Saturday, March 27, 2010
Today Zara and I went to our second show outing of the year and first legitimate jumper show and we both returned very pleased!! We pre-entered the show for Sunday, but on a whim Friday decided it looked like it would be a beautiful day on Saturday and loaded up this morning, no sure what to expect on arrival. We decided to enter the three 3' classes, time first jump off, power and speed and the addback, as well as the three 3'6" classes of the same type. With a decent amount of competition, Zara excelled in the 3' division, bringing home a 2nd with one rail, 1st with a clear round and 3rd with one rail(of course in the money class!). Overall, I was very pleased with our first real jumper division. Once we finished these classes, the show moved on to the 3'3" classes, which we were skipping, but then we discovered that there were no entries besides us in the 3'6" class. We decided to take on one of the 3'3" classes and add the 3'9" classes since the 3'6" would be silly to compete in alone. Zara completed the complex course at 3'3" perfectly with no rails, winning the class. We then competed in the two 3'9" classes, with 2 rails in the first class and a clean run in the second, winning both. What a good mare! Maybe she's finally accepted the fact that this stuff can be fun without having to drag me around courses; she was also much more settled standing in and outside of the trailer for tacking. With such a good day today, we decided to scratch the day for tomorrow, since it looked like it would be chilly and rainy anyways. The footing was great today, but would probably be very slick in the rain. Too bad I don't want to become a show jumper, I think Zara would do fantastic with it! Hopefully she will be fantastic with eventing this season as well.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, Saturday and Sunday brought a perfect opportunity to begin fitness work with Zara and a little jumping with Zoomer! Friday, the perfect temperature allowed great rides on Zara, Zoomer and Coco(a pony I work at Worthmore) with a short hack for each. Zoomer went first, warming up fabulously with an extra bounce to his step at the opportunity to finally ride in the outdoor. After working for weeks and weeks, we decided it would be a good day to do some little jumps; the first jumping he has done in 5 months, since the injury! He of course was fabulous, jumping well balanced and in good stride as if he hadn't even had time off. Zara had a lesson on Friday, where we worked on dressage with Courtney Amritt Johnson. We focused on keeping her in a true frame, using her body but not leaning on my hands(my left on in particular) for support in her work. Her canter work was decent to the left, but sloppy to the right as she leaned heavily on my hand and was disrespectful to my legs.
Zara proved that she was just having a bad day throughout the rest of the weekend, as everyone went for trotting hacks out in the fields on Saturday. Sunday, fitness work for Zara began! She did trot sets of 15 minutes with 5 minutes of walk between 3 sets, along with two 2 minute gallop sets. By the end, we were finally happy with just trotting, instead of trying to go full speed all the time! I think I finally wore her out! Coco also did trot work and played in the nearby pond to become reaccustomed to overcoming water. Unfortunately, Zoomer must have been playing too hard or encountered something unpleasant, as his left eye was swollen and oozing a little. He didn't get to enjoy the beautiful day, but care was taken to heal the eye and he worked beautifully tonight in the indoor.
More beautiful weekends for Chestertown, please!!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Well, Zara proved to all of us that she is ready to get started on showing this weekend today! She put in 2 beautiful, balanced, clear rounds in the highest division offered for the day, 3'. Despite some recent problems in schooling over spring break week at Dodon involving some heaviness on my hands, weight on her forehand and trouble with maneuverability around a tight, turn-filled course, she was absolutely fabulous in the ring. Going in a simple french link dee, she was able to make the tight turns around the course without hanging on me for balance and using her hindquarters in some tough rollback turns. Unfortunately, a few tight spots in the last round for the day cost us a rail, but certainly a good day!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Here comes the Eventing Season of 2010!
Zoomer at Fairhill International Horse Trials, Preliminary Level 2009.
Well, it's been a slow, snowy Winter in Chestertown, Maryland. Gentle workouts with Zoomer and dressage bootcamp for Zara will hopefully pay off this show season! Due to the ring conditions, jumping has been a challenge, but Zara has shown great improvement with help from dressage rider Courtney Amritt. We were aiming to enter the Plantation Field HT in April, but unfortunately, Zoomer is not recovering as quickly as hoped, so he will be working very slowly until he shows no signs of problems. Zara will be entering some schooling shows soon to test out how well she will hold up jumping this season -- hopefully she'll be fabulous and compete in some novice and training level events, as well as some rated jumper shows. With perfect soundness after a tough grid workout yesterday, things are looking up for her (but keep fingers crossed!). Videos of the gridwork from March 2, 2010 will be up sometime.