That's right! Ryker did his first "ditch" this week.  He was awesome, and by "ditch" I mean a big black plastic trash bag held down by two natural poles in the ring.   That is as close as I can get to jumping at ditch at the moment, but he was game and didn't pause, once he understood that he was simply supposed to jump over it. We've also conquered the "nasty pile of rocks drainage ditch," he doesn't even look at it now.  What a good race horse!   We've also started to jump colorful things and more solidly build fences in the ring (i.e. fully packed flower boxes and gates) in an attempt to test the waters in terms of jumping strange things the first time, without looking at them.  He's been very good, and we're hoping to do the Alfred Open Show if all goes well.  
(Just a reminder, he is still for sale! - He will be available in Alfred until mid May.  After that he will be coming home to Vermont with me for the summer, where I may or may not purchase him depending on how he stacks up against my other personally owned OTTB -- since only 1 competition horse is in the long term budget, he will remain for sale until I make a decision)

On another note, any one out there have any other fun cross country type exercises they work on in the indoor during the winer months? (I have a few, but I typically devote my winters to a let down, easy trot sets, tuning up our dressage, and gymnastic work)
 
 
Ryker is loving spring!  He's been out on his first trail ride - it was not super exciting, he had so take some time to think about a "nasty pile of rocks, drainage ditch" - but he went over  no problem with a little prodding.  He also was convinced he was going to the track and jigged a bunch, he wasn't going anywhere, just excited, and was totally fine with not being in the lead.   Once he realized we were back at the barn his expression changed from amped and nervous to slightly confused and relaxed, I foresee many successful trail rides to come :)

On another note, he is officially listed for sale! So exciting and so sad, I love him to pieces and want to bring him home with me to VT, but he is awaiting his lucky person! http://www.equine.com/horses-for-sale/horse-ad-2000747.html

Also, here is our most recent video --- In the rain! (that's how us Eventers do! He was so good out in the rain, he seemed to almost enjoy it!)