Show Stories

So far this year I have been in 5 shows, but only 3 of them count for IEA points.

In the IEA, you have to have 15 points to qualify for the zone finals, and after the zone finals (if you make it through) you go to the nationals.

You get 7 points for first, 5 for second, 4 for third, 3 for fourth, 2 for fifth, and 1 for sixth.(For those who don’t know much about shows, the ribbons usually only go down to 6th place.). You have 5 shows to get your 15 points.

The cool thing about the IEA is that you don’t have to own a horse to ride. You don’t even have to lease one. The not so cool thing about it is that you have no idea who you will ride until the day of the show.

That’s right, you randomly draw a horse that you (usually) have never ridden before, then jump up and ride it. As you will see in these stories, they are NOT all good draws.

I am doing really well for my amount of experience, but I have only been riding since the end of Jan.

In my First show (not IEA) I was 2nd out of 12 in my jumping class, and in my Equitation/Under-saddle classes I was 5th-out of five. (Hardly surprising, I broke my canter BOTH TIMES!!! YIKES!)

My second show (also not IEA) was an annual show that we throw at my barn, just for the students.

In jumping I placed 3rd out of 4, and in flat I placed 3rd out of five.

In my third show (My first IEA show), I drew a big, HUGE,bay, half draft horse for my jumping class. He was one of the best draws I could have had! But then, it happened. (For those of you who have ridden before, you probably know where this is going.) I rode into the ring, enjoying my half draft horse, and JUMPED THE WRONG JUMP!!! This meant instant disqualification.

A few minutes later, I drew my next horse.(This is the one I ride in the flat.)

Now, all day long, when we read over the horse sheet, we were all saying I would take any horse except that one. Well guess who I drew! Horse number 23, the TICKING TIME BOMB!!!

I got on him, and instantly new that I had a ton of dynamite under me.

I rode into the ring, and everything was going well, until we had to transition from the walk to the trot. BANG!! He spooked at a soda can someone left on the rail! Then, when the judge called for the transition to the canter, guess what spot we were in? RIGHT NEXT TO THE SODA CAN! AGAIN he spooked, again I stayed on and brought him under control, and again the judge took away points. The judge must have liked how I handled  him, because I got 5th, but this was only the beginning of my bad luck.

In my 4th show, I drew a little white pony.(Shudder)

I got on him and did my warm up course(A course consisting of 2 jumps and usually a change of direction.),

and everything seemed fine, so I rode him into the arena. At this point, he decides that he HATES ME AND IS GOING TO GET ME OFF, no matter what it takes. We pick up a canter, jump the first jump and WHAM! He gives me a jaw jarring buck, causing me to lose a stirrup. He feels that I lost it, and will NOT let me get it back. He continues this over every jump, getting faster and faster, until all of a sudden our IEA challenge is looming ahead. I am supposed to bring this horse back to a trot over this jump! So after about 10 strides I get him into a bone jarring, extremly bouncy trot, and manage to keep it over the jump! It was a miracle!

But, of course, after the jump he acts up again, and there is only 1 jump left.(Note: after the trot jump, he bucked and I lost my stirrup again, even after I had just picked it up!!) He jumps the last jump, gives me his biggest buck yet(Making me lose my other stirrup), and takes off! Those who have been to a show before probably know that before and after your course, you do what is called a courtesy circle. I now had a horse that had taken off with me, having NO intentions to stop anytime soon, and I still had to take my courtesy circle, stop, and walk CALMLY out of the ring! So, between the bucks, I kept trying to calm down my horse and get him to stop.

After 4 circles, no stirrups, and what seemed like an eternity, instead of falling to my doom, I got him to stop and walk out.(Forget the calm part, I was just happy to be alive! LITERALLY!!!!!!)I had a standing ovation! Now, had this been a roller coaster, I would have begged to go again. Seeing as I ALMOST LOST MY LIFE,  I was glad it was a 2 day show.(That means that I didn’t have my flat until the next day.)(I have a video, but can’t post it now.)

The next day, my bad luck continued. I drew a older chestnut horse , who was EXTREMLY slow, had a bad limp, and all of his gates were the same speed.(The trainer loves him as a beginner horse, because she can literally WALK next to all of his gates.)The judge didn’t like me, and I didn’t even place.(My instructor said I rode him well though! That counts for something in my book anyways!)

