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April 17, 2012

Baby Indie: Grown Into His Big Boy Britches

Jennie Brannigan gave Indie a smooch at The Fork.

Well, things have really been happening at TPF lately, with the big move back home to Pennsylvania. And in the meantime, we competed at The Fork Horse Trials, which was, in keeping with the current theme of my spring, a good and bad weekend for me!

I ran Indie in the intermediate, and I really have to say, with how he started this spring—a little green and rough—I am beyond impressed with how he’s improved. He really stepped up to the plate at The Fork this past weekend.

He put in a nice dressage test to sit second beyond Buck and Reggie [Ballynoe Castle RM] and jumped a clean show jumping round the next day, though I have to say he’s quite spooky when not running cross-country first. It’s amazing how all horses are different, and some are indeed better show jumping a little tired!

After having a rough fall on Vamor on Saturday, I was beyond impressed with how well Indie jumped around the cross-country, even with me being a little sore. He stepped up to the plate, and it was one of the smoothest rounds I’ve ever had, which was pretty awesome.

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of producing a horse up through the levels yourself and riding the tide of them learning and growing and then sometimes letting you down too. When they start to get it, it’s the best feeling in the world, and I do feel like Indie is really growing up! What a good little man! He ended up winning, and I was really happy to have a good result for his amazing owner, Nina Gardner. 

Vamor was good in the dressage, while I actually wasn’t. I ended up having some very silly mistakes in the beginning of my advanced test with him. He did score a 31 though, and he was sitting sixth going into cross-country.

Phillip was there in the warm-up, and it was nice to have a bit of help! We got the horse going forward and taking me to the jumps in the warm-up, and then I had him 3/4 of the way around the track when he jumped through the sunken road and then made a left-hand turn to a open oxer with a little drop on the backside, to a corner.

He left the ground well and then hung up in the air, not reaching for the back rail, resulting in him hitting it with his hind legs and sending me flying. Thank God for frangible pins! The Toad is fine and has schooled well on cross-country since.

Phillip and I have decided to drop him down to prelim for Fair Hill, and then I’ll bring him back up to the upper levels slowly. Hindsight is 20/20, but I love this horse, and he is my kind of ride, and I know its the right thing to do. I’m very thankful he’s OK and will be back another day.

On a high note, my working student Jackie Imholte jumped around the preliminary amazingly on Asterix, who is one of the nicest horses. She rode great and came third in a huge open prelim division, right behind Big Phil and Natalie Bouckaert. I must say, she’s done a great job with the horse and treats him like gold. Having the two of them in the barn is something that puts a smile on my face everyday. 

Well, lets hope Mystery Whisper stays wrapped up in cotton and in a padded stall from here on out! So happy for Phillip... He deserves all of it and then some, and I have everything crossed for him!

Hope everyone is well! 

Jennie

Brannigan Eventing

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