Monday, May 7, 2012

Burgundy Hollow HT--Starter

Sorry, guys---no death-defying trailering incidents to report this time. We were actually right on schedule to the minute and got there a full hour and a half before my dressage test. Plenty of time to check in and guage how Mr Magee was feeling.

wearing red's halter for good luck.
Dressage:

I went into warm up way too early. I was expecting to have to work him hard to take the edge off of crazies. He bounced into the warmup area snorting and looking around, but since we were the second divison and the second rider of our division, it was still pretty empty so he had plenty of time to just walk around on a loose rein and look at things.



I didn't canter him at all because I was worried he'd lose his cool so instead we spent a lot of time walking and trying to avoid the little kids in the Intro division who glued themselves to the rail and practicing our trot-halts.


We finally got to go in for our test and I completely blanked out. I can't count the number of times I've ridden this test yet when I trotted in I was like, "Oh, shit. What now?" Bobby, however, was so good. He tried his big, silly heart out but I totally let him down. I couldn't get my shit together fast enough for each movement and he was constantly getting caught off guard when I asked him to do things. I didn't even bother to check if I was on the correct lead when we picked up the first canter and he corrected it by himself. I didn't even check to see if he had switched to the wrong lead or the right one when he did break! Fail. I want to say I should have ridden a lot more aggressively, but honestly I just should have ridden period. Bobby got 6s and 7s down the board (with the exception of a 4 for the "late fix" to the left canter and a 4 for his break in the trot) and I was lucky to get 5s and 6s for my riding. We ended with a 40.

First show of the season rustiness I guess. I can promise you I won't make that mistake again! Overall though I checked off the first goal--we stayed in the arena and Bobby was totally calm througout.

I'll post the video of our test when the pictures go up. Blogger doesn't want to load it right now.

Stadium:

After a boring two hour wait where the hounds and I did our xcountry walk alone so Hubby could stay with Bobby who was quite certain proper trailer-tieing behavior was pawing your way to China (he's never been tied alone before), he got tacked up and we headed to stadium warm up. I had Hubby take the reins while I was adjusting my stirrups since Bobby was being snorty and prancing, and Bobby was now sure he was being led to the track and turned into a frothing, bit-chomping, sideways-walking, ready-to-run Baby Racehorsie. Once I got my stirrups, Hubby let us loose and I cantered him around a few times right off. Having to canter downhill a few times was enough to convince him we weren't at the track and he walked around with restored calm.

burgundy hollow: home of overhanging branches to wipe out
the unsuspecting rider.
We went over each of the warm up fences a few times a piece starting with the X. Bobby broke into the trot and started trantering almost in place all the way up to the jump, but went over. I was like, "We are not starting this bullshit again!" so when he broke again the second time, I really put my leg on and asked him to canter his ass up the hill and over the jump--and he did. "Jeeze, lady. It's about time you participated in this riding competition, too!" He didn't have any problems after that. He just needed to be told what I wanted and he did as I asked.


We finally got a chance to meet the COTHer that helped us get started in eventing last year when she approached us as we were walking around and her daughter was warming up for dressage. We talked with her for awhile as Bobby got a quick lesson in standing still for more than two seconds. Very cool.

After waiting for the judge to run back up to get a chair, and then run back up again to see if there was a bell or whistle she could use (there wasn't), we were finally funneled in to start jumping. And you know what this means....Paint Jump Course Design!!!

blows me away every time.

As you can see due to my excellent talents, this course had zero flow to it. Even just finding a spot to start jumping was tough! We trotted in and Bobby was looking at every jump ready to rock and roll, but I had to weave him in and out until we were semi set up to start in a straight line. However, as soon as I gave him a notch in the reins, he put his game face on and owned that course. He wasn't going to say no to a single fence. I was so proud of him, but I was also proud of myself. I actually rode him the whole time and gave him leg when he needed it and checked him back when he needed it. Team work! Finally!



 







Coming off Fence 6, it was almost a 90* turn to get to 7 and you didn't have a lot of room to turn with the hedgerow to your right. Bobby was gung-ho upon landing and I had to almost sit him on his butt to get him slowed down enough to make the turn. He was caught off guard and I really rode him up to 7. When we got out of the arena, the rider going in was like, "Nice save on seven!" Love eventers. They become insta-friends when you're competing against them instead of the person you have to beat. Although I'm a little suprised people even talk to me when I come out of stadium. I am all about verbal praise while jumping and I'm so loud and crazy with my compliments even I think I sound a little crazy.

Cross Country:

Your virtual course walk.

We headed down to the start box only to find there wasn't a judge there yet. Hm. Fortunately, he was right behind us. Unfortunately, we soon had a pile up of people waiting to go as we all circled around and around and around and around waiting for some word of what we were waiting for. The judge finally got a new radio and then we had to wait for the rest of the judges to check in at their fences. Thirty minutes later, the first riders were off. Let me say again how fun eventers are. Most of our division was either baby horses in their first or second show and a couple of first or second time riders. There was one Eq girl doing her first HT on a too adorable Perhie mare. After seeing one runout after another at the first jump, she was super nervous to head out, but she got over on the first time and we all cheered for her from the sidelines. Talking with her after we were both done, she said it put her in such a good mood for the rest of the course, she just kept kicking and didn't get scared. Woo hoo!

Bobby had his game face on. He didn't think twice about a single one of those jumps and after he made it over the coop that he had his final meltdown at schooling and was looking for the next jump, I had a huge grin on and just sat back to enjoy the ride.

fence 2.

"yeahhh, i'm a xcountry horse!!"
The best part of the course was when we turned off of fence 6 and Bobby saw the bank in front of him. He was like, "A fence I know! I can do this one! Let's go!" And we then proceeded to gallop up and over it to the laughter of the people watching. Oh, Robert. He was pumped after that and I actually had to take more of a hold on my reins because he was pulling me around with his ears pricked ready for whatever was next. Over the log, then you had to go in a diagnol line to get to our fence along the hedgerow. Bobby was locked onto the Novice log that was in his line of sight when he landed and I had to do some Pony Club steering/pulling to refocus him on our baby jump.

I asked him to go through the water even though it wasn't marked for us, but he wasn't feeling it so I let him circle around and we finished the last jump. There was a photographer there this time so you'll have to wait until those pictures go up to hopefully see some good ones.

Scores:

Out of our division of six, Bobby was one of only two horses to finish the xcountry course. We all agreed it was a pretty scary course for babies and apparently the other baby horses thought so too. The other horse/rider to finish? The Eq girl! We got a Mane 'n Tail prize package and Bobby's first blue ribbon.




He was so funny when we were done and waiting for scores. He'd take a few bites of grass and then beg for treats from me or Hubby. He was also happy to just stand there and look around as we gave him pats. He totally knew he'd done a good job and was eating up the praise. Well done, Grown Up Horsie!

6 comments:

  1. Awesome!! Bobby and you are finally working things out. I love it!

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  2. Congratulations! Sounds like it was a great show!

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  3. Congrats!! Sounds like you had a super fun (and sucessful time).
    It is so nice competeing against friendly competitors. It makes the show so much more enjoyable.

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  4. Super awesome and YAY for Bobby being stellar and brave! Also, stealing these amazing photos for our FB page for the T-shirts!!! xo

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  5. What a great day! A boring trailer ride and a rockstar horse and prizes! Congrats :)

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