We had a week of thunderstorms and torrential rain. Missed my girl, but Thursday we were back at it! I’ve been wanting to try cross country. Today was the day! I had ordered a safety vest and it arrived just in time for my Thursday lesson.

Tessa was finishing up another lesson when I arrived, so I tacked Lexi up and we headed for the arena on our own. We did a little warm up. I’m getting used to her and her little spooks. Sometimes I think she’s just toying with me to see if she can get a reaction when she gives me a little sideways jump out of the blue as though she saw something “Really Scary” when there was nothing there. I’ve learned to laugh and tell her not to be silly and she cuts it out. I’ve reverted back to the days when I’d just use the “Mom” voice (you know, that calm stern deeper voice) to get everyone’s attention. Works just as effectively on Lexi. She can be a character. I love it that we’re getting to know each other and what to expect from each other.

Tessa soon came down and suggested we go out to the the grassy area where she had some logs set up to jump and see how we did outside the arena. We’ve done a couple trail rides with several other riders but this was our first working session outside of the arena. I was more than game. We started slow on the grass, working in circles, walk, trot. I walked her through the small shrubs and over the logs I would ask her to jump. After a little warm up to get her focused and find my seat, we adjusted my stirrup length and picked it up a bit. We found our track and cantered around to get our line and up over the logs. She did great. Only once I went into my two point early and threw her off a bit. That one was a bit rocky but we rode it through and stayed in sync for the rest of our session. It was a fabulous experience! Sooo much Fun!

Today was Sunday so I had the day to spend with her! Tessa was hosting a birthday party for one of her students so Lexi and I decided to head out to the pasture and practice our cross country. It was a good opportunity for us both to get used to being out on our own and working together. We haven’t worked outside of the arena on our own, so it was exciting to see how we made out. I took the precaution of wearing my safety vest and carrying my cell phone on our maiden venture, just in case. If nothing else my little precautions gave me the confidence to push the envelope just a little.

We started slow in the area we had worked in the other night. We worked in circles; walk, trot, back to walk. Once we were comfortable and focused we picked it up a bit and worked over the logs. Then it was time to head out further and do some exploring! We headed down the trail and found an open grassy area with just a few small logs and some small hills. We worked on a circle at a trot then up and down the hills, over the logs which could qualify as a little pole work. I brought her back to a walk to give her a break and we wandered a bit further. After she’d had a bit of a rest, we picked it up to a canter. It was such a freeing feeling to canter out in the open just the two of us!

We carried on out there exploring and working and taking breaks, occasionally working our way back to the yard to find my water bottle for a quick sip and back out we’d go! She did so great! She is such a joy to spend the day with, and such a pleasure to ride! I feel so fortunate to have found her. She’s easily the kind of horse where there just aren’t enough hours in the day to spend with her.

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