My equestrian daughters call it “cross-training”. Riding a cross-country type course, it is a departure from riding practice hunter/jumper courses. It keeps the horses interested. Moreover, it improves their speed and endurance. Also, it prevents their riders from settling into a rut when it comes to their training.
at nearly full speed, Deborah and Comet execute ” the bounce”
With jumps low and no water barriers, Deborah, Tara, and Elizabeth took their turns on their cross-country course, at the JN Ranch, this morning. When riding, their competitiveness show in their eyes. And, while no times were kept, each, good-naturedly, claimed they had won. In the session, this afternoon, they turned their attention back to the 1.40 m hunter course they’ve been practicing with.
This practice cycle has been a good and productive one. If anything, the weather has aided their preparation immensely – last week’s humid conditions, this week’s hot conditions. Much better was today’s hot and muggy. It’ll be the kind of weather they’ll encounter in the next set of horse shows. They’ll wrap this practice cycle tomorrow with a light workout and a walk Saturday morning.
Whenever a practice cycle comes to an end, it is not uncommon for my girls to have a slight case of butterflies. It’s the excitement of the coming competition. A touch of nervousness. It’s much more heightened this time around with the schedule, and the riders they’ll be competing against. One of their competitors will be Megan, their former mentor and Rustler teammate. After suffering a leg injury three years ago, Megan has worked considerably to regain her form. Though last year was a struggle, Megan has quietly put together a very solid season and proving she’s a tough competitor. Talking with the girls, she wished them the best of luck – but not too much.