I will tell you about my latest show tommarow, I have to go and watch my brothers.

See Ya!


Why Cross Country Gal?

Well, I chose this name because it tells a little about my life.

Cross=Livin for the gospel.

Country=I’ve been all over it.

Gal=You get the point.

I’ve lived in 5 states, in 7 houses, in just 8 years.

I’ve lived in AZ,MA,PA,NY, & now OH.

I have left friends, found friends, but always kept in touch.

I miss them, but I know God has called me here for a reason, and I trust him.

My mom has a blog called Gospel Gypsy, and our pastor’s wife has one called Ordinary Mother.

I guess it sounded like fun, and I decided to try it.

I’l post again soon!

Life on the Road


My name is Hannah, and this is my first blog.

I have wanted one for some time now, and finally have the time.

Please be patient with me, I have never done anything like this and will probably make a TON of mistakes.


I guess I should start at the beginning.

It started in Arizona. I was born into a christian home.

My dad was the administrative pastor at our church.(Sovereign Grace Ministries)

We lived in our first house for 3 or 4 years,then moved to a house that was closer to the church. We lived there until I was about 6 1/2 or so, then the church sent my dad to something called the Pastor’s College, or PC. My dad had wanted to go there so that he could eventually plant a church.

The PC is in MD, so we had to pack our bags, our belongings, and my younger brother into our van, and drove for ten days to get there. We moved into our host family’s house and lived there for 1 year. We had left behind everything I had ever known, and gone to a strange new place.

That year I saw my first snow. I FINALLY had a white Christmas!

Once my dad finished the PC, the Sovereign Grace sent him to another one of their churches, this time in PH for his internship.

That is were I met my best friend, OK*.

One day, on our exploration trip to see what PH was like,

we lost track of time. Before we knew it, it was to late to get back to MD with 5 people in the car.(I now had 2 younger brothers.) We called the church office, and it just so happened that there was a family that had offered to be a host family, and would be glad to let us spend the night.

When we arrived, I got out of the car, went up the walkway, and rung the door bell.

OK, not allowed to answer the door, looked through the window to see who was there. My eyes met hers, and we immediately clicked. When her mom let us in, the first question out of both of our mouths was “Have I met you before?”.

I grabbed my bag and we ran up to her room. She opened the door,

and my mouth drooped open. Her room was filled to the gills with horses. She loved horses to!

Little did we know, this was the start of a VERY long and loving relationship.


We lived in PH for a year. We started off in another host family’s house, but decided that we couldn’t live with someone else’s family for another year. We searched around and found out that there was a family in the church that needed someone to stay at there house while they were gone for the year.

It was perfect!

Once my dads year long intern ship was up, he had a BIG decision to make. He could plant a church in CA, where we had friends and were close to family, or we could plant a church in NY city, where we didn’t know anyone, or where anything was.


We started off with 12 people in a school building in Parkslope. We rented a small apartment there, and lived there for a year.

When that year was up, we moved to another apartment in Brooklyn Heights. This is were I got my 3rd dog.(I’d had one in AZ and one in Parkslope, the second I gave to OK).

After living in Brooklyn for a year, we decided it  time to stay in one place for a while and renewed our lease for another year. In this, the second year, my grandpa Wally (as we called him), whom I was very close to, passed away. Thank the Lord, Before he died, my dad brought him to christ.

Our 2nd year over, the price per month on our apartment was going to skyrocket if we renewed, so we found a place in Long Island that worked perfectly for us and signed a lease for 2 years. It has now been just about 1 year and we have 2 parents, 2 little brothers, 2 dogs, (My city dog Libby and my new puppy Harley), and me.


But you can’t go counting chickens before they hatch!

During this year, my dad has been put under a LOT of stress,

having my Grandpa Wally and My Uncle Scott die from the same heart condition only four months apart, and then finding out that he also has this heart condition.

We moved… again, this time having to break our lease to do it.

We now live in Akron, OH, where I have a new job at the horse barn around the corner from our house. I have made many new friends already, and I cannot wait to learn more about them.

See ya soon!