"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mileage at the MCTA/Tranquility Manor Farms HT

Fred and I survived our second horse trial.  Seeing as I wasn't planning to do our first event until July 2, I think we're doing well. 

I had been to Tranquility before for paperchases with Tyler, but had not competed there before.  It was well organized and ran efficiently.  The grounds aren't huge like Plantation or Fair Hill which was appreciated.

Dressage was not in the 20s as Sarah had challenged me.  The first half of the test was fine.  Then we cantered with exuberance and flair.  There were lots of 7s and two 8s in the first half of the test.  The free walk was a 6, which is fantastic for me.  Then came the 4s and 5s.  Oh well, we still pulled off a 38.6.  Something happens to me when I enter at A.  I'll figure it out. 

Stadium was an adventure.  Fred was the opposite of his Plantation warm up.  He was quiet and behind my leg.  We didn't have time to walk the course, but we watched several novice riders navigate it.  It was twisty with many turns and lots of color.  Fred didn't care about any of that.  The ride looked better than it felt, but it wasn't as smooth as Plantation.  We only had one Fred moment of flair which lead to dropping a rail.  We were missing the right balance of forward in the canter, which I never suspected would be a problem!  

XC was too much fun.  It was another challenging BN course.  Fred is very responsive on the course.  Fred's rider is a little slow in her organization between fences.  This was clear while riding fences 5,6, and 7in the woods.  There was a ditch (#4) before entering the woods so Fred was on alert after the first three fences on course did not catch his attention.  Fence 5 was a  down back to a left turn and then right curve to #6, a log vertical, to a log oxer at #7 before leaving the woods.  I wasn't organized after the bank and Fred got the vertical done for us.  We were cross cantering to the oxer and I didn't steer with my left rein enough so Fred went right by the oxer instead of taking it on the angle.  Oh well, I'll learn!  He jumped it great the second time.  I need to ride him over terrain more to learn how to balance myself but not upset him.  The rest of course was acceptable.  At the end of the course I let him open up a little to the finish.  That boy can move and he wasn't trying.  

We finished 9th of 14.  More importantly, we are moving forward with our partnership.  The BN courses are great for learning the technical aspects that will make us work seamlessly together.  

We are entered in the OBN division on Saturday at Fair Hill.  Fred had Monday and Tuesday off.  We'll work on the flat today and Friday with a light jump school tomorrow.  I'm not sure if we will compete again until September.  I may want to take the summer to school for our Novice move up this fall. :) 

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