Monday, August 1, 2011

High Standard Stables Horse Trials - IH

Bobby and I completed our first horse trial together Saturday! We went Intro Horse at High Standard Stables in Dansville NY. Even though the jumps were much smaller than Bobby has been jumping, it was the perfect place to take him for his first event, and I think it set him up really nicely for a bigger venue and bigger jumps this Sunday. Everything ran to the second time-wise, the cross country course had the right amount of easy jumps and looky jumps, and the stadium course had several changes of direction while still leaving you lots of time to correct.

Hubby's family had their reunion the same day, so it was a struggle in the morning trying to comprimise with him seeing some of the historic family sites and getting on the road to the show. Unfortunately, Hubby's family likes to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and I like to crack the whip and keep things moving. We ended up leaving for the tour at 10:45 instead of the scheduled 10am time. I wanted to be leaving the reunion at 11 and on the road with Bobby at 11:30 at the absolute latest. HA. We ended up getting to the show at 12:16 and our dressage test was at 12:30. Sound familiar?! Hopefully having zero warm up time for dressage will not be my curse and I can actually give my horses a chance at doing well!

We ended up trotting for about three minutes around the outside of the arena as the judge took care of the test before me. Bobby was gazing around at the other horses warming up for dressage and stadium and I could not get him to focus on me at all. Needless to say, our test was a disaster. His head was way up in the air (above the contact was a comment for at least three moves) and he wouldn't bend an inch. All things I could have fixed during warm up. Sigh. We ended up 8th out of ten after our test.


good boy, you dope.
We had an hour between each phase, so we took the puppies down to watch the last of the BN stadium before getting tacked up for cross country. The ground for cross country was a disaster. It was all chewed up from being ridden extensively on while wet, and then it had dried rock hard with tons of horse hoof divets in it. Bobby tripped multiple times in warm up and I had Hubby yank his boots to give his legs a once over just to make sure it wasn't a lameness issue. Hubby said they felt great and after we got on course and took the least traveled path we'd walked the night before he cruised right along with no problems.

first warm up jump for xc.

now where was this trot in dressage?!


We set out at the trot for the first few fences so Bobby could have a good chance to figure out was going on. Only the path for the jumps was mowed, so each time we went around a bend was the first chance he had to see the jump. He was a little fresh the first few jumps, but I let him settle into a canter after the third fence where he could see the fourth and he went around much calmer and steadier and jumped everything fabulously. The second to last fence was a ditch which he'd never seen/schooled before. It was the only one I was worried about, but I gave him a tap one stride out and he popped over without even blinking.

last jump and we're clear!
Even though the jumps were small and the course was very straight forward, it was great to finally get to go around and finish perfectly! It really gave him a great introduction to what he needs to do and I feel super confident going into Bucks Sunday at Elementary (2'3).

We finished on a pretty pathetic note, however. We were both feeling cocky off our cross country and decided stadium was going to be a breeze. We cantered the whole course...and that was about the extent of it. Very little real jumping went on. It was a bad ride on my part because I should have been giving him lots of leg before each jump to make sure he was jumping carefully and cleanly. We ended up totally dismantling the final fence--a skinny cross rail. Shame on me. On the plus side, Bobby cantered a nine jump course while getting all his changes! Yay!


now that looks like a real jump...

...and this is how the rest of the course looked.


We ended up moving up two spots to sixth place overall. It was Into Horse for a reason! Lots of greenies that weren't too sure of the xcountry course or the multi-colored jumps in stadium. The scores were really close and we would have been at least fourth if not for the rail in stadium. Oh, well. Lesson learned. I'll make sure to ride him more aggressively next weekend.

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