUMPY JUMPY! But, in his opinion, wayyyy not enough gallopy gallopy.  Hey, betcha didn't know you could shower and ride at the same time!

And of course, what good's a schooling day without GALLOPY SPLASHY!  Hey lady, shorten your damn stirrups already...

And we worked a little on our bank rhythm, including a tricky new line I hadn't tried before, which is drop into water, about three or four strides in the water, and then jump out. Wow, steering is HARD when you slip your reins!! Here's a little bank tip though, that we learned from David O. Jumping off a bank consists of two motions: (1) Your horse rocks back and jumps up and out. You NEED to stay with his motion and ride this like a regular show jump.

(2) Now your horse drops down and HERE you let your hips open as he drops underneath you.  Slip your reins so you don't catch his mouth and be ready to follow his motion as he gallops on.  Keep your leg wrapped around him and be prepared to add leg because the water will drag him and slow him down.

The goal, of course, being to get the optimal maximum splashiness as you hit the water so you can rinse that sweat off your face.

Oh, c'mon, more splashy, you can do better that!!


Ahhh, that's more like it!  Bonus points if you can make faces as awesome as that at the same time.


  1. That looks amazing. Someday, maybe my pony can be a trooper too.

  2. I love your picture comments. That totally looked like a blast. I am gonna have to find a xc course around here to go to.

  3. I love this blog!!

    Looks like you had a lot of fun in spite of the rain. It's hard not to be a teensy weensy bit jealous. :)

  4. That looks like fun, rain and all!

  5. Thanks, Amanda! And everyone! We were wet wet wet! But it was good to get out. Solo is all fat and out of shape from his summer break, we must get back to the hilly trails and whip our butts!

    Pruuuuski, the logs are calllllinggg!!

  6. Uuuggghhhh, whenever I see your super-fun XC pics, I am filled with longing and jealousy! Seeing as I have no horse and there are no XC courses within a 100 mile radius, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. :-(
    Solo is such an awesome babysitter pony! Looks like he finally got to have his fun in the end, though.

  7. Solo looked like he had fun! Ben's going to be a good little eventer, too, by the look of those.

  8. Great pics! I feel like I need to towel off. :-)

  9. I love your picture comments and I am so jealous!!!!!

  10. I was laughing at your face in that last picture! Ben looks like a nice young man, and I am sure he will grow into a stupendous eventer after having such a wonderful lead-in from Solo!

  11. Thanks again, everyone. Ben will definitely be a little star, he was great!

    Wolfie, I don't think a towel will cut it. Maybe an industrial truck dryer.

    Alana, it takes talent to look that goofy!

  12. Oh wow. This makes me wish I was 12 and on my rockstar event pony again. Instead I have a (barely) broken mare who is scared of the mirrors in the dressage arena... hmmm. Maybe she just needs to watch Solo go.... :)

  13. Hey, there are no mirrors on XC!