For my first solo outing with Jasper. And my first solo outing where I stay overnight with my horse. Over the years I've taken solo day trips with my horses- shows, trail rides, etc. but I've never taken them somewhere alone and stayed the night.
On Friday morning we're heading to Tulip Springs, an eventing barn in Kennewick, Washington. It's about 3 hours away, maybe a little more with a horse trailer. I'm camping in my tent and Jasper gets a 12x24 paddock. I'm borrowing Serena's truck again. The weather forecast is excellent-70s.
On Saturday at 1:45 I have a stadium jumping clinic with Karina Hogan. Somehow we got put in the 2'3 division... so I emailed Carol, the barn owner, said she not to worry about it. As it turns out, she's in my lesson and we're the only 2 so far. I really don't think the height will be a problem, it's just that he's never gone that high in an arena and I didn't want them to think he had.
On Sunday is a Hunter/Jumper schooling show. The judge is Karina Hogan from the clinic the day before. I entered the 2' division with the option of moving up or down a level depending on how Saturday goes. I'm not too nervous about the show, I figure if nothing else we'll just trot into everything. If he can jump 4'7 from a standstill he can jump 2' from a trot with someone on his back.
Then on Monday, well MONDAY... Monday is a CROSS COUNTRY JUMPING clinic with Jill Walton who was in the Barcelona Olympics. Now do we really need someone of that caliber for our first exposure to cross country elements? Probably not. I was clear that this would be Jasper's very first exposure to a cross country course and that he's not jumping BN height yet, and I was assured that there are 10-12 obstacles that are Elementary level. And WATER. Oh yes, I hope we spend time at the water complex. My dream is to gallop into water and out of it. Which means he has to actually step in it first. But we've been building trust in the last 6 months and he has gained quite a bit of confidence in himself.
I think my horse is beautiful. And athletic. And talented. And smart. But he lives in a pasture with 3 other horses that he annoys constantly. He has huge chunks of flesh and hair missing all over his body. The hair that finally started to grow back in is darker than the rest of him so he looks like he's been in a battle. He has a nice moon shaped cut above his right eye. His tail is short and scraggly, he's tall and gangly and even with all the supplements still too thin. After a ride he's hosed off and turned back out in the pasture where he joyously rolls in the dirt. Compared to the immaculate horses that are kept in box stalls he's kind of a mess. I don't know if I even have a sheet or blanket that fits him.
I've had one lesson in the past 4 years which was a couple of weeks ago, and it was fabulous. I feel like a bundle of nervous energy right now which is very unusual for me. I know I should just relax, but this trip seems... big. Maybe because I'm taking jumping lessons. I think more because it is proof that I'm really, truly going to do this eventing thing. It's the first big step towards a big dream and it's giving me butterflies in my stomach...