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September 18, 2009

In The Midst Of Maclay Regionals

Maclay Regionals are upon us! This weekend, Calvin and about 70 other horses will be competing at the Zone 2 Regional, held at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, N.Y. I am lucky enough to come from a barn just down the road from the show, so although Calvin has a stall there, I am able to go back and forth and ride my other horses too. 

Right now I am in between classes, having finished the Open Equitation; now I'm waiting for the USEF Medal to start.
   
Fortunately, my preparation has gone well, so we kept it light enough that Calvin is still fresh for the big class on Saturday. Val jumped my horse on Tuesday and gave me a lesson on Wednesday, practicing courses that involve the short, quick turns that often appear indoors. 

He flowed beautifully, and I was miraculously good too, so we ended early and left on a good note. Val flatted him again yesterday morning (I don't think she's ridden him this often the whole time I've had him, but I can't complain—he feels amazing!), and we trailered over to Old Salem in the afternoon so I could give him a quick tour of the ring.
   
I rode before the show started today just to check in with my horse and did the first class of the day. The course was straightforward, but the turns came up very fast, so I overshot one a bit and had to move up to get down the line. Calvin, being the pro that he is, must have covered my mistake well, because we ended up sixth in a class of almost 60. 

For my next classes I just have to work on typical getting-used-to-indoors stuff, such as looking to my next jump early and keeping my horse on my outside rein so I have complete control over where I turn (and also so I don't canter on top of the kickboards, which I tried to do... oops!). I feel very good that I put down a solid trip, and my biggest mistake is very easy to fix.
   
Because I am 18 and can't do the junior classes next year, I am limited in what I can do today. I have a pretty long break right now because most of the midday classes already count for 2010 points. 

I am going to do the Medal so I have another shot in the ring before the National PHA Finals tonight. I'm very excited but a little bit nervous because I want to beat my record of third place in 2008. It's the perfect warm-up to have a final right before Regionals.  Hopefully I'll get all my nerves out tonight!
   
As many horse shows go, today seems to be an exercise in waiting and rushing. I've been sitting here so long that I'm probably already late! I'd better ride Alan now so I can get back to the show.
   
Wish me luck!

More blog posts by Emma Johnson...