Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Go big or go home!

Well, Folks, here it is, my update from Southern Pines II.... Bug and I moved up to Advanced, and it was an amazing weekend!  I wrote about it for Eventing Nation, so check it out!

Here are a few more pictures that I didn't have at the time of the EN publication.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Update Part 1

Wow, so a lot has happened this month!  I have been horrible about blogging.  I'm going to split this month up into two posts, as I have so much to share!

In the beginning of March, Bug FINALLY got to make his 2012 debut!  We went to Sporting Days in Aiken to run the Intermediate/Prelim division.  That means, Intermediate dressage and show jumping and Preliminary XC.  I thought this was a good way to get him out to stretch his legs without putting too much pressure on him in the XC.  I wanted to be sure all of our systems were a go over smaller fences before we moved up to the big stuff. 
Bug put in a good test in the dressage and was very obedient.  Now that I have him listening to me better, we have to start tweaking the work to make it fancier and more correct.  He went on to jump a good sj round with one unlucky rail.  He did save my butt a few times, as I was still knocking off the rust a bit.  He also jumped around the XC like a champ with only a handful of time.  Not a bad way to knock off the rust, I think! 

The following weekend, I set off with my new working student, Naomi,  to Aiken again.  I was to compete FIVE horses at Full Gallop Farm.  This was the first time I'd competed over 2 horses at a recognized event.  I wasn't sure how I would hold up, but I was sure that I'd have a good idea of my fitness level afterward.  Luckily, along with Naomi, I had three other great helpers along to keep my horses clean and ready to compete.  Mary, Michael, Chris, and Naomi were an amazing help to me!  I really appreciate all of their efforts. 

Bug rocking it in the SJ

Bug was set to compete in his first full Intermediate event of the year.  How well this event went was the determining factor of when we were to move up to Advanced.  No pressure!  Bug put in a very obedient test.  Still missing a lot of fancy and swing.  We're working on it. :)  He went on to ROCK around the SJ and XC with stellar rounds to finish 5th!  I was THRILLED.  He felt amazing.  He's such a superstar!

Renn showing off his AMAZING gallop stride!

Renn was back and ready to take on another Training at Full Gallop.  The XC looked to be a great deal tougher than what he'd done the month before, so I was excited to see how he felt about it.  He put in one of the best dressage tests of his life!  Random people that didn't know us were coming up to me afterward and telling me how beautiful we were together.   Unfortunately, the judge didn't completely agree, as she said he wasn't in front of my leg enough.  However, I was thrilled with him.  He went on to ROCK around the XC.  No nappiness, no shying, just a phenomenal run.  Maybe my handsome studly is growing up!  He did have 2 rails in SJ, but they were my fault.   He was jumping great in the beginning of the course, but got a bit behind my leg to the in and out.  I had to get after him, and he started to panic a bit about doing something wrong.  Oh well, I will get him figured out yet! 

Catoctin Moon, Moe, the sales horse, was a bit tense at his first recognized event.  With over 400 entries, the warm up areas were quite crazy.  He was obedient in his Novice test, but he was definitely tense, which cost us.  I was still super pleased with how he held it together.  He went on to jump a good SJ round with one rail.  He was a bit spooky for the beginning of XC, but after a silly run-out, he got his mind in gear and was great the rest of the way around.  I was quite pleased with how he grew up as the weekend went along.  He will do Novice again at The Ark this coming weekend. 

Golden Altar, Zeus, another sales horse, did his first ever recognized event as well, only in the BN division.  He had a bit of the same issues as Moe.  The crowds caused him to be a bit overwhelmed, but he held it together.  He didn't do anything silly, but he was definitely tense.  His test was nothing like he is capable of doing.  He did, however, go on to ROCK around the XC.  His SJ was not normal for him, as he had a silly stop at the 2nd fence and a rail.  I think he was a bit distracted by his surroundings, but I felt like he really grew up as well during the weekend.  He will move up to Novice at The Ark this weekend. 

Gracie dominating the BN jumps. :)

Une Grace, Gracie, another sales horse owned by Morning Glory Sporthorses, was my little wonder pony.  She got a 34 in her VERY FIRST BN RECOGNIZED EVENT!  She was 4th after dressage.  I just LOVE that little mare.  The judge called her "well built" and "beautiful".  I already thought that, but I'm a little bit biased.  I've loved that little girl since I met her as a yearling.  She's such an amazing girl!  She had 2 rails in the in and out of SJ, but they were just greenie mistakes.  She also looked at a few things on XC, but I never had to represent.  She would just slow down, walk up to it, and then jump. haha  She's such a good girl.  Unfortunately, due to pilot error, we jumped up the Novice bank instead of the BN bank.  Oops!  Good girl for doing the big bank!  That was the only time that my crazy weekend really showed through in my riding, I think. 

Over all, it was a great weekend with the horses! 

Unfortunately, a mile up the road from the show, my brakes went out in my truck, and we had to stay in Aiken for 2 extra days.  I guess if you're going to get stranded with horses, that is the place to do it!  We enjoyed some nice weather and got to hack around on the good footing for an extra day. :)

That's all for this update!  Look for the next one soon!