Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happiness in Jump Form

I have to admit, I love schooling. I basically get to ride cross country without any of the hype or pressure of an event, having a great time with Matt and/ or my mom and various friends tagging along, like it's a party over jumps. And if we jump a fence that's a bit wonky? Well, we can turn around and do it again.

So today Matt and I went over to Stonegate Farm, home of good family friends Margaret and Michael Korda. Stonegate has a fantastic course with lots of options, and jumps for Beginner Novice through Training Level. I hadn't had Zeus on an outing since our eventing debut at Riga Meadow, so getting out and about in a low stress environment was important.

The fences are incredibly well tended to, and we had a wonderful warmup over some stadium jumps.
Stonegate has some scary-ish looking show jumps for green horses, so it was a great opportunity to let Zeus check out some imposing stuff.
And then we were off to XC!

We did most of the BN course, with Zeus happy and not batting an eye. It's definitely a bit more challenging than the course at Riga Meadow, but great practice for us in preparation for King Oak in a few weeks.
Zeus also did his first trakehener - basically a ditch with a log over it. Ditches can be tricky for green horses, but a baby trakehner is a good way to get a horse started over ditches. This photo cracks me up with my chicken elbows, but you can see Zeus really checking out that hole in the ground! He jumped it like it was a giant effort, but he was super willing! The second time we went over it, he was like, "Oh yeah, I can handle this, no problem Mom!"
Good boy, Zeus!
The rest of the school was a blast and a half. Zeus thought so too.
Special shout out to Matt. Aren't his photography skills awesome?! I'm so impressed when I look through the camera when we get home, to see all of this beautiful shots.

Next weekend, we're off to a hunter pace with Zeus' new BFF Snoopy, which will be great fun. Good times to be had in August!


Anonymous said...

Zeus is such a gorgeous horse!

Kate said...

What a NICE horse, and great photos! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

You both look Awesome! Great photos (thanks Matt!) Best of luck to you in your upcoming events!!!

Anonymous said...

oops, forgot to sign it! This is Renee. ;)

Arliss said...

What a beautiful place for schooling, what nice work by you and the amazing Zeus, and what GREAT photos by Matt! Wow! Really enjoyed this. :-)

Keep it up, and good luck at the upcoming events! (I'm still in FL on family duty, but we'll be back in CT by Sept. 1 and are looking forward to some "horsing around"!) xo

Anonymous said...

Matt's photos are fantastic! And you and Zeus look like such a great team...really in tune with each other. Beautiful stuff! -Cat