Monday, June 13, 2011

Plantation ST--BN

I think it's safe to say Plantation was a complete bust. I cried after my dressage. I cried after my stadium. I didn't even get to do my xcountry, so that should have been reason enough to cry. The stadium was really disorganized, the people were unhelpful, and I didn't have fun. Long before I loaded Red to head home, I was done with eventing. But to start from the beginning....

We pulled out of the barn at 6:15 after Red put up a pissy fit about getting on the trailer. I don't know where that came from. He's always been an excellent loader. I guess his roller coaster ride down to school in Pottstown disagreed with him more than I realized. I finally put the shank on him, gave him a few good wallops with it, then handed Hubby the lunge line to get behind him and he got on. I don't put up with temper tantrums for anything, and certainly not when I'm on a schedule. The drive down was really pleasant. The roads were in great shape, nice and wide and straight, and it was really easy to find.

We had to wait for a few minutes for the parking attendant to get to us, then we had to wait for a few more minutes while he argued with a couple of snobby girls trying to reserve two spots for their friends trailers to pull in beside them. The attendant was like, "There are 180 horses coming in. They'll park where I tell them to." "whinewhinewhine." "Get out of the way." "whinewhine." Then the people we pulled in beside couldn't get their trailer parked straight to save their lives, but we're little so we dealt. The woman was nice and chatted with us a little bit after my bad stadium round, and the people on our other side liked our dogs, but other than that everyone around us kept to themselves.

We took the dogs with us to go walk the xcountry course around 10:15, thinking we had more than enough time to get back to warm up from my dressage at 11:30. I had some serious trepidations about some of the fences; I realized how poor our schooling was compared to these real, really bright and elaborate jumps and I didn't think Red would cope well.

We got back to the trailer at 11 with nothing prepared or unpacked, so it was a crazy rush to get Red tacked and me changed and headed over to the dressage ring. I had time to make one trot circle around the warm up ring, then walked over to the show ring, made about three circles while the rider before me finished her test, trotted twice around the ring, and that was my warmup. It's a testament to how much Red has changed that he held it together as much as he did and didn't A) take off with me, B) refuse to go into the ring, or C) spook at every single thing possible. Regardless, our transistions were sloppy, our bending was nonexistent, and he was rushy and on the forehand the whole time. Somehow, we came out with a 39 which I still think is amazing. It wasn't even the lowest score in our division.

I was soooooo disappointed and frustrated when I walked out because I knew it was my own fault that I completely blew it. I was really counting on doing a great test that I KNOW we're capable of to carry us through any of Red's sillies in jumping. So much for that.

We regrouped, had lunch, then headed up for stadium and xcountry an hour early. I wasn't going to miss warm up this time. When we got up there, there were already several people in warm up, and they were asking if anyone was ready to go. Uhhh, don't we get to walk the course. It was literally an hour before they were even supposed to start the BN division, so I figured there'd be a map of the course and we'd get to walk it. I guess not. Maybe I'm just a spoiled hunter princess after all? Is this the norm? Really confusing.

Red was surprisingly really good for the warm up. He was a little strong trotting, but he didn't get upset with all the other horses round him and handled himself alot better than most of the other horses when he got passed. His canter was AMAZING and he was really going along in a groove. We went over the crossrail twice, then once each of the vertical and an oxer. He jumped great. No hesitation, no crazies, no over-exagerrated ten feet above the jump.

They were going out of order in the ring, so I walked up to ask the girl if I could get in line to go. There was one rider just going on course, and one girl in front of me. I kept Red walking, but I should have put his butt right back into the warm up and cantered around some more. His brain wandered off while we were waiting and he was hard to get back into gear when we got into the ring.

He took a long look at the gate under the first jump, but went over it willingly. He took an even longer look at the second jump with the gate and thought about running out, but I gave him a good tug and a snap on the shoulder and he went over. It was a right turn with a long trip practically into the trees to get a straight approach to the third--a simple oxer. He went over that fine, then it was a bending line to a stone wall. For. Get. It. He ran out three times and we were excused. I was having a hard time getting him lined back up straight to it without giving him alot of room to look at it. I should have cleared my head, thought ahead, circled, and made a much better re-approach. I think I blew it for us as much as he did.

I got out of the ring and immediately started crying. I was SO disappointed. Stadium should have been a flipping breeze for us. It was an easy course, easy fences, and nothing Red hadn't seen before. Including the stone wall. Hubby tried to talk me into seeing if I could still go xcountry, but my head wasn't in it, and I didn't want to get Red out there with me not thinking we could do it and him needing to be told we could and just having a confidence blowing ride that would carry over to our next event. Though, at that point, I was so bummed and frustrated and just wrecked that I had zero intentions of ever doing another event ever again.

Red cooled out in zero time and even though he was sweaty, he wasn't breathing hard in the slightest, and he was cool by the time we got down the hill. I sponged him down anyway and Hubby walked him for a few laps, then we let him go back to his hay while we loaded everything up. The one miracle of the day was that he stood at the trailer like a superstar. He didn't neigh a single time. He didn't test the rope a single time. He didn't try to wander around. He didn't try to kick the horse next to us. This is seriously a first. I have always had to get him a stall at shows in the past because he breaks his halters when he ties to the trailer.

"I'm a good pony now."
I, uh..."calmed down" a little once we got back on the road, though I was still SO disappointed at what a waste it had been. $90 for what? The worst dressage test we've done since the very first run through? Three stadium jumps? A three and a half hour drive each way? But Hubby and I had a long talk on the way home, and Hubby is the best because he knows how to bitch about things to make me feel better while still being constructive on my part and helping me look objectively at the whole day.

So our future plans are still on course, just slightly dropped down. Next Sunday is a Hunter Pace in Cohocton NY. I'll ride Bobby to keep his sale moving along and to get him some xcountry type jump exposure. Hubby will ride Red. There's another one July 24th. I'll ride Red and try to get him over some of the bigger jumps, and hopefully we can scrounge up another english saddle for Hubby to take Bobby over the small jumps if he hasn't been sold by then. July 30th is an unrecognized HT in Dansville NY. I'm going to enter both Bobby and Red in the Intro/Elem level for it. We'll see where we go from there I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, what a crummy day!

    If it makes you feel any better, my first (or, ahem, first few) horse trial went about the same way... I figured jumping everything in the woods and a few plain wooden rails was plenty of prep for a baby event -- turns out NOT! And that was just W/T dressage and crossrails... Big scary PAINTED crossrails.

    Hopefully your next show goes a lot more smoothly. :)


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