Friday, July 24, 2009

Rebecca Farm Day Four

Well today was a long and busy day! Papa and I got to the barn an hour earlier than usual so that we could get Dually feeling loose and looking beautiful in time for our 9:15 jog. I got on him quickly and did a quick trot and canter around the barley field next to the farm (where roads and tracks will be held) and then did some stretchy work on the grass to get him feeling limber, then brought him back to the barn to take his tack off and put the finishing touches on his look. He looked as handsome as I've ever seen him, and we walked down to the jogs feeling like a million bucks. I was the very first horse to jog out, and despite (or perhaps because of =D) a small wardrobe malfunction of the skirt of my wrap dress revealing a rather obscene amount of upper thigh on the trip back down the lane, we passed with flying colors. Phew! Dually has never had a problem at a jog (touch wood), but that doesn't mean that they still aren't some of the most nerve wracking moments at a big event.

We put Dually away for the morning and I got some much needed shut eye before the tour of roads and tracks at 1:30. The tour was very fun; as there are only three of us, we all jammed into one golf cart and toured around. It was really nice to get to know the other two in the competition a little better; they both seem really nice and just as excited as I am - how could you not be? The roads and tracks look very fun and the steeplechase is amazing: out in a huge level field with lovely grass footing. As Robert Kellerhouse, our tour guide of the phases, told us, this was the kind of steeplechase where it was going to be easy to go too fast, because it was going to be just too much fun!

After learning the location of the Phase A and C gates, as well as the kilometer markers on both those phases, Papa and I headed out to watch some dressage before it was my turn to go. We came back a little early to make sure that I could get my top hat to stay on; at Galway last fall it flipped off at the very end of my test, and I really didn't want that to happen again! This time, with the help of creative hair tying, bobby pin usage, and liberal amounts of wig tape, I was pretty confident that that sucker wasn't coming off... but that I might also be giving myself minor brain damage because it was jammed on so tightly. Oh well. We fixed Dually's braids, which he had managed to rub out spectacularly, and then it was time to get on!

By the time I rode jackets had been waived, but I had already decided that I was going to wear my tails come hell or high water. I paid for this decision dearly, sweating straight through my shadbelly by the end of my 40-minute warmup and test. I was fairly certain that if I didn't concentrate hard, I could faint right off my horse at any moment. Fortuantely, this did not happen, and Dually and I managed to produce some of our best work to date! He was very steady and obedient, and I really tried to ride for every point. I did make a few bobbles, but Dually did everything I could ask of him; I couldn't be more proud of the dude. Given that, I was pretty frustrated with my score of 60.4, but still had to remain happy that I had given the best that I could give.

Tomorrow Dually will get a light day and perhaps a little pipe opening gallop in preparation for our 8:15 start on Saturday morning. I can't wait!

Dually and I presenting to the Ground Jury at the jogs this morning.

Relaxing after passing =)

Me going to some extremes to try to get Dually looking perky in a conformation shot; he wasn't that into it.

Warming up.

Heading over to the ring!

First halt-salute.

Dually is excited that the test is over; now he can stick his nose as high into the air as he wants again!


PonyNut said...

So I know you wrote this post ages ago but I have to laugh because my Mom is standing in the back of your last picture and I actually remember watching you do your test that year! Mom and I volunteer to run the FEI arenas every year as we are so lucky to live just down the road from Rebecca and for some reason they trust us with the job ;-)

Katherine Erickson said...

haha that is too funny! I want to go back to Rebecca Farm sooo badly

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