Well, I got behind and skipped a few things.. but to recap, at the end of June Zara and I did the horse trials at the Horse Park of New Jersey. We had a decent dressage test for us, and geared up for the jumping with lots of ice and water on hand! Advanced in 100+ degrees is certainly a great test of my and Zara's stamina. With the help of Mark and a newer friend, Nicole, we warmed up and headed over to warm up. Zara was wonderful, and we headed in confidently after some brilliant rides before us by Buck Davidson and Jennie Brannigan. An interesting thing about this stadium course was that it was nearly identical to the intermediate stadium at Seneca a few weeks before. At Seneca, we had one rail at the vertical one-stride at the end of the arena, when I allowed a loss of balance through our turn. Needless to say, I was excited to ride the course again and hopefully leave that mistake out! Zara went around wonderfully, keeping all the rails up. I did have one mistake, where I added a stride in a bend, but luckily we kept it together enough to get to the base and get over it just fine. Our first clean advanced stadium! We went on to ride the cross country after a cooling session, and had a great time. Zara conquered all of the questions with confidence, and we came in just a little over the time to earn 3rd place.
Zara's next event was the Millbrook horse trials in New York. I was excited, as I had never traveled there for an event. We arrived an uneventful drive and Zara settled in nicely. She gave me her most relaxed test yet, and I was very happy that we have been improving every single outing so far this year. The cross country looked fair but had an element I wasn't used to -- hilly terrain. I walked the course with Sally Cousins and she assured me as long as we are fit, we will adapt fine to the hills. She was certainly right, and Zara and I pushed ourselves to have one of the best rides we've had to date. She was light on her feet, quick, and adaptable throughout the course, and to make things better, we managed to get in tight to the time with just 2 seconds to spare. The next day for stadium, Zara was in good spirits, though likely a bit tired... I however, was quite fatigued from the ride, and did not ride my best in the stadium. With my lack of support, we had 5 rails around the course to drop us from 5th to 10th. Our drive home went well, and Zara got a brief vacation before we went back to work. I did not take a vacation, and have been focusing on my fitness and as much riding as I can to avoid that problem again!
[Video Here: Millbrook Advanced Cross Country!! ]
On a bit of a whim last week, when I saw Waredaca was accepting post-entries, I decided to enter my wonderful old mount Zoomer in the training. With some luck, someone scratched the open training division on Saturday, so we geared up to head over Sunday! Our rides were in the late morning and afternoon which gave me plenty of time to walk and prepare. Zoomer warmed up very nice for the dressage, and gave me a lovely test. Unfortunately for him, he is scored a little tougher than fancy big red horses, and we were in poor standing after the dressage. Luckily, I was entering him for the fun of it, and was very excited to jump my old super horse. Zoomer tackled the stadium and cross country with ease, and we ended on his dressage score to earn 7th. Not too bad for a year apart, and then only a week together! We will see what Zoomer's future will hold this time around!
Next on our schedule is a busy fall season for all of my mounts. Zara and I will go to Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia to try our hand at the AEC's for advanced level, followed by Plantation Field and Fair Hill. Baby will continue competing at the preliminary level after her summer vacation until she is sold. Geoni will have his recognized event debut hopefully going training a time or two before the winter. Zoomer will be doing training or preliminary as his fitness and limitations allow until I decide whether we will try and bring him back up the levels for find a new place for him to live. Very excited to be busy busy eventing again!!