Monday, September 10, 2012

BCHP HT - BN

It was a looong day, but I was able to cross off the final goal on my 2012 goal list and compete in and complete our first recognized event! The courses were awesome, the volunteers were the best out of any of the shows I've been to, and the competitors were typical friendly and encouraging eventers. We pulled in, got Bobby off the trailer, and right away someone pulled over to comment on the location on the side of Hubby's truck. Turns out it was the dad of one of the competitors in our area that used to board with Sarah. He sells Point Two air vests and told us to be on the lookout for his daughter's hot pink vest on course.

Anyway, what you actually want to hear about....

Dressage


I gave Bobby extra warm up time because of how tense he was here last month. We needed every single second and he was still distracted and pissy. There's just so much atmosphere going on around at Bucks--stadium was running on the grass next to the warm up ring, three dressage rings were going at once, and horses were walking to and from trailers and the xcountry course, both of which you could see from our dressage ring.

Dressage Test

In the video, Bobby actually looks pretty fancy. What you can't tell is that he was pulling like a freight train and I was seriously relieved we made it through the whole test without breaking into a canter. I told Hubby when we got out of the ring, "We can't be accused of not going forward this time!" He was also weaving around like a drunken sailor for every single long line. We racked up a lot of sixes with comments like "Right drift" and "Falling left" and "Not straight. Weaving." Yep. Not our best test by any means, but not our worst yet either. We squeaked out a 35.2 with several sevens and two eights to put us in fourth.

Stadium

first fence-itis.

Stadium was running ahead and I was told I could wait until my ride time if I wanted, but people were starting to pour in and I didn't want Bobby or myself to get any more flustered than usual so I said I'd go. The awesome woman volunteer coordinating times gave me a war cry and a pep talk as I very nervously walked in. "You are so ready! Go get it, girl!" The volunteer in charge of the gate told me to take my time and have fun. I totally need stupid little things like that because I freak myself out something awful. I don't know why I get so nervous, but I can't focus for anything and everything we work on at home goes right out the window.

flying through the double.

We can't be accused of not going forward this time either. Bobby hauled ass around the course. With the exception of the first fence, he didn't get a single short spot. In fact, he took out a whole stride in the two stride double. Good thing it wasn't a hunter round! But again, I was super anxious the whole round and the whole releasing thing went out the window and it was all I could do to focus long enough to remember the next jump. Grrrrr. I think I need to find some jumper shows next year to sprinkle in because this is just turning out to be a hot mess. If Bobby wasn't such a superstar who jumps from wherever whenever without touching the rails, we'd be in more trouble than we already are.

serious superstar.

Cross Country

Course Walk. Sorry about the cell phone quality pictures!


As we were walking over, I realized that I'd forgotten to grab my newly bought watch to make sure I wasn't going too slow. I shrugged it off. It was a long course, but even if we didn't hit the six-ish minutes for optimum time, I felt pretty confident I could at least make it in under the twelve minute max time. I mean, really. I may be the worst judge of pace on the planet, but I can at least tell the difference between a trot and a canter.

robert loves the water.

The BN Horse division was out on course as I was walking around warm up and there were run outs and sliding stops left and right over the first three fences I could see. It was not confidence inspiring and I was literally shaking by the time I got the one minue notice. The fence I fell at last month was fourth on course and that was freaking me out on top of my already ridiculous nerves. What if he stops? What if I miss a jump? What if I fall again? The woman going after me--who ended up winning our division--must have taken pity on me and came up to tell me, "You know the nerves will go away once you get out there. Just take a deep breath and have fun." I have no idea who she was and I didn't say anything out loud about the fact that I felt like puking, so I must have looked just as terrified as I felt. But that put a smile on my face and I gritted my teeth and sent Bobby off.

i didn't fall off!!
There are long runs between most of the jumps and as I was headed to the third fence, I was literally near tears and about to pull Bobby up and retire just because I was freaking myself out so badly. What. The. Hell. I decided that if I made it over the dreaded fourth fence, I would start counting down how many jumps I had to go and focus only on that. We came up to the fourth, I sat deep, put my leg on, and gave Bobby a solid smack on the shoulder when I saw my spot. I let out the loudest "GOOD BOY!!!" and gave him a huge pat.

a little wiggly to fence 12.

The next two went well, and then it was a sharp right turn around a big bush to the seventh fence. Bobby locked onto the fence in front of us (unflagged) and I had to give him a pretty sharp tug to get him over. He was way too far to the right and I then I had to give him a big opening left rein. Having to actively ride started to get my head in the game and instead of being super nervous, I was starting to--dare I say it?--have fun.

fatso watching the novice riders while cooling off
in the water jump.
The rest of the course was a breeze. As he kept going, I was getting more confident. Once he launched himself into the water, I had a smile plastered on my face for the rest of the ride. A lot of people said they had issues at the chevron. You came out of the woods to the parking area. There was a rope to keep trucks and trailers away from the jump which made it a tight turn to get to the fence. Riders said their horses wanted to go back to the trailers, but Bobby didn't even notice them. We came out of the woods and he was looking for the jump. This horse loves his xcountry. He stopped grazing to watch the riders go by us when training xcountry started, and once I started tacking him up he stood like a statue staring at the course. One more reason my nerves are so ridiculous. All I really have to do is stay on and I'm set. Bobby is going to jump the jumps, no questions asked.

finishing like a boss.
We were slow. I let him pick up the pace for the second half, but I was such a weirdo about the first half that we ended up picking up a whopping twenty time penalties. Part of me knew I was going slow. We weren't at cruising speed by any means, and I was nervous. Buuut another part of me didn't realize how slow we were going. Stupid watch chilling back at the trailer. However, this is clearly something else to work on and now that I have a watch, I can wheel out distances in the xcountry field and teach myself how to go faster than a lope. Durh.

but still! WE FINISHED!!!
I am SO PROUD of Mr Magee. What a change this dude has been through. Not to mention, how frickin' lucky am I to have a horse that puts up with me being a hot mess of nerves and only asks that I show him which jump I want him to go over? We both need more mileage to finess my riding, but we ended up moving up one spot even with the time faults and finished our first recognized event in third.

ribbon ho is satisfied.

our adorable neighbor pongo brought home a 7th in bn h.

11 comments:

  1. Way to go!!! Love that last coop x-country pic - you both look awesome!

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  2. Woo hoo! My god, the transformation you've done with Bobby this season. I feel like it was only yesterday he was practically throwing himself on the ground at the thought of a XC fence!

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  3. Yay!!! I suffer from first jump itis too, then I am good. And no rain, from the look of the pictures. So glad everything went well.

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  4. Congratulations on your completion and finish! I wouldn't sweat the time faults too much -- plenty of time to go fast as you get more comfy with being out there. :)

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  5. Awesome!! You and Bobby seem to have finally gelled!! Youv'e both come so far this year. You're miles ahead of the first outing where you could barely get a forward step out of Mr Magee. Congrats on an awesome finsh!

    And get that rear in gear, girl. Who ever heard of a TB with time penalties? :p

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  6. Congratulations!! It's actually amazing how far you guys have come. What a great boy you have!! But he wouldnt be the way he is now without you! You have done such a great job with him!

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  7. I love the third to last picture! Amazing! :)

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  8. HELLS ya! First off, there are so many amazing pictures and Bobby is really turning into a mega horse!! If I were you, I'd be SO SO PROUD! :)
    I like a lope vs a flat out death gallop myself ;)

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  9. Congratulations! You look so happy in your "victory photo" :D

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