Texas Rose Fall HT: XC

Last phase, best phase! If you haven’t seen the recaps from dressage and stadium yet, go check those out first to see my new format.

He is the cutest. Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

What went well?

Everything felt pretty easy and small, and nothing was particularly intimidating. That’s always a good feeling. My big goals for this course were a) smooth out the whole ride b) have a good jump at the trakehner. Aside from a random bobble (more on that in a bit) everything did come up really well out of stride and rode very smooth, plus the trakehner rode PERFECTLY. I’ve freakin buried him at a trakehner at the last 3 shows we’ve been to, so I was glad to finally break that stupid streak. Sorry Henny, thanks for your patience as you endure the life of an amateur horse.

Fence 3, a little table

I also was able to get a little redemption at the Weldon’s Wall, which we jumped on course here in the spring but it was not particularly pretty. They have a bunch of people and the ambulance parked near it and you have to pass all that stuff to get to the Weldon’s, which itself has a big downhill landing that makes it look like you’re jumping off into the abyss. Last time Henry was pretty spooky here and I had to growl at him a bit, but this time he was laser-focused and jumped the absolute shit out of that thing.


Henry also crossed the finish line with his ears pricked, barely so much as an elevated respiratory rate, and I’m pretty sure he could have quite easily gone around again. He’s really fit and strong, and that makes me happy.

What could have gone better?

First of all, there was a lot of confusion about what course my PT division was supposed to be doing – the regular Training course or the Championship course. It made more sense for us to do the Championship course, but nothing was posted or said about it anywhere, so several riders had to go track down the TD and ask. I didn’t find out that they just assumed we were going to do the Championship course until I was in the warmup, which was a little frustrating on several levels. Luckily there were only a couple things that were different between the courses, and I had seen them even if I hadn’t walked them.

Into the water over the Championship route

But anyway, we had kind of a sad and tragic “shit happens” incident when Henry almost busted ass galloping through a patch of longer grass/chewed up sand going up a steep hill right before the C element of the coffin. We were only a couple strides out at that point and there was just no way we were going to make it safely over the corner while he was still trying to get his feet back under him, so I had to circle, picking up a 20. It was a major bummer, but not a genuine refusal, so… just one of those things that can go wrong when you ride over terrain, I suppose.

What can we work on to improve things next time?

Clearly I should be more aware of slight footing changes, even if they seem relatively minor to me. Henry does have a tendency to trip easily, so I maybe should have tried to do more to help him there. Lesson learned.

Otherwise he was pretty foot perfect and everything felt good, but if I’m nit-picking I do think that I was a little bit less forward and positive to the first few jumps than I normally am, and it felt like he didn’t really get settled into his gallop until after the first water. Granted, the course was really twisty and turny and did not make for a good flow at all. I wasn’t a fan.

In general though it was a good show, with LOTS of learning moments, some big triumphs, and plenty that we can build on going forward. It was a major confidence boost for me, and I’m looking forward to Pine Hill in a couple weeks to close out our year!

16 thoughts on “Texas Rose Fall HT: XC

  1. Someone needs to photoshop that pic of you and Henry on the back half of the Weldon wall into the Head of the Lake… Basically the same thing, in Henry’s eyes.


  2. Ok, that would have irritated me to no end about not knowing which course! Rude. lol That is a true eventer pic flying off that brush, love it.

    Sucks about your footing issue, but minor on the scale of how awesome the round was. Congrats.


  3. Dear god, Henry, very, very excessive jump on that wall! I would have eaten it trying to ride that. Holy bajeebus.

    Bummer on the 20 but it sounds like a great day overall!!!!


  4. Wow, he really did jump the snot out of that Weldon’s Wall! He looks like he’s just so much fun to ride cross country. That stinks about the stumble but like you said, it’s just one of those things and an opportunity to learn for next time. Gah, it makes me wish we could get out on cross country again before, like, May next year!


  5. Such a XC MACHINE! Some horses really have “it” on XC and some don’t, even if they can still get around. Henry has it! Love his expressions. LOVE that landing photo off the Weldon’s. Super bummer about the trip and circle, but I’m sure it was just a fluke thing. Congrats!


  6. I’m in awe of that Weldon’s pic – and that’s the one that needs to be framed on your wall! Girl. if you had any doubts – you are Certified Grade-A Honest To God EVENTER now, ya hear?? 🙂 Good job to you and Henny!


  7. You made it!
    I will never get over Henny’s ecstatic xc squirrel face. The teeth kill me.
    Holy excessive jump over that Weldon’s Wall. Kudos for staying on!


  8. yay!! I could wallpaper rooms with Henrys cross country face. it always makes me smile 🙂 Great job. Whew….sorry about the stumble but nice save and Henry could care less about the 20…:) He just wants to jump jump jump!!


  9. I’m sorry about the stumble and circle, but always better to have a mark on your record than an accident. At least in my opinion! Sounds like everything else went beautifully though! Congrats!


  10. I’m so confused about the XC course debacle. As a recognized event they seriously didn’t flag the course correctly? AND didn’t send out a communication about it?!


    1. I did PT, which was a late add as a division option. Obviously a PT division usually just does the T course, but this was also area championships, and the T championship course was slightly different. So it was kind of a rare occasion where we were wondering which course they actually wanted us to do – the regular T or the T Champs – and it wasn’t posted anywhere. I don’t think anyone gave much thought to the PT division, we were just stuck on at the last minute lol.


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