"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

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting the hang of it.

Fred and I survived Fair Hill, our third horse trial together.  We were entered in the BNH-C division.  

Dressage was a huge improvement from the week before at Tranquility.  My geometry and steering was much better.  Our canter departs were quiet and on time.  Fred's head came up a little in the transitions, but his legs were under control.   I was in Ring 3 and the judge spoke to each of her riders.  She was liked our test but said that I should scoring 7s and 8s, not 6s and 7s!  I have a lot of fine details to work on hit the 7s and 8s.  Fred is totally capable, I just have to catch up.  
Photo by Julie Keim

The long walk up in the woods was better than I hoped for.  I think that was the scariest part of the day.  Fred walked the entire time.  Not straight by any means, mind you.  All was peaceful until we passed the ambulance.  YAY! said Fred with exuberance.  Then we had to warm up and the quiet warm up from last week was gone.  It wasn't as bad as Plantation.  Fred likes to jump start my heart.  

Stadium was organized and controlled.  We had singles with turns to 4 or 5 stride lines throughout.  It was a good test of my steering.  We did well except for a cross canter in one place and a rider who sat done too soon.  One rail down is ok.  In fact, of the five HVS riders that day, we had the only jumping penalties with the one rail.  

Fence 1 of cross country was a crawl.   Fence 2 was a launch.  We talked after Fence 2 and decided that the rest of the course would be controlled.  Thankfully, it was!  Fred is too much fun out there.  His brakes worked just fine.  It was hot and I took a few more trot breaks than normal.  The girl who left the start box after us didn't appreciate that! She gained a lot of ground on us.  Yet again, I was grinning at the end and decided Fred could stick around a few more days.

Cindy's photos.
Julie's photos.
GRC's photos.

We finished 7th of 13.  Seeing as I didn't think I'd be competing until September, I'll take it.  Tonight I'm sending in my Olney entry.  It will be our first recognized event together and my first recognized event since last August.  During our lesson with Sally today, she said we have to compete more before we move up to Novice in October.  Well, that's my goal anyway.  It's doable and we're on our way.

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