Sunday, June 17, 2012

Plantation Field & Seneca Valley Horse Trials

After our adventures with MCTA, moving to Worthmore Equestrian Center, and rushing through fairhill, I decided to take a short break with the onset of the Summer heat and the chaos of settling into my new location. The last weekend of May and first in June, I actually didn't compete and had a relaxing weekend. Of course, I still spent most of it at the barn. Our next event was at Plantation, an event which I hadn't been to since 2008!! I entered Baby at the preliminary on Saturday and Geoni in the unrecognized beginner novice on Sunday.
Saturday was quite warm, but we hid under the shady side of our trailer and had a pretty good day. In the dressage, I unfortunately didn't study my test well enough. It's always a disappointment to negatively impact your horses score in such a careless way. Regardless, we started around the middle of the group with a very obedient test. The stadium rode the best it ever has for her, and even though we had 2 rails, every ride this horse feels more and more confident in her jumping. The cross country went extremely well, with a very bold, confident round and just a second under the optimum time to end up in 6th in the division.
Sunday we had mid-day rides, but Geoni didn't seem to mind the heat. He warmed up very nicely, with none of the greenie behavior he showed at his first event in April. He earned a respectable 34.5 to start off in 5th. He was wonderful in the stadium for a clean round, and very brave on the cross country! He got his first yellow ribbon for 3rd.
This weekend Zara competed at the Seneca Valley horse trials in the intermediate, so we would have a good run before we do the advanced at the New Jersey horse park in 2 weeks. Zara and I have been working very hard on our dressage (which I'll post about another time) and it was very rewarding for it to show at this event!! Friday evening, I developed a migraine, which was not helpful in the 3 hour haul to Seneca to walk, then 1.5 hour haul to my Mom's house to stay for the night so we were a bit closer to the event for our morning times. It was also not helpful for sleeping, waking up, or the event day in general. Ugh! After a rough drive there, I forced myself to just get through dressage, and see how it goes, then plan to jump stadium and WD for cross country if I was still feeling so nauseous. Zara gave me a great first half of our test, with a much better feel than our previous attempts. Unfortunately, she threw a big red mare temper tantrum in the canter work..... complete with rearing, striking and lunging. I was just pleased when we made it to the final halt without getting the whistle blown on us! Lucky for me, the judge had a sense of humor about it, and I'm sure it helped that for the whole airs above the ground performance I was laughing and shaking my head. She said "Whew! Good Luck!!" out the window. While I was very annoyed that Zara decided it was a good day for a meltdown, we got through it, and the trot work felt better. Definitely planning to WD still at this point, as I still feel horrible, and have low expectations for our dressage score! After taking a moment to collect myself, we tacked up for stadium. It was riding a little rough, as it usually does there on the grass with some tough distance questions to keep riders on their toes. I warmed Zara up a little aggressively, hoping to avoid the submission issues we faced earlier. We went in and she and I both jumped brilliantly. We had 1 rail where we weren't perfectly balanced through the turn to a vertical, but it was one of those rounds where you finish and you think "Wow!" I headed back to my trailer and got her boots off and tack loosened up to decide if I would run or not... Then checked my phone to see that we got a 41.2 in dressage!! Ok, I guess well have to run now! So we geared up and headed out to have a nice easy ride around the intermediate, with a couple time faults to end up in 6th. Not too shabby after such a rough start to the day! I picked up my dressage test to be SO ecstatic that Zara earned 9's, 8's and 7's on much of the trot work. It was such a rewarding experience with the hard work we have done on fixing our fundamentals in the trot work over the past 2 weeks. Better watch out once we learn how to canter!!

Next, Baby will be doing the eventing qualifying rally for Pony Club at Waredaca, and Zara is set to do the advanced at the New Jersey horse park.

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