The hunter pace, that is! Wow. What a BEAUTIFUL track it was! 8 miles of old hunt country on the property of the steeplechase racetrack. I managed to convince honorary little sis to come with me since poor Becca's bun is seriously causing her some back/hip pain. Yesterday I finally got out of the ring and walked hills in the mare's back pasture. He did great until the FINAL one, and he decided to throw a little hissy and kick up a little bit. He was NOT happy that I was making him march up and down on contact. So, since he decided to be a twit, made him do an extra:)
Nicole and I were the 2nd team to head out. The grass felt absolutely amazing; soft and squishy but not too wet. Started with a nice, leisurely walk up and down hills in beautiful, wide open fields. N and I caught up on life and chatted until we got through the woods and sighted in on our first jump! A nice, stout coop with sort of a sketchy takeoff out of the woods. Star tried to be a spook monster and stopped at it at first, but then N circled and she went. Thank GOD I'd put Muffin's neck strap on; grabbed it, and he jumped the coop so huge I got jumped out of the tack. No stop and leap, no stutter, just WAY overjump!
We kept walking and chatting until we found the 2nd coop; it was a little MORE stout, but in a more friendly location. Cantered up, found a decent spot, and he still jumped out of his skin. Weaved in and out of the woods, carried a nice xc type gallop, and came upon a wall of stacked up boulders. It was not hugely TALL, but it was kind of wide with a lot of weeds, and this one had a sketchy landing. Found an ok spot, and he jumped the snot out of it! Rode for about an hour and 40 mins; had a couple of FLAT OUT (my favorite!) gallops, showed off our new and improved trot to little sis, and hung on his face most of the time while he tried to pull my arms out! I will be SORE tomorrow, no doubt:) Found a few excellent distances to the coops, found one AWFUL distance that resulted in a colossal crash on his neck so hard I jammed my thumb pretty badly. All the stone walls felt good (about 4 total), and even one of them had a drop on the back side:) Crossed a few small creeks, trotted in and out of puddles and he could have cared less.
There will be another hp on the steeplechase land in October; I would LOVE to do it again. Really enjoyed myself:) Took the ponies back to the barn, hosed them both, put them away, and headed to PWF to teach lessons. Finally home and fed, and I am EXHAUSTED. What an amazing day!!!!