Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The...uh...Handsome?!

It has been an action packed month since I last blogged. 

1.  One big, exciting piece of news...  I have started taking lessons from Bonnie Mosser in addition to my lessons with Kim Severson.  Kim is over 4 hours away from me, and it is difficult for me to get to see her more than once every 3 or 4 months.  For someone that truly wants to be competetive in the big leagues, this just wasn't cutting it.  Bonnie has recently relocated to NC, and she's very close.  I have taken 2 jump lessons on each of the boys and a dressage lesson on Bug.  The change in myself and my boys has been amazing!!  It's sooo incredibly nice to have eyes on the ground on a regular basis.  I plan to continue riding with them both as much as I can.  

Bug and I at the MDHTII (photo by Mike McNally)

2.   Bug ran the Open Intermediate division at the Waredaca HT this past Saturday.  I can tell that all of our gallops are paying off, as he was a bit too big for his britches for the dressage.  He was quite frisky in the warm-up and never really chilled out.  To make it even more exciting, the arena was right next to the concessions stand, so there was smoke billowing over the fence from their oversized grill.  Bug was pretty sure it was the smoke from a fire breathing dragon.  haha  In his defense, he DID chill out for the last part of the test, and his canter work was much better.  I was definitely disappointed, though.  We ended up with a 44. 
However, in typical Bug fashion, he went on to redeem himself in the jumping phases.  Our show jumping round was the best round I've had since early this spring.  He was soft and listening, I was riding up to the fences, and I wasn't panicking and just running him off of his feet.  It was the best feeling.  We had one rail, which was totally my fault (as Bug will tell you!).  However, I was more pleased with that round than I was with most of my double clears this year!  I hope that I've finally got my groove back!
The XC was a very gallopy, very hilly course with a lot of good questions.  I was determined to be within 15 seconds of optimum, as I have really been struggling to make time at Intermediate.  I know that this is because of my underriding and backing up to fences.  We went out there and ROCKED around that course.  Every time I wanted to slow too much,  I kicked more.  Bug never backed up to a fence, and he never had one of those suspended in mid-air moments over a fence.  It was an amazing round.  He was CRUISING!  We came in just 12 seconds over time.  This was our fastest Intermediate round yet.  I couldn't stop smiling.  We ended up 7th out of 23 in a field of some big names.  Awesome boy!  *pat, pat*

Renn at the MDHTII (photo by Karen Wurster)

3.  Renn also ran at Waredaca in the Open Training division.  He was such a good boy for his dressage.  He was very obedient and submissive.  He lacked some of his forward energy, which probably cost us some points.  He got a 36, which isn't too shabby, but it's definitely not the best he can do. 
Renn and I have been struggling in the sj, as he either pays too much attention to me and ignores the jumps or grabs the bit and runs hellbent for election.  I know that he is capable of jumping well.  With Bonnie's help, I have been trying a new style with him.  He jumped great at Waredaca!  He had one rail where he probably wasn't paying quite enough attention, and I had one rail.  However, the rest of the round was quite lovely!  I was so happy with him.
Unfortunately, the XC was quite large for Training, and I was a bit worried that the ghosts of that bad XC school would come back to haunt us.  I was right.  He ended up getting eliminated late on course at the HUGE ditch at the coffin.  Otherwise, he was quite bold and brave.  I'm disappointed, but as things go with horses, you just have to keep training.  There's always something.  He'll be going XC schooling this weekend at The Fork to see if we can get that bold horse back.

4.  I have been accepted into the American Horse Trials Foundation, which means that I can now accept tax deductible donations!!!  If you want more information on how to sponsor me or have ideas to help me along this financially difficult road, please contact me!  There is a sponsorship proposal with more information on my website as well.

I think that's about all for now!  Bug and I will be heading to Five Points in a few weeks. 

Thanks to everyone for their support and for checking in!  Heels down, Chin up!