I decided to take Barik to see what it was like. I chose possibly one of the coldest weekends we have had this winter to go. Luckily the frost/ice and thawed out and most of the route, where not under trees, was nice and soft.
I started out with the intention of taking him round quietly and not jumping anything as I haven't jumped cross country properly since I was at Pony Club, however that changed! (although I had hitched up my stirrups a little so that I could canter on.)
We started out nice and quietly to warm up. Two other riders left at the same time as me and we all three got chatting, so much so that we ended up riding together. I am useless with names but remember their horse's names; Monty and Patrick. Us three ended up completing the ride together and it was lovely to have company and new people to talk to.
Once warmed up a bit Monty and Patrick sped off with their riders to pop over a wall. It wasn't too high and I figured the worst that could happen is I'd fall off so we went straight after them both. Barik jumped clean over and landed well even with a slight slope the otherside and that was the start of our cross country jumping,
Barik seemed to be especially enjoying himself when it came to cantering/galloping across open fields in a group and proving the point that he is an ex-race horse. Although we still had breaks and steering. I got asked by several people if he was an Arab and they were stunned to find out he was an ex-racehorse and yet would behave so well. So Barik has bonus points for being versatile and a looker!
Barik and I were having a wonderful time flying over a few logs as we went. I had said I wouldn't attempt tyres but that was soon forgotten as we went flying over a tyre jump. Barik was more concerned by the large tractor tyre being a wing then jumping over the smaller tyres.
There was a very nice bank to canter up with three jumps along the way. Monty and Patrick's riders said the best jump was in the middle as it was not as big as the other two. From a distance I figured I'd just miss it and canter past. Monty dashed off first, followed by us and then Patrick. Monty decided he did not like the look of that jump and veered off, somehow Barik and I had lined ourselves up perfectly at this jump so although I had my doubts I kept my leg on and over we flew. On approach I had thought it not to be as big as I had envisioned, however, it was mid air when I realised that it was actually a SPREAD!! Where was the camera when you needed one!
For an Arab who doesn't jump and has not had any real training he sure can pick his fit up. Towards the end Barik was very hyper and eyeing up pretty much all the jumps. We came bouncing in (literally) to the trailer, when he's fitter I think I'll go round more than once.
I had such a great ride with my racehorse, turned endurance and apparently turning cross country jumper that I was beaming despite how cold it was! Will I be going again, MOST DEFINITELY!!!!! Excellent place to train for endurance and even have a bit of fun with jumps as well.
There was a photographer along the way and he may of possibly got Barik and I flying over a log. I look forward to hopefully finding this photo!!