Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ending the Summer with Success!

MARLBOROUGH: Baby was my only ride for the day as she makes the move up to preliminary level, and had a great day! Our dressage was consistent, accurate and relaxed, earning us 3rd so far with a 32.2. The stadium at Rosaryville Park is always a tricky question, as it is situated on a hill and had a pretty twisty course to ride. Baby tackled the first half of the course like there was no difference in height. She escalated a little after the first long-strided line, which got us in a hair too tight to the triple combination, pulling one on the vertical, and later I missed my spot on the last jump. Sorry girl! Cross country had some wet spots on it and I wanted it to be a good confident ride for her, so we planned to take it easy. She was bold and strong through the cross country, showing a great step to almost every fence. Coming across the finish with 10 time penalties, she held onto 3rd for the day. Someone should buy this fabulous horse before I decide to keep her and keep moving up!
(photo by Katie Cawood)

SENECA VALLEY: Two horses again, Zara at intermediate and Baby at her fourth training. First for the day was Zara's dressage, which we have put blood, sweat and tears into over the past few weeks to improve. Today, it paid off! Zara was much better, much more relaxed and instead of taking the back of the pack after dressage was tied for 4th with a 38.0. After the long delay for the thunderstorm, we went into the stadium and had a great round, with one rail down that wasn't due to any real issues. Despite the bit of rain, the footing was great and we had a fast and great cross country round to finish 4th for the day and got the last qualifying score we needed to sign up for the Fairhill CCI**. Baby had a decent day as well, despite the delays and waits for the rides and a loose horse through the dressage warm up. She was a bit tired after waiting to go for dressage, so had a little more tension than usual. Another long wait for stadium plus a few mistakes on my part lead to two rails down in the stadium. I considered withdrawing since she wasn't on her toes today, but decided to go ahead and see how the first few fences felt and then decide. Baby sure showed me! She had a great cross country round, pulling me to the fences with ears up and great scope. She definitely confirmed that we were ready to move up as planned at Marlborough.

WAREDACA: In the mid August heat I took on the challenge of competing all 3 of my horses in the day, with Zara in the intermediate and Baby and Zoomer in the training. I was lucky enough to borrow Steuart Pittmans fancy 4 horse living quarters trailer, since I only have a 2 horse, which made things much easier! The day started with back to back dressage rides on Zoomer and Zara, followed by Zara's jumping. Zara showed our work may be paying off giving me a great consistent test. There was still some tension through her work, but definitely an improvement even if the judge didn't agree, I was happy with her. In the jumping, Zara was fabulous, with one rail in the stadium due to a late eye on me and good fast cross country. Next was Zoomer's jumping, which was a blast of course! He went clean all round, and besides trying to climb out the trailer window, was a star all day. Baby's jumping went well even with the long wait due to the rain delay. A rail down in the in & out and a few seconds of time which was just due to caution in the slick footing. we ended with a 9th for Zara, and 7th for each of the others.

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