"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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Starter Trials at MDHT

Sunday, October 16 was the MDHT starter trial.  2 days before closing, I decided to enter Fred in the BN division.  LClark and Scotch (PB/PonyBoy) joined us for the fun.

In the week leading up to the event, Fred and I prepared every way we could.  Cindy helped us through show jumping, Wende gave Fred a fabulous massage on Saturday, and Sarah was super patience with us during our dressage lesson.  

Canter departs.  GAH! My brain understands them, my body doesn't.  We tackled my nemesis on Friday with Sarah.  Sarah's fix is easy once I get it. We practiced, and practiced, and practiced!  It's a work in progress.  On a really good note, Sarah says Fred's trot work is improving.

The PB stayed over at HVS Saturday night as we left for MDHT at 5am.  Fred was a smart horse and loaded on to the trailer with no issue.  (Big thanks to Lauren Gress for helping Fred practice loading and unloading.)  

MDHT ran the HT in a reverse order this time, elementary to training.  There were 5 divisions of senior BN and LClark was in the first one.  Her dressage time was at 8:30.  We left the barn at 5am.  The schedule worked well as LClark was completely done before I started and we were done by 12:30.  The weather couldn't have been any better.

The PB is so much to fun watch.  He is cuuuuuuuuuuute!  Lauren and Scotch finished third in a division of twelve.

 Lauren and Scotch.

Fred was excellent the entire day.  The dressage warm up was in between three dressage rings and the elementary/intro stadium course.  The XC start and finish was just on the other side of the fence.  Fred was all focus and lovely in warm up.  He held it together until the first lap around the dressage ring.  Behind the judge's booth was the concession area with lots of people and things moving in the breeze.  Fred wasn't afraid but he would have rather watched those going-ons instead of doing his test.  

  Moments like this make me feel very lucky to own this horse.
 What are they doing over there?  Let's go over there!
Ending a great test.

We had  two 8s in the test!  The trot and canter circles to the left were 8s.  The right side needs to be more supple and finesse.  I like the progress we're making.

Stadium started out really well and then I let him get backed off at the fan jump before the two stride combination.  We managed to leave all the rails up.  There was a red fabric bag blowing through the course during our round and Fred never blinked about it.  He's a good boy.

XC was fast!  The course was stunning.  Great fences and room between some to actually go forward.  Fred was focused and with me through the first 8 fences.  By fence 9 Fred the FreightTrain arrived.  Fred cruises pretty easily so it isn't scary but it makes my approach to the fences difficult.  We had a few awkward jumps but nothing to worry about.  The two water crossings went well. 

We also finished third in our division of twelve.  I was thrilled with how well we did.  Besides the small freight train run, I felt Fred and I are finally working together.  

In case you haven't seen enough, here are my photos and GRC's professional photos.

The day before MDHT was the two and three star at Fair Hill.  Here's my link to the photos I took. 

It turns out going to MDHT was a good plan.  We were snowed out at Plantation today.  Yes, snowed out.  As I type I'm trying to figure out if I can enter us in something for next weekend. 

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