Well the time has been passing on since I wrote my last blog after The Fork Horse Trials in North Carolina in April—I know it’s been way too long!
After The Fork we had the Fair Hill Spring Horse Trials (Md.) which was a busy but fun weekend, with Walkabout coming second in the advanced and Indie winning the preliminary. Dreamboat also had a good go in the training, coming in fourth, and I’m so pleased with how he’s coming along.
We then went to MCTA (Md.) the following weekend, and it was a busy one as well, with some of the highlights being Indie coming second in the preliminary and Ollie coming in third in his second event. I also had Walkbout in the advanced, and he had a green moment on cross-country and picked up 20 penalties at a triple brush chevron. Dreamboat was lovely on the flat and got a 25. He had an unfortunate rail down to place sixth in a big class, and I have to say he’s turning into a great young horse.
Jersey Fresh was up next, with Cambalda having his final run before we head off to Germany for Luhmuhlen. I have to say that he is turning into one fit pony, and I had a completely different horse than I’ve had in the past for the dressage. I ended up having an early mistake in the test and then started riding more conservatively to place second after the flat on a 50. My plan to take it a bit easy on the cross-country worked out well, and he put in a fairly smooth round, and I let him just cruise home. Ping is a great galloping horse, and even without me pressing on him he only came in 15 seconds late.
Show jumping didn’t go as planned for me, and I ended up riding an inside turn that I didn’t plan to and didn’t get in right to the triple bar. The time was quite hard to make, and I just wasn’t thinking well enough... I also had the last rail down, which was a little odd, but Ping was fantastic, and he’s a champ for trying so hard for me.
On the bad news side, Walkabout got injured at MCTA and will be out of commission for quite awhile. I’m quite bummed about it, even though I know this is part of the game. He was going so much better, and I was really happy with his progression. He’s such a talented horse, but quite excitable, and unfortunately can be quite hard on himself. As Boyd Martin told me, “You’ve got to have a heart of steel to make it in this sport,” and I know he’s right, but as most of us know, it still tears you apart.
I was really looking forward to having a go toward the Pan Ams and seeing what might happen. Walkabout was purchased by Dave Bogenrief and Joy Ou for me when, to be honest, all the chips were down and I didn’t have much going on due to Cooper... and then Ping was having surgery as well.
I have to say that I loved the off-the-track Thoroughbred heart that Will has, and though he is, in my words, “feral” at times, I enjoy him quite a bit. Thank you so much to his owners for believing in me and him. I know he’ll be back in action when he’s ready. I plan to give him all the time he needs and more.
Til next time,