Stepping up to the 2 foot jumps can be a big deal

My little cross railers are becoming big beginners and I’m so proud of them!  In my barn, my newest riders are always “chomping at the bit” to finally jump the real jumps.  Going from cross rails to 2 feet is a really big deal for everyone. It’s a true right of passage for riders, both young and old, to move on from cross rails.  Yesterday was that day for my strong group of spectacular beginners.

Kathy Slack's student, Andie, did a great job handling her horses' bigger than 2ft, jump.

Kathy Slack’s student, Andie, did a great job handling her horses’ bigger than 2ft, jump.

Yet, we aren’t quite ready to tackle a full course of 2 ft jumps.  I think we’ll still push our limit at the next Centex show by cantering twice around the outside course of cross rails.  Even committing to cantering over cross rails is a big deal!  My spectacular beginners know that when they push to the next level and accept challenges, they may face the risk of disappointment when it comes to ribbons.  As they strive for something more challenging, ribbons will be hard to get for a while.

Kathy Slack's student Alima is part of the team working to move up from the cross rail level.

Kathy Slack’s student Alima is part of the team working to move up from the cross rail level.

I’m proud of them for being a little uncomfortable before they get better.  They hear me say that all the time.  I think we’re all comfortable with letting go of the big ribbons they’ve earned in the past.  Maybe our stalls won’t be covered in rosettes, but, I like knowing they’ll be slightly humbled through the next step of their journey.  Horses teach us how to be resilient in this world.  For these young people this is a big step!  The best part?  They’ll remember the excitement of moving to the real jumps and the challenge they faced and met for the rest of their lives.  And, we’ve said it out loud, we’ve laughed about it, and we know…there may not be many ribbons on the first part of this journey.

Kathy Slack's granddaughter Madison is working hard to move up to the next level.

Kathy Slack’s granddaughter Madison is working hard to move up to the next level.

While I was taking their equitation over fences pictures, they asked me if I would put them in a blog.  So, here’s to the little cross railers becoming big beginners!  I think you girls look great!

Kathy Slack's rider, Mason, works hard to improve at the 2ft level.

Kathy Slack’s rider, Mason, works hard to improve at the 2ft level.

You have all come a long way!

Bee Cave Riding Center's pony Misty competes in the cross rail division.

Bee Cave Riding Center’s pony Misty competes in the cross rail division.