Skip to main content

Course Brook Farm Horse Trials - July 28, 2019

After a successful first-ever horse trial with Ellie in the spring, I decided to try a new-to-me venue for our July horse trial.  I also felt we were definitely ready to move up a level, from Introductory 18" to Elementary 2'.  Honestly, could we jump higher and do a more difficult dressage test?  Yes.  But I am a firm believer in setting my horse up for success by not over facing her, and knowing this would be a true cross country course through the woods, I didn't want anything to seem hard or scary to her.  I wanted us both to feel confident by having a positive experience.
Ellie and I traveled down to Course Brook Farm in Massachusetts on July 28, and while it was a long trip there, Ellie unloaded and settled in easily. Traffic had been heavier than I anticipated, so while we were not running late, I definitely had no extra time once we arrived. I did not realize this venue was actually A LOT bigger than I imagined, with 160 (!!!!) horses competing that day.  Ellie had…

State of Maine Dressage Schooling Show - June 10, 2018

Off we went to our third show of the year this past Sunday.  I was MUCH LESS nervous than the first SMDA show back in May, because I felt much more confident in Ellie's ability to act like a big girl haha.  She turned six the day beforehand, so obviously she's gotta grow up now!  ;-)
unicorn birthday cookies for the unicorn
Instead of arriving two hours ahead of our first ride time, I opted to get there with just over an hour.  I checked in and we took a quick walk around the show grounds.  Ellie was perfectly calm and happy, so I tied her to the trailer and spent time brushing and tacking her up.  She warmed up easily and didn't act nervous at all, which was really great.  She definitely seemed to remember being there before and went right to work without worrying about a thing. 

Intro B is an easy test for us, but it is the perfect warm up test right now.  The nine movements earned us all 7s, one 7.5 for a walk to trot transition, and then a 5 on the final center line haha.  We halted and she totally swung her hind end to the left (whoops) and because she has never done that and I did not expect it, I was not quick enough to correct it.  I walked her forward a stride and halted again, this time straight, which earned us the comment "halt not sustained". Ah well.  Gotta ride every stride until the END!  All 7s on the collective marks, with a 7,5 on rider position (whoooo!), and a 6.5 on impulsion (she underlined suppleness of the back).  The judge's further remarks said: Elegant pair! Stellar turnout by rider with a well ridden test - slightly may anticipate - so careful to prepare until the end!  I thought it was a well deserved 68.7% and a first place ribbon out of three riders.

We had a short break in between tests, but we had a lot of visitors to take up our time!  My husband and the two year old swung over to watch, and my first ever riding instructor Joy and her husband Doug had arrived just as we were entering the ring for Intro B.  I knew they would get a kick out of meeting Ellie, and with both of them now into their 80's, I enjoy any time I get to spend with them.

Soon it was time for our Intro C test, so we went over to the warm up to do a bit of trot and canter.  Ellie had picked up the correct right lead all week leading up to the show, but sadly in the warm up, she kept striking off incorrectly.  It was super frustrating because she kept wanting to throw her right shoulder out and was totally tuning out my right side aids.  Finally I just made her canter a small enough circle that she HAD to pick up the correct lead (not ideal in my world), and we had to go off for the test.  Uggg.  I know I can ride like a monkey at times when showing, but I really couldn't figure out what was going on with her.  Left lead, no problem (obviously, since that is all she wanted to take when going on the right rein).

This test was mostly all 6.5s, a few 6s, and a few 7s on our trot turn off centerline, trot change of rein, medium walk transition, rider position, and gaits, and 7.5 on the left trot circle.  Our first canter transition was the right lead, and yup, she picked it up wrong.  The scribe wrote 4 on the test, but then the judge wrote over it (and initialed) with a 6 and the comment "needs better balance".  

Uhhhhhhhh...........  

A 6 for a wrong lead....???

I jokingly texted my instructor later in the day that maybe the judge was blind in this case because we totally had the wrong lead, but whatever LOL!  I seem to have had weird judge things this year.  The judge wrote: Elegant pair - work to develop better prep and balance in and out of canter transitions.  Left trot circle was awesome!  We earned a 65.2% and another first place out of just two riders.

I thought the judge was right on, except for the ridiculously generous 6 on the wrong lead!  ;-)  It also makes me giggle when we get the words "elegant pair" because of Ellie's registered name LOL.  

Despite the fact my husband was there, my former riding instructor and her husband, and then my grandfather showed up at the end, I got exactly ZERO media!  Oh well.  There are only so many photos of us in Intro level tests one can have until they all look alike!  I would have liked the tests to be videotaped, because I do like to watch how we did, but without my 14 year old son around (who is my official videographer), I've got nothing.



Overall, I am really thrilled with how calm and willing Ellie acted this time out.  I could not have asked for a better horse (well, maybe picking up the correct right lead would have been nice, but we will get there!). She has really grown up a lot in the past few months, and it is clear she is starting to understand this showing thing.  

Next we are off to a XC jumping clinic with Daryl Kinney (Denny Emerson's former barn manager!) just after school gets out.  Speaking of, only one week until I start summer vacation yay!!!  

Comments

  1. Congratulations! You likely got a six because you corrected it. On our second test on saturday Carmen swung off the halt to the left and I put her back before saluting. The judge said 'good correction' and gave me a 6.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True! I earned a 4.5 at my lesson barn show in early May for fixing the incorrect lead on the same movement, so I guess I was surprised by the 6!

      Delete
  2. How cool that all those people came and watched but how sad no media :) And I am excited about your jumping clinic coming up. Glad Ellie seems to be learning the ropes. And they all seem to get a bit wrong leady at times when they are growing up. :) I am sure she will get over it fast....unicorn cookies are CUTE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was nice to have a cheering section for sure! Lack of media is sad for a blog haha! ;-) I do think she will keep improving as she keeps figuring it all out. And aren't those the cutest little cookies?!?!

      Delete
  3. Congrats!!! Ellie is really getting the hang of the showing gig.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Omgosh do I need to talk to your friends and family about the importance of pictures?!?!?? Lol we need shots of Ellie looking so stinking cute being all grown up in the show ring!! Seriously tho congrats it sounds like a wonderful and successful day!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right???? I mean, three of them are over the age of 80 and have never held an iPhone, so they get a pass hahahahaha. And my husband had to juggle the two year old, so honestly any video would have been probably wobbly and hard to watch haha. It took SO LONG for them to score tests and award ribbons that I was totally changed and had Ellie loaded up by the time I got any ribbons for pics. Ah well.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!