Monday, October 29, 2012

Burgundy Hollow HT

Well, you guys did it. We didn't get a drop of rain at the show yesterday. It was cold, cloudy, and crazy windy, but not wet! We left super early and got there two hours ahead of schedule expecting a total cluster for parking. Fortunately, the organizers had roped off a much bigger area and there was a ton of room--especially since half the people didn't end up coming anyway. We got checked in and decided to go ahead and walk the xcountry course. Bobby had been stuffed with GastroGard all week long to try to combat the crazies he'd been displaying and he was cool as a cucumber eating hay at the trailer all day. He never eats hay at shows and he always paws like a maniac. Winning!

"oh, hullo. just having a munch."

The warm up ring was pretty much deserted. Watching from the trailer, I started seeing a couple numbers from the Novice division wander in. Since it was only noon and my dressage test wasn't supposed to be until nearly two, I asked the secretary if they were running ahead. She said they were, but didn't have any other info to give me. So I went over to the volunteer sending people into the dressage rings and she basically told me that if I wanted to do my test right now, come on over.

talking to the only person who seemed to know what to do.
I warmed up with two other people for about ten minutes max. Bobby went to work without fuss. He was struggling with the ground at the canter, so I didn't want to rattle him and we just went in. He gave a good snort and hairy eyeball at the flowers that had tumbled over around the ring, but once we were in he stayed mostly focused.

I didn't push for forward. I rode very, very moderately because I didn't want him falling on his face. The ground wasn't muddy or deep, but it was slick and he couldn't get a dig in it. At the canter, he swapped behind starting our first circle and I felt him start to switch just as we finished our second circle so I brought him back to the trot a couple strides early. Yuck. The dressage judge, holed up in her car, came out to tell me that I hadn't done anything wrong at the canter, he just couldn't get his footing.

I don't know what I got for a score. There were no score sheets up for Novice at any point and things were so crazy at the end, I couldn't get anyone's attention to ask if I could get my test. I emailed Michelle to see if she could send it my way at some point. Scores might go up online some time this week, but with the hurricane I'm not holding my breath.


I like going to BH. It's usually a fun, relaxed atmosphere with a good flow to the xcountry course and bright colored stadium jumps with fill under them--even if it's just flower boxes. However, the stadium courses never make any sense. There's no flow to them, and the "lines" just don't make sense.

Once more, I wandered on over to stadium, saw there were a couple of Novice riders going around, and got on forty five minutes after my dressage test and two hours before my scheduled ride time. I made one trot lap before Hubby asked me where my armband was. Doh! Trotted back to the trailer, got off, grabbed my armband, got on, saw my whip still laying on the ground, got off, grabbed my whip again, and got back on. We did a few jumps, working on me moving Robert forward so he wasn't having to run into the fences. Done and done. He slid a little making the turns up the hill, and I was feeling less and less confident about finishing the day.

Watched the only two riders that were down there with me go--one was a rider from the eventing barn by my house and the other was the trainer! Both were super nice and the trainer, Diane, narrated her student's ride for me and pointed out what to look out for. Definitely planning some jumping lessons with her next spring. I loved her serious yet "You'll be fine! This is no big deal!" attitude.

fence one.
Jump one, I got his motor going and we sailed over. Straight ahead to jump two where Bobby took a bit of a flyer.

I had to really haul him back to make the turn to fence 3 and he struggled a bit with his footing. He went over fine and I cantered on ahead.... and then saw the backside of fence 5 and was like, "Uhhh...four? Where's four?!" Four should have been a bending line off of 3, but I blew right by it! I squeezed in between fences because circling back would have meant crossing my tracks and from a serious angle at a walk, I pointed Bobby at the jump. He took one walk step and paused with his ears swiveled back like, "Huh?!" I gave him a tap and he launched over without touching the rails.

shake it off and move on.
Came around to five, landed and said, "Where the fuck is six?!" Holy cow, where was my brain?! Made the big loop to six after a second's hesitation.

On to seven from a wierd angle, than made the V angled line to eight. Bobby slid pretty badly making the final turn to nine. We could have used a little more pace all around, but there were no rails and we weren't running into fences this time.

We came out of the ring and Diane was like, "That's what I call a David O'Connor moment!" (Skip to 3:50) What can I say? I can't help that I ride forget my courses like an Olympian!

Cross Country

Your xcountry course walk.

I walked the xcountry again after dressage. The flags for the water had been turned around so it made way more sense, but they were exactly the opposite of how I'd walked them the first time. No matter though because I was still feeling very iffy about fence five. It came in from down hill and landed down hill and Bobby was not getting a grip on the grass on flat ground.

pig dog sized ditch.
We headed out anyway to see what we were working with. Cruised out of the start box with no nerves (winning!) just thinking through what was ahead. Over the big log, over the coop, and up a big hill to the "rustic coop" that was set on a crazy angle.

I felt Bobby really suck back on landing from the second fence. I put my leg on and got nothing. He saw the third fence and put his ears at it, but he didn't lock on and go for it like he always does. He climbed over and I trotted him through the hedgerow where Hubby was waiting to snap our picture. I pulled him up and called it quits there. If Bobby had been pulling me to the third and fourth jumps, I would have gone on. But he didn't. He came right back to the walk and we headed back to the trailer.

As I was untacking him, he kept looking back at me and then out at the course like, "But... but we do the jumping now, right?" Once I got his halter on, he let out a big sigh and resigned himself to the end of the day. I felt really disappointed and upset, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I'd rather have him finish still wanting to go instead of coming back flustered and overfaced.

headed out with the walnut hollow riders.
I turned in my pinny and saw an aluminum shoe bent nearly in half on the table. Hmm. Bobby wears aluminum shoes. I looked over at him where he was basking in the lovings from the other riders after he had eaten the mums that were decorating the secretary's booth. ("Hullo, adoring fans. Rub my head.") No left front shoe. He'd probably wrenched it off landing from fence 2 which would explain why he backed off so much.

Not a great day by any means. Really, really poorly organized (and I usually love this show and I'll definitely be back next year), a scatter brained stadium ride, and an unfinished xcountry round. He will without a doubt be getting studs next year.

Bobby didn't seem any worse for wear. He went bucking and farting up to his friends when I let him out (with a boot strapped on his foot) and incited a whinnying stampede. He's going to get a nice, long vacation while I save up for a full course of ulcer meds, a chiro adjustment, and a follow-up massage. For tonight, he's staying snuggled in his stall to avoid what's supposed to be the worst of the storm.


  1. Your stadium and dressage rounds both sounded really good to me (brain fart and all) and the XC only didn't turn out so hot because of the shoe, but otherwise everything went well! :)

  2. Sounds like you made something out of nothing in challenging horse show weather. I was going to ask about studs--definitely worth the extra money. Sounds like it would have saved you in all three phases. Live and learn. (And find a money tree).

    Don't beat yourself up--you rode well. :)


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