While I have been to Fair Hill a bazillion times, the green horses haven’t so I have to remember that they don’t know all the stuff I know. I know where the ground dips and where it is soft and where it is deep. So I just steer and go. Today, I met some friends up at the Sawmill Field schooling and had a great time.

Hamish cooling out after schooling cross-country at Fair Hill today.

Hamish cooling out after schooling cross-country at Fair Hill today.

Hamish was very good and we jumped quite a few Novice type things I think. Mostly we stayed at the low level stuff, and he looked terrific in the video that Emily Daignault put together.  (HUGE THANKS, EMILY.) Here’s a link:

I don’t look really bad and my biggest problem I think is going too slow on cross country and not getting enough momentum. Hamish will nip over anything so I have to make sure I give him enough engine. He got a little tired of the bridle – the figure 8 rubbed his mouth on the right side a little so I know now I should probably loosen it a hole next time.

Editing this to add, because we were with friends, and got there right at start time, we wandered up the hill and found ourselves at a very quiet and pristine water jump, without anyone around. So before we even jumped anything, we simply got the horses feet wet, walked about, walked in and out, then trotted, then sort of wandered and stood and chatted in the water and then went on to go and jump. This is sort of backwards — normally you do a bunch of jumping and get the horses forward, then attempt the water — but it just felt right to allow the green horses we were riding to be familiar with it without being in a hurry.  Let me tell you, this is the first time I’ve put the water jump in this order, and it really worked. We worked our way through the other fields of jumps and then I did the jumps on the water complex in the video — just as you would on course in an event — but my horse was like, “Oh, OK, the water again, I know what this is, footing is ok in here” — and you can actually school it like a competition. Super neat. So pleased I had the opportunity to school today with friends, it was lovely weather and a nice day weather wise.