The cross country schooling with Kat went absolutely spectacularly. As long as I keep focused up, out, and forward, she'll sail over anything I point her at.
She needs to learn to stay a bit more balanced before fences in order to have her hind legs take off together, and I need to ride better, but really she's just amazing.
There's this track at Graham Hill that goes over an irrigation pipe, around to a coop, over a bit to a relatively plain pole-type jump, and then through some trail equipment (think bridges and ramps and whatnot) to repeat. For some reason, navigating amongst the trail equipment made Kat feel incredibly claustrophobic, so I rode this loop quite a few times until she settled into cantering through the stuff on the ground.
Then I pointed her at the bigger coop & we had a pilot-caused refusal because she'd anticipated which coop I'd point her at so strongly! What a smart girl. What a silly rider.
The galloping ground squirrels were a lot for Kat to handle because they'd pop up out of nowhere and then come 'thundering' across our path (her words, not mine). But as soon as I set aside my worry and tried to trust her a little more, she settled in and let my legs stay on her, let me bend her around me, and let me direct her around the field.
It was incredible. I've rarely felt so powerful on horseback.
I wish I had photos of the course because we had so much fun out there. I need to get her out to Woodside to see what we do over some bigger jumps.