Well, its been quite awhile (10 years almost...) since I've actively been able to compete in a HT. The first horse I bought out of college (unbroke youngster) had to be PTS just about the time I was gearing up to start doing some xc schoolings and other fun outings The next horse sold to me as sound and passed flexions, turned out to have navicular (thanks trainer of friend, who knew horse was not sound!).
So, again back to drawing board, I bought a horse last October from CoTH member Foundationmare, an 8 y/o OTTB mare who had been being a mommy for a year or two. Thankfully, not only is mare sound, but she is pretty darn sane and smart. It took awhile to develop muscles, but this spring we started jumping. I took her to a dressage show, where we did decent (66%, 69% as i recall), a CT (30 in dressage, and no jumping although she was looky and sucked back to most fences).. so why not do a nice little intro event?
Prefacing by saying, we did get E at the first fence in XC not because of the log itself, but she was very concerned about the horses running around in the field.
Dressage was "okay"... I'm not really expecting anything of her, there were a lot more horses then the previous two shows, and she was very 'up'. We spent a good 1.5 hours walking and trotting around.. so by the time she hit the ring she was actually a little tired. We ended up with a 43.7, tying for 7th. All - in - all, I was very, very pleased with our test.
Back at the trailer... as she was munching away on hay I was untacking and walking by her, she began to follow me. I said "aahhh stay there" which is when she reached the end of the lead and jerked back into the edge of the upper part of the trailer door. Made for a pretty nasty cut, thank goodness my great friend who was at the show with her gelding is a LVT AND always keeps her stapler/betadine/etc on hand all the time. We were able to pop in two staples and were good as new.
XC - she boldly walked up to warm up by herself (we were 3rd to go, and I wanted her to be able to relax) there weren't any other horses in warmup for a good 5-10 mins. Our first warmup fence, a simple tiny natural xrail she had a dirty stop... never before has this horse stopped like this! The next 5 attempts after this were so awkward and ugly, and my riding was starting to go to hell in a handbasket. Thankfully I reorganized, had a couple good fences and we were ready for the start box. First fence she did not want to go near. Just wanted to stare at the galloping horses and shake and back up. I circled her towards the fence, each circle counting as a refusal, lol, so by the time I finally got to the fence judge said "sorry 3rd refusal", but I was already approaching the fence, and jumped it. I pulled up and asked if I could proceed, and she said sure, so on we went. 2nd fence was a little sticky, but after that she was bold and happy - and She just had this light bulb moment I think of "ooh this is so much fun!".
Stadium was just perfect (I had permission to go ahead and jump). I think XC helped her be a bolder horse, no looking at the fences (shes never jumped flowers or really anything other than rails and once I threw a cooler over a fence) - we even had a mini oxer. I had a stupid smile plastered on my face the whole time!
Tomorrow we go to a "real" xc schooling, so I can (hopefully!) get her through some water, over all the BN stuff.
I of course am planning some more lessons, I can't believe the horrible habits I am picking up. Never have I had chicken wings... Loose leg is due to new boots not being broken in, and I haven't jumped consistently in years now - so I am still not in shape (Well a ROUND shape, not a GOOD shape)
I just wanted to share my expirience with you all! Now for some of our pictures (please don't be too harsh! I think I'm my own worst critic anyways)
My friend, btw, was first after dressage in her Novice Horse div (a MAJOR thing, he has suddenly become this dressage beast instead of a tense giraffe) but had a silly stop on XC. They ended 5th overall - she was completely thrilled with his dressage!
Last edited by EventingJ; Jun. 1, 2010 at 08:34 AM.
The wound was awful looking- she was a warrior, though. I would expect most horses who had just did that to themselves to break free from the awful beast that bit them and run away. She merely curled her lip so to speak and stood quite still - even putting in those staples and flushing it out. I debated on just scratching, of course, but it did not bother her in the least, and wasn't going to be affected by the bridle or anything - figured might as well give it a go.
paintmare- this was in Geneseo - the Genesee Valley Pony Club Event I was really impressed, they seem to have built a lot of new novice jumps, they looked great - and of course everyone there was awesome as well. They are a wonderful, friendly...nice bunch of people. There is another event very near there this next weekend - Genesee Valley Riding and Driving. I can't make it to that one, unfortunately.
Thanks! I get frustrated with myself because I FEEL myself doing that, and I tell myself to quit it.. I am scheduled for some nice lunge lessons over barrels to help get my seat and body position back - I think it will help a lot
Here are some pics from our schooling yesterday. I actually did fall off at the end... we were doing drops (something I've not done in ages and ages) and really I should have waited to find a much smaller drop. Mare was completely game, and she launched me the first time down. The 2nd and 3rd time were a little ugly, 4th time much better, and I stopped tempting fate after that. Water was no problem at all - walked in no hesitation! Ditches? eats them for breakfast. Had a couple of stops though at barns and the first log barn thing we attempted. She was great though, hope to go out again soon
Thanks maunder! You know, if it had not been for you I may never have met Margie and gotten The Jolly! You were the one that linked me to Radar's for sale, which is how I got in touch with her in the first place.
Thanks scubed, I'm hoping our next outing will have a few more banks that we can do over and over until I 'get it' again. It was 92 (and humid as heck) yesterday, and I was just good with getting her through everything once or twice - now I know what I need to work on for sure
Going away from horses in XC warmup is ALWAYS super hard. I don't think you were the only person I saw with trouble with that! If it was the xrail annihilating stop... yea, that was pretty punky. You had a super attitude about it though!
I went and schooled my bright chestnut gelding out at GVH yesterday too. I thought i was going to eat a down bank myself.
Hope to see you around the area! Always feel free to say hi. I'll either have my grey filly, a bright chestnut gelding, or a funky buckskin mare. Always in purple though
Damn straight your mare is super cute! She's beyond super cute: I don't know that there is an appropriate coinage for her cuteness. I would know it if I see it! I was laughing/bawling, making inappropriate noises at work while looking at the pics of you and Jolly! Great job ladies!
Hah! The Jolly is more than cute...
look at her knees! she's not going to touch anything! You can't teach "careful" and she's got plenty of that. Milage will take care of the rest.
As for your riding deficits... hah to that too! 10yrs out of eventing and you took a green OTTB on a XC schooling. Have someone else try that on for size. The way I see it, if The Jolly is OK with it then the rest of the world can go take a hike. You know what good riding should look like and so long as you are working towards getting there again...
I can sympathize - I have done no real riding for 5 yrs and have picked up some distressing bad habits (plus the body is showing wear and tear) - I am my harshest critic (as it sounds you are as well) but I let my horse tell me when I am really screwing up
Friskier 2day than usual,
PS-Kudos to hubby for traipsing up and down the XC course as your photographer
Thanks FF! You just put a huge grin on my face I wish I had every single day to devote to riding, but work gets in the way, stupid bills to pay... I had so many "downs" last year, this year is looking up and its such a relief.
Hubby is such a great sport (and is starting to think this whole eventing thing is looking fun, I think he is itching to learn to ride! Plus there are a pretty good group of men in the area that compete, so he sees it as not a girl-only thing... now to find tall boots that come in men size 13!)
I have got to say I LOVE her. She looks so game, and that she's having SO much fun. You do not look bad, you look efficient. You can put the finishing touches on as you go but you look safe and she looks happy. A happy horse is the real proof of the pudding of a good rider, IMO.
I will say it makes me a little sad. Seeing all these awesome photos of your mare makes me wish mine would still be able to do that, but she has some vision issues so that won't be in the cards. Good news is my gelding's done it before, and is super game and safe! He's just not my princess.