Monday, June 25, 2012

oh, that was jump 7?

Yesterday's trip to Groton House was kind of a nightmare. I was not that nervous in the morning, and Lucy dragged me ONTO the trailer, so I thought hey, maybe it's going to be a great day! We got two miles down the road and P (my BO) said, "my check engine light is flashing". Then the car (a Ford Expedition) began to stutter and shake, and we made the decision to turn around.

After all, Kenny's truck was sitting in the barn driveway ready to go.

So we turned around, unloaded both horses, switched the vehicles out, loaded them both back up, and we were back on the road within 20 minutes.

The drive was much longer than I thought it would be, but we got there eventually after taking a few wrong turns. We had an hour before my dressage test so we did not have time to walk the XC course. P assured me we could do it after my dressage test. I got on Lucy and started to warm up. She was very forward, looking at everything, but not naughty until we picked up the canter, then both directions she threw little fits. At this point I had about 5 minutes before my test so I decided to stand by the ring and let her chill for a few minutes. We went in the ring and the test started out really nicely! I thought, maybe this is going to be ok! Then we picked up the first 20 metre canter circle and she bronc'd a bit. I got her back, we continued on, and the second half of the test was really nice. We scored a 55 :( :( That bad canter circle really killed it; we had scored some 6's and 7's on other parts of the test. I personally thought she was much more obedient than the first test we did except for that one canter.

P did her test, which was absolutely flawless and beautiful. Then we zipped back to the trailer, untacked the horses and put them on the trailer to relax, then went and walked the XC course. There were a few jumps that I was like, uhhhh that may be a problem. Plus, after jumping the equivalent of baby crossrails at the GPC event, these jumps were HUGE. Some of them were at LEAST BN height. There was a jump with shiny metal barrels in it, a "big" table that was probably 2'6" high and at least 2' wide, a few good-sized logs, etc. We finished walking the course, went and tacked up for stadium, and I was late. I didn't even get a warm up and I watched just two of the previous rounds to "learn" the course. I went in and she jumped GREAT; I was so happy and impressed with her. She waited, she was polite, etc. There was one jump we had a miscommunication about distance; I thought she was going to take the long spot and she actually fit that extra stride in, but I was halfway up her neck when she jumped. She let out a nice buck over the fence, which almost helped me on my way right out the front door but my heels saved me and I sat up and we continued onto the next fence....sheesh! Then I missed the second-to-last jump without realizing it. I finished the course and was so happy with Lucy until the judge was like, you missed jump 7! AHHH I wanted to die. I guess it's a miracle I got that far in the course before I screwed up given that I watched just two people go through it, and it was not a straightforward course, lots of bending lines.

The SJ judge said they'd let me go to the XC course anyway, so I walked over and started right away. P had an experienced friend with her and the friend said to treat it like schooling since now it didn't count for anything. That took the pressure right off. The first jump was a straightforward log up a little hill. She refused. I let her look at it and we did it fine the second time. The second jump was another log but in the shade. I think she may have jumped that fine. Then she refused the next jump, and the next....we quickly racked up 4 refusals, but each time she peetered out going up to it, looking at it, then jumped it fine when we re-approached. But since we had so many refusals, they pulled me off course at jump 7. I was so disappointed, in myself and in Lucy. I don't know why she was so looky; some of the jumps DID deserve a look but others she should have had no problem with. I was disappointed in myself because obviously I did not prepare her well enough! I thought we wouldn't have a problem XC but I was not expecting some of the jumps we had to do. Oh well, live and learn.

I was really disappointed and felt sorry for myself. We waited for Prudy to finish (she won her division) and headed home. On the way home, she mentioned that she was supposed to go to an Eric Smiley clinic today but now couldn't because her truck is broken. I offered to drive for her but she said, no you should go! So today I am going to ride with an olympic rider! Cool huh?

Here are some photos:

my parents came out to support me!

excuse my chair seat...yikes!

"good girl"

yup, there's that buck to say "GET OFF MY SHOULDERS"

almost off the right side...but I saved it!

being told I went off course and was eliminated :( :(


  1. We all have bad rides so don't even worry about it- just think of it as a learning lesson :) I actually FELL OFF at my last show for no good reason! I think you guys look pretty darn good in your photos. Enjoy your clinic :)

  2. Chalk it up to a learning experience, you both got through and had some amazing moments over the course of the day so that's something to be proud of! Plus, we don't really have a XC course or anywhere close to go that has many natural jumps to practice with so I wouldn't be too upset. I think she was probably a little fried by that time (jeez, Mom, you made me get on and off the trailer TwIcE before we even really left? :P) and if you are anything like me you were probably still beating yourself up about the mistake in the stadium course. I would have expected more in XC but I'm beyond happy at how well you say she did in stadium and your dressage trot was beautiful! Next one will be stellar I'm sure :)

  3. Sorry to hear you had a tough day! Groton House is the real deal, even if it is only their schooling events. You should be proud that you did it! Daatje "E'd" us at their 2-phase two years ago. I haven't had the guts to go back since! It's very embarrasing, I know exactly how you feel! Keep at it. All Lucy needs is more experience. Glad to hear you got a new job too!

  4. Hopefully you'll have a much improved ride today. Olympic levels riders have seen it all. :) Glad you stayed with her regardless.

  5. The only way for the both of you to get better is to have days just like that! Well hopefully only one DAY. :)
    All will be better next time!

  6. Hope your next outing is a little better! Sorry it wasn't all you'd hoped for. Maybe for the "bigger" events you should ship up the day before? Seems like then you'd just have more "cushion" time in case of problems, plus you'd have time to walk all your courses. I know I can usually get by with walking my stadium course once, but I HAVE to walk my xc fully twice, and partially once usually. At least you stayed ON, so good for you!:)

  7. It only gets better from here.
    As long as you can look back and say "wow I think she did well", that is what counts, I can tell from the pictures that you guys were having fun. We learn from our mistakes and truly, it only gets better.
    You guys looked great,

  8. Well at least you girls looked beautiful!
    At my very first dressage show, very first test, my mare jumped out of the arena. You don't see that too often, lol! Point is, it's all uphill from here.

  9. You did fine, call it a learning experience.
    You will LOVE Eric Smiley. Please make a full report on the clinic.

  10. The pic you have up of being told you were off course is so cute. You have the "Awww MAN!" expression and Lucy is like "Say WHAT?!?"

    You two are a team and it shows. Keep having fun!!

  11. Chalk it up to a learning experience and keep at it! Lucy looks lovely in that first SJ pic. Sweet photo of you and Lucy with your parents.

  12. She's looking REALLY good.

  13. Oh no!! That really sucks. :(

  14. Sounds like you had a great time even if you went off course. :)

  15. It sounds like you were a little thrown off from the start, and sometimes when you get out of your game it's hard to get things turned around. At least your next event will be a big improvement right?


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