Cross Country Schooling

RDLA also has a cross country course and it was only $15 to add on cross country schooling. So even though I am terrified of cross country, I figured we were going that far, we might as well go practice some log jumping.
We asked where we were supposed to go and the facility owner actually walked us and over and showed us the xc field. There were lots of jumps of various sizes and some galloping tracks set into the trees. There was even an empty water complex (damn you CA drought). There was also a separate field with bank and ditch jumps.
While there were lots of bigger coops and rollmops and other interesting jumps, we just stuck to tiny logs. My husband kept asking me to do bigger jumps and I was like “this is your sport, not mine.” I am not actually a fan of xc. I rode at a very competitive h/j barn growing up and the little experience I had with xc was basically being told, go jump that jump out of the arena landing down a steep hill. I didn’t get proper instruction, didn’t do well, and never really wanted to do it again. 
palomino mule cross country jumping
tiny log
Nilla was game though. She just trotted over whatever I pointed her at. The biggest issue I had was keeping her from eating the entire time. We trotted into the water complex, she went across it and instead of jumping up the out bank, she just dropped her head down to eat the grass that was now closer to her mouth.
I actually had to get the crop from my husband to get her to listen to me about keeping her head up. But she was great about all the little jumps.
Mini Trakehner

Bigger log – note the tongue

We even did some cantering around the field. You can see the other, bigger jumps in the background.


It was really hot so we did all of the little jumps and then we went over to the other field to try out the ditch and bank. With all the trail riding we do, I didn’t figure Nilla would care about a ditch, but I still figured I’d play it safe so First I walked Nilla over to the ditch. She just literally walked through it.

So we came around and trotted over it. Our first jump was quite exciting as on landing we cantered off towards the forest around the field and this scared some turkey who all took off in a burst of noise, which terrified Nilla and sent us bolting off for about 3 strides. Then she came back to me and we walked over to the forest to look for the turkeys. She had her ears pricked, but just looked around, decided she wasn’t concerned and we came around again to do the ditch. My husband took a cool slo-mo video of that one.

Then we finished because it was a millions degrees out, Nilla had already done a lot, and I wanted to end on a good note. I was very impressed with Nilla. Not only did she jump everything like a good little mule, she did it all alone with no other horses out there for comfort. Aside from trying to stuff her face with everything in sight, she was very well-behaved. It’s a shame mules aren’t allowed in evening. I am keeping my eye out for any more schooling shows as non-rated events can chose to allow mules at their own discretion.

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