Bama and Chatt

Last week after realizing I had today off I started trying to scheme up places to take Annie to get our first XC school of the year in. One of my good friends lives in AL not too far from Chatt Hills Eventing so it was a no brainer to go there. My main goal was to get off the farm and over some novice jumps since we hadn’t schooled or run XC since Feather Creek in October. Now, I’m not a very superstitious person but I casually mentioned that I had never had my vest blow up on me… Well little did I know that was about to change. ย Note to self – don’t talk about anything negative before riding.ย If you have never been to CHE you are missing out. It is a seriously gorgeous facility that was clearly well thought out. We warmed up and then I got to ride the red dragon to her first XC fences of the new year. She was excited to say the least. We actually had to have a little conversation about not running through my hands to go flying over little tad pole fences. I’m going to go back to the drawing board on bits because even a snaffle will be harsh if I’m having to beg her to come back to planet earth after the fences. Trot, jump, trot, halt, repeat. After a few attempts she caught on to the “you will be rewarded if you aren’t a dragon” thing and then we were in business.

XC Schooling @ Chatt Hills 1.15.17 from Hillary McMichael on Vimeo.

As we started stringing stuff together she settled in though and got down to business. When we were making our second attempt to the novice bank question things went wrong. Before I knew it Annie was tripping and felt like she might go down. Somehow she did save it on the top of the bank but I however was not so athletic and ended up becoming a lawn dart. If you event and don’t have an air vest I would think about getting one. I landed flat on my back and got right up and honestly felt fine. Today is a different story but I really think I probably would be in much worse shape if I hadn’t been wearing it.ย As I landed I felt pretty sure I was going to be stepped on. Not when your horse is a little ginger freak though! K mentioned that she literally attempted to jump away from me and the video, that is too painful to share, supports that theory. Bottom line is that Sit Back Or Die is not a suggestion but a rule. I feel pretty confident that if I had a more solid back seat position I probably wouldn’t have gone shooting off her shoulder when things got a little hairy.

We walked her around and made sure she wasn’t hurt before I hopped back on so we could end on some good notes.

Annie was not messing around when we came back to the BN bank to make sure our confidence wasn’t destroyed and took care of us like the good little mare that she is. A few years ago a fall like that would have had me in tears and never wanting to event again. I can’t believe how much the past year and a half with Annie has changed that for me. I’m attempting not to get too mushy but a horse with this much heart really makes me feel like I can conquer the world and for that she is worth her weight in gold.

In hindsight I probably should have opted not to school the novice bank again after the first attempt went so swimmingly but the plan was to try to string a little 6 jump course together… best laid plans.ย I will leave you with the above awesome sauce shot of Annie dominating the B element of the novice bank question. Here’s to not getting hurt and the amazing little mare that made eventing fun for me again.

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  1. Sorry you fell, but glad you are not hurt worse! Is the air vest a new addition for you, or have you had it a while? I’ve read mixed things about them, but I don’t currently need one, so I’m not too worried about it.

    1. I have had it for 2-3 years now but this was my first fall on XC. Prior to yesterday I always found it annoying when it’s hot but I would hate to know what I would feel like if I hadn’t been wearing it.

  2. Interesting you say that about the air vest. I literally just got one, haven’t yet used it. I really don’t want to try it “out”, but am very glad to hear that you weren’t hurt at all while wearing it! Congrats on the good ride, just overlook the “lawn dart” part of the ride ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ugh, sorry for the unplanned departure from your saddle. I 100% get what you mean about having the right horse under you to give you confidence when things go wrong. I have the worst confidence, but on the right horse, it’s like I can do anything. I’m so happy you and Annie have each other <3

  4. She really just looks like a total blast to ride on XC! It’s so cool that she just keeps blossoming into such a rock star. She looks so happy and excited about her job out there.