Saturday, May 31, 2008

Waredaca

Just got back from an impromptu combined test at Waredaca - we got in just in the nip of time for me to walk the course on Friday, only to discover that the ground was hard as concrete and grass on top greasy and slippery. It was a nightmare. There were actual cracks in the dried ground, and I was slipping around on the hills in my little rubber shoes and my heels were quite sore from the walk! Needless to say I found it very frustrating, because the course was quite inviting with a few bigger jumps but no serious technical questions on nice open rolling land; however, I made the decision on Friday night that, barring some serious rain, I would save Dually's legs for another day (especially after our previous experiences with comparable footing... Young Riders, ESDCTA, May Poplar SJ... the list also matches with some of my most unpleasant rides to date).

I felt a little foolish because nobody else seemed that worried about it, and the course did seem to be riding fabulously, so obviously it was quite hard to stick to my guns come Saturday! However, I think it was for the best; Dually was super obedient in the Dressage (a quality we often lack) and had a marked improvement in his score over Poplar (38.6 v. 43.8) and then was a total rockstar in the show jumping in the beautiful all- weather ring. We had two rails (one I kicked myself for for holding him too tightly into the base and then not giving him total freedom of his head, causing him to tick it behind; the other (at a plank, his nemesis) wasn't particularly my fault but I think if I had ridden more actively to it, knowing his laziness with them, I could have saved it) but the round was so smooth and good- feeling in general that I still thought it was a huge step forward from the Poplar debacle. If only we could have gone xc!

Of course as we pulled out it started to pour down rain, so if Intermediate had been tomorrow much would have been different...

Pictures coming soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A little off in the LF after our (quite good!) gallop: some filling in the bottom of the tendon and thickening on the top inside. Didn't trot up well =(. Hand walked for 10m and cold hosed for 10m further. Hope he feels better...

Friday, May 23, 2008

nice lesson today with Suzi.  Dually was such a pill!!  But it was good to remind me to actually ride him and demand that he step up to the plate.   Hopefully if I keep his nose a little bit more to the grindstone over the next few days without souring him or beginning to ride him backward we can get through this naughtiness.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fair Hill Photos

Photos from Fair Hill are up! What a star:




Monday, May 19, 2008

Fair Hill

So here's the lowdown on the weekend:

We arrived at Fair Hill on Saturday evening; it was my first trip there and I was so blown away by the size and beauty of the property. Maybe someday I'll get to run around with the big boys here...

Dually definitely "won the warm up" this weekend in the dressage! We had lovely relaxed and correct work in the warmup that quickly went away in the arena (where the empty grandstands echoed and magnified every noise - especially when a horse went noisily clip- clopping by behind the stands during our free walk!) which was obviously frustrating but on the plus I felt able to control him more effectively than in past blow ups (though it might be because I totally sacrificed his length of neck). A 43.7 left us pretty close to the bottom of the pile after the first phase.

The show jumping and xc were run together one after another, so we just did one warmup for both. The weather was very erratic going from sunny and upper 60s to 40s and blowing rain and I was regretting not wearing my long sleeve xc shirt! The ground at FHI has a lot of clay in it, so quickly went from being rock hard on Saturday evening to a little bit tacky and holding with the water on Sunday (though the course, which had been aerated, held up better in both departments). The warmup was the worst and D was quite sticky off the ground. Fortunately the ring always fluffs him up and he actually jumped quite enthusiastically and well in the arena; in fact he jumped SO enthusiastically into the last line that I had to really bury him into the triple to prevent a melt down and so got one rail. A sloppy turn on my part halfway through the course (a result of not getting to walk the course beforehand!) dropped another rail, leaving us with 8 penalties for the round.

The cross country was very open and gallopy, which was perfect for our goal for the weekend (to be more efficient and quick across country). There were few technical questions, but the drop complex was very similar to where it all ended for us at YRs last year (so it felt especially good to fly through it!), the coffin was legitimate, and the second last jump (a pimple straight down to a quite substantial drop) was quite substantial for that phase of the course and compared to the rest of the jumps. Dually was absolutely foot perfect and cruised around, making it all look easy, and we came in 10 seconds under the time (which we have NEVER done at Prelim or above)!!!! It was an extremely satisfying end to a good day.

A final score of 51.7 left us in 4th place.

Pictures to come...

YES

just got back from Fair Hill (JYOP) - besides a little bit of a disappointment in the dressage, we STORMED around! It was so fun!

AND WE MADE THE TIME FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

great gallop today =)
it's so nice to have the footing be as perfect as it is right now - got to take advantage of it while lasts!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fun day shooting with Hoof Pix at King Oak. Got to love the sporting life.

Few things are more pleasant than riding the horse you love in fine weather as the sun sets.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home at last!  20 hours never felt so smooth.  Too bad when we got home, everything went to hell in a handbasket... within 5 minutes.

Monday, May 5, 2008



Only one day left in Aiken... 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Perfect weather today... not too hot, not too cold, a nice breeze drifting down the valley.
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