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Cross Country Day

Posted: March 30th, 2018, 8:14 am
by MuddyKatie

There is a big cross-country course near where I keep my horse. Like most of them, it can be rented out for schooling during the week. My friend Karen and I had been talking about taking our horses there for a while, but we only actually got around to it last week.

We’d arranged to go up on a Thursday, when we’d have the course pretty much to ourselves. The course is close enough to hack to, but we arranged that Karen would drive there and drop her car off, then I would give her a lift on to the stables, so that we’d have somewhere to store our gear, water for the horses and so on.

The day itself was fine, and not too hot – good by me, as I didn’t fancy sweating through a heat wave in my back protector all day. Red, my horse, seemed pretty chilled, too. That was definitely a good thing, as he can get quite excited if he knows we’ll be jumping.

Both Karen and I were wearing long boots, old jods and rugby shirts; after all, it wasn’t like we’d need to be smart for a practice like this.

We started by hacking gently around the course to let the horses (and ourselves) get a good look at the jumps before we started, and I was glad to see there was not only a water jump along with the log piles and barrels, there was a big water complex and a deep-looking stream crossing.

We spent most of the morning just playing on the course, doing the jumps one at a time, or doing the same jump a couple of times until we were satisfied with it. We had all day, after all, and there was no sense in tiring out the horses too early.

We tied the horses to a hitching rail next to Karen’s Landover for lunch, unsaddled them, and gave them some hay and water to munch before having a couple of sandwiches ourselves.

Both Karen and I wanted to give our horses more experience with water jumps, as they don’t meet them very often. Red, my horse, was reasonably familiar with them, but Karen’s wasn’t used to water at all. Our plan after lunch was therefore to spend a fair bit of the afternoon playing in the water complex.

I figured that on as proper cross-country course, we could be fairly confident that the bottom of the water complex would be good and firm, but we still wanted to check how deep it was before we jumped into it. I’d once seen a horse hit a water jump that was much deeper than its rider expected, and go head over heels, so after we’d finished our sandwiches, Karen and I left the horses munching on their hay nets and headed down to the water.

The water complex was set up to give you a choice of walking your horse down a gentle slope into the water, or jumping in, then a choice of several jumps out again, all of different heights.

Karen and I headed down the slope. The water came about three quarters of the way up our rubber riding boots, with a nice firm gravel bottom.

I waded towards the far edge, feeling the water pressing against my legs as it rose almost to the tops of my riding boots.

“Be careful” called Karen “It’s getting too deep. Any further, and you’ll flood your boots”.

I shook my head “I think I can just make it”. The water was less than a centimetre from the top of my boots now, and I had to move very slowly, so that I didn’t create waves that slopped over the tops. Being so near to flooding my boots is always a turn-on for me; my legs were shaking with excitement, and I could feel my panties getting damp.

I made it to the far side with dry feet, just, and clambered out over the logs of the jump. Karen was still in the water, half way across and almost to the top of her boots as she tried to find a shallower route across on the other side of the pool.

In fact, the water was deeper there than where I’d crossed, and Karen squealed and pulled her boot back quickly as she took a step and found the water was over her boot top. The wave as she stepped back swamped the top of her other boot briefly, too.

“Did you get very wet?” I called

She grimaced. “Not too bad, but it gets quite a bit deeper on this side.

I could here Karen’s boots squelching slightly as we walked back up to the horses, and she rummaged in her car until she found a boot jack to pull them off and wring out her socks.

“You’ll never get them back on, over wet socks” I warned. Karen looked undecided, and then put the boot jack back. “You’re right”

Re: Cross Country Day

Posted: April 5th, 2018, 3:59 pm
by Shiny
I go into rivers in my black rubber waders quite a lot, and often the water comes just three or four mm below the top of them, it usually happens when the riverbed suddenly turns from gravel or stiff mud to very soft mud and I quickly sink in.

I don't like to get my feet wet in the boots, but having the water streaming past a fraction just below the wader tops is.....interesting...

An 'in-depth' expererience.

I couldn't help taking some photos of my waders in the fast flowing water, in the beauty of the countryside, quite therapeutic.

Re: Cross Country Day

Posted: April 5th, 2018, 7:24 pm
by Shiny
And lovely story Katie, well written, good to hear of your adventures...interesting to read...

Re: Cross Country Day

Posted: April 6th, 2018, 8:02 pm
by MuddyKatie
Glad you enjoyed it :-)