Log Hopping

Headed back after successful log-hopping
One of my goals for this year was to get out and school cross country just for fun. Not in preparation for horse trials or with the purpose of getting back to schooling "big" jumps, but solely to have a good time. Luckily for us, our dressage show buddies are of the same mind and we headed out for a no-pressure, confidence-building cross country outing last week one night after work. Our entire plan was to walk out to the course, trot around, take a look at the teeny tiny Starter and Elementary jumps and "see what happened".


Since both of us deal with a fair bit of jumping-induced anxiety, we didn't want to pressure ourselves into Jumping All The Things. We'd start with what looked easy and doable, and if we felt like jumping more we would, but if not we wouldn't call the day a failure.

So, as planned, we started out with a nice trot around and then popped over an ittybitty post-and-rail X that required a slightly larger trot step for the horses to get over. It was just the thing everyone needed to get the jumping fun started, and dare I say it, I found myself bored with the thing after a few repetitions. Dino, the consummate professional, congratulated himself on somehow ending up at the easiest XC school of his life.

We moved on to some slightly less microscopic logs, and after trotting over the first one, I ended up picking up a canter and happily cruising around the course, stringing together lines of tiny logs. After not really jumping XC in a long, LONG time, I was thrilled to discover that we both remembered how to do this thing. I remembered how to ride the open stretches in a solid gallop position, I remembered how to sit up and rebalance a few strides before each jump (thanks, elevator bit), and I remembered how to land and gallop on to the next one. It felt easy, it felt FUN, and by the end of our little outing I was eyeing up some of the bigger fences, thinking to myself, "We could jump that one..."

If ever there was a successful log-hopping session to be had, this was it! My friend and her horse also had an absolute blast, and it made my heart sing to hear her shout, "This is SO. MUCH. FUN!" as we all hopped over tiny logs.

I couldn't believe how freeing it was to not have a horse trial to get ready for, and to not feel the pressure of needing to string together a course and face the challenges of competition. I had zero anxiety on this schooling trip, and while I do miss eventing in a lot of ways and plan to come back to it eventually, I don't miss the pressure. It was incredibly fun and satisfying just to enjoy an evening of log-hopping with friends!


  1. It does sound like a lot of fun!

  2. Yay! I love trying to fit in XC schoolings that are just for fun. After all, wouldn't 12 yr old you have been THRILLED to go out and jump logs with your pony??

  3. Sounds like a blast! I love the idea of taking the pressure off. What a fun outting!

  4. Awesome! I am looking forward to doing this with Echo SO MUCH! He just needs to stop finding ways to take himself out of commission. Shows have become way too expensive, I just want to play.


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