first cross country schooling show... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 08-30-2009, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
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I didn't mean for this to turn into a giant debate.

I appreciate the concerns for my safety and my horse's safety, but (and I think I have mentioned this a couple times before) I do have one thing going for me. I am all ready pretty much schooling in XC conditions. The area that the jumps are set up in is a hay feild that is anything but smooth and the jumps are solid, I have seen and felt first hand what and accident over these jumps can do, both to myself and my horse as well as other horses and riders. So in that sense I feel competely prepared.

MIE - I was trying to figure out where to get a vest from. I didn't really want to buy one in case I find that I really hate XC and never want to do it again (which I doubt will be the case). I don't think I will fit into the one the girl I am going with wears either, she's several sizes smaller than me. If you have an old one that I could barrow I would appreciate it.
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-01-2009, 05:08 PM
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Haha I am going to sound like such a noob, but what does GAG stand for? I presume it's lower level, but what's the acronym?
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-01-2009, 05:14 PM
Green Broke
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GAG stands for Green as Grass. It is also called Pre- Beginner Novice, Tadpole, or Baby Beginner Novice

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post #14 of 18 Old 09-02-2009, 07:42 PM
Green Broke
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I've never had "Cross Country lessons" but that was mainly because there was no one (that I knew of at the time) that taught that. I was lucky to agist with my first pony next to a good, varied public cross country course. I got used to riding around there on my own - jumping downhill/uphill or negotiating trees etc. I would have learnt more with an instructor but I was young, fearless and probably fairly stupid. I learnt a lot through experience though, if my horse didn't think he could take it or he just didn't feel like it he would refuse - he was a chronic refuser - so I learnt to sit them, and learnt to approach jumps properly, and make them seem less scary.

I don't think the jumps themselves are the dangerous part on a cross country so much as the conditions surrounding them. Just things like approaching on a downhill slope, jumping into shadow, what angle/side to approach a jump, depending on where the next one is etc. Also, if you don't have experience with 'drops' or 'stairs' or whatever they are called they can be a bit of a shock the first time.

Remember chances are your horse will have never seen the course or the jumps before. Even if you create solid jumps in a field its not really going to mimic the conditions of a course.

If you want to go and do it and you can't afford an instructor then go but take it very carefully. If you are faced with a jump/conditions you are inexperienced with and nervous about maybe just signal to the jump person that you are going to skip that jump. You can come out there another day when there isn't pressure and you have time to work on it - or when you have an instructor there.

Pony club ended up teaching me a fair bit about XC, we had good instructors and reasonable courses but I understand how hard it can be to afford lessons, especially if you need to take your horse to them and you don't have a float etc.

I want to get into eventing again in the future, and I'll think I'll try attend some clinics or private lessons, it would definitely help.

Take it slow, be very aware, don't take stupid risks and if you are very worried about something don't do it. Wear a helmet and a vest if you can.

Best of luck if you go!
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-03-2009, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
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QHDragon, best of luck at the show and have fun!! Just be VERY careful, as some of the others have said...has your horse ever been on a x-c course before? The reason I ask is because my mare Sandie is VERY honest and will also jump most anything I point her at (as far as show jumping goes). But that ALL changes on the x-c course! I just got into Eventing this summer so this was our first year on x-c (for both of us) and I ended up falling off twice when I wasn't supporting her enough and we refused the jumps (INTRO jumps I might add...they were only 1" at the highest, and we can jump 2'6" in the arena at home).

Turns out she was nervous because she'd never been exposed to things such as logs, black tires, piles of rocks, piles of hay, and brush boxes, so she was afraid of them and so was I...a bad combination indeed! And because I was so used to her just going over everything, I wasn't supporting her enough and didn't even realize it, so that caused the refusals.

I'm not saying this to scare you, because I'm sure you'll do fine!! But just remember to STAY BACK and support your horse all the way to the base of the jump and DON'T LOOK AT IT lol...I kept doing that and ended up on the ground both times haha! Look ahead, support your horse so he feels confident, and sit back, shoulders back and you'll do fine!

Let us know how it goes!!

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post #16 of 18 Old 09-05-2009, 07:01 PM
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Although you don't have much experience with XC, the best way to learn is to do it, right? Just be careful and keep it safe - Go slow and expect the unexpected. If you trust Rocket, don't fail him when coming to your first (or either!) of the XC fences. Then the 2nd time around, don't necessarily be lenient, but see how willing he is. The jumps won't necessarily be familiar to him, but see how he reacts.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-06-2009, 12:26 PM
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I would love to come out and see the hunt club's GAG fences- wasn't aware they had even built any! But unfortunately, I've scheduled an X-C lesson that day... and have a show the next, so I don't think I'll be able to make it out this time. Maybe I'll have to go out some other time.

In regards to you going out and doing this, good luck, and be careful! =]

If you ever would like, I ride w/ Margaret Spencer, and I recently did an X-C lesson over her course, because my dad could drive her in our car. [She was in an accident, and is in a wheelchair.] Anyways, she only charged me $35 for about an hour's worth, if not more, of coaching. It was me and another woman, and I was very happy that I got to school her fences, and that I've got another lesson set up before the actual event I'm going to at Derbyshire the 20th.

I know it's tough to pay for everything in the economy, but there are quite a few places you can go to school X-C for not that much money. It's really worth going and getting your feet wet prior to going to any competition- although, BCH GAG should be okay at a trot, I would think, as long as you take it easy! =] Have fun and good luck!
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-07-2009, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I know Margaret! I use to take dressage lessons from her last winter and fall when my parents were still willing to help support my horsie habit. She's so nice, it was pretty sad to hear about her accident.

I don't know if I will be making it to this show any more, going to be pretty disapointed if I don't after switching work dates at my job, but I haven't heard from the girl I am suppose to go with all week.
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