"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." ~Thomas Edison
I know, I know, it's been way too long since I've posted. I was hoping to have Bug's new pictures from the MDHTII, but they haven't come yet. I'll have to post them next time!
Hmmm...where to begin? Well, let's go way back. The way life works, sometimes, we've come such a long way in a short time, but we never really realize it until we turn around and look back. Yes, I've been riding since the ripe young age of 6 months. (Yes, I count being held on horseback!) However, if I'm honest with myself, I didn't start down the path to eventing until January of 2003. I set off to Wilson College with my crazy OTTB and big hopes of someday doing big things. I started in the Novice II class at Wilson. I'd never jumped, and I barely knew a thing about dressage. I could stick a lot of things, but I didn't have much finesse. Cut to May 2006... Three and a half years have gone by. I am graduating with honors and the recipient of the Equestrienne Award for Dressage & Jumping. I went from the Novice II riding class to having my very own Eventing riding class in such a short time. I am thrilled, but I know I still have a long way to go. Cut to July 2010.... Who would believe it?? I just started jumping a mere 7 years ago, and I'm competing my self started OTTB, Win the War, at the Intermediate level! Yes, I still have a very long way to go, but I just have to look at where I've been to remind myself that it can be done! I think that a lot of us focus so much on where we have to go, that we forget where we've been. Yes, there is always much to learn, but you have to remember to pat yourself on the back now and then for all of the things you've accomplished!! Okay, enough of the reminiscing. Now for the updates! Let's see.... I left July 8th with Bug and Renn and headed to Charlottesville, VA for 2 days of butt kicking by my coach, Kim Severson. She worked us hard, and I learned a lot. I always come away with plenty of homework to keep me busy! From there, I headed to Taneytown, MD to settle the boys into their home for a week at my friend, Elaine's. It was to be a week full of shows, friends, family, and horses. It was nice to be back home in "The North" for awhile. I got to see a lot of people that I haven't seen for awhile. On July 10th, I got up early, bathed and braided Bug, and we headed for Adamstown, MD and the Maryland Horse Trials I. Bug was competing in a rather large division of professionals in an Open Preliminary division. After his awesome Intermediate run in Erie, we wanted to be sure he had his confidence up by dropping him back to Prelim before his next Intermediate. Of course, I'm not sure that Bug ever needs a confidence booster! His head barely fits into his halter some days as it is! haha Bug and I put in the best test we've ever had! He was quiet, obedient, and quite round. We ended up with a 35.9, which definitely can be improved upon, but I was thrilled. Unfortunately, I was so happy with my newfound show jumping skills, I forgot to hold my shoulders in the triple, and we had an uncharacteristic rail. If one thing's for sure, if we have a rail, it's ALL MY FAULT. Bug does not like to touch the jumps! He went on to run a pretty difficult XC run with no jump penalties and 8 time penalties. I was thrilled with him, as there were quite a few problems on course with other riders. We ended up 6th, which I was very happy with. I spent the next week working the boys and enjoying my "vacation." The following weekend, Bug was to run the Intermediate on Saturday, and Renn was running Novice on Sunday. I have to say, I truly believe that Bug is my once in a lifetime horse. He has so much athleticism and intelligence, it's insane. He LOVES his job, and he is pretty sure that he's running Rolex every time he goes out. haha It was sooooooooooooooooooo hot on Saturday. I must say, I suffered a mild run-in with dehydration. It was super hot and humid before the day even began! Bug and I put in a good dressage test. He was super obedient with lovely medium trots (which both scored 8's!). Unfortunately, we're still not quite up to snuff with everyone else, so we scored a 40. However, this is 4 points better than we did at Erie, so I was happy. Yet again, I messed up in show jumping, costing us a rail. I came out of a very squared turn and never put my leg on to a very upright vertical. He got way to close and took the rail. GRR! I'm still beating myself up over those rails! Anyway, besides that, it was a good round. I have a lot of work to do, but we're getting there. On to XC! Bug was stellar! I knew that I was going to have to ride very accurately and keep myself in very good balance. Kim walked the course with me, so I knew how to ride every single thing, and I was determined to get it all right. The course rode sooo well. Bug was a superstar. He is glad that I finally got the hint that he wanted to jump bigger and more difficult things! :) I didn't push for time, as the heat was ridiculous, so we ended up with 20 time penalties, but he jumped clear! We ended up 7th out of another big division!! I was thrilled. Unfortunately, after hauling Renn to the event that Sunday, he ended up being extremely lame in the dressage warm-up. He seems to be lame on his LF again, which is quite depressing, as we couldn't figure it out last time. It just got better. It seems to be a mystery going on. Anyway, Bug's next stop is the Fairhill Horse Trials the first weekend in August. We'll be running Intermediate again. I have been doing my homework from Kim, and I'm working very hard on our dressage as well. I hope all is well with everyone else. Kick on!