Saturday, January 21, 2012

Catching Up

Just though I would give a quick update. We got about a half a foot of snow today and I live about 25 minutes away from the barn. The roads were really bad so I didn't make it up there today but Ben had a fun day outside in the snow with his buddies. Tomorrow I'll probably goof around in the snow with him a bit.

We were supposed to go to the dressage show at my trainer's tomorrow but her driveway is downhill and when its snowy its hard to get up with a car nevermind a trailer so we probably won't bring Ben down there. Kind of a bummer but its okay, at least its not something big like an event.

I had a dressage lesson Thursday where we started Ben's changes. He got every change every time, even to his bad direction! He was a superstar.

The Area 1 Annual Meeting was last weekend and they decided on Fitch's Corner for the Area Championships again which makes planning next season much easier. I think I'm going to update the Eventing Schedule page again. I've also been putting some more research into the Novice 3-Day at GMHA. That is something that I would absolutely love to do. I think it'd be a fantastic experience for both Ben and me. It sounds like a ton of fun and a great opportunity.

Ben's been getting a little cranky lately, most likely due to too much dressage work. At this time of year, you either do a dressage school or you jump. There's no trail rides or walking down the street to the fields to condition because of the ground and the weather and I'm not going to jump that often so most of the time its dressage. When I do too much in a row he gets cranky and he needs a fun day. So today he got off and tomorrow we're going to play in the snow and then he should be ready to go.

In February we have two jumper shows at Westbrook. We are currently officially leading the standings for high/low jumper I just found out today which I am super excited about. In addition to those shows my trainer is holding her annual St. Jude's Jump-A-Thon. This is always a super fun outing, it will be Ben's first time going, because the weather was bad last year and I just rode my trainer's horses.

We do this to raise money for the St.Jude's Children's Hospital. You get pledges per jump you jump or just flat donations. There are four classes:

1.) Speed
This class is essentially a jump off class of a jumper show over a set course. Fastest time wins.
2.) Fault & Out
This class has a set course. You get two points for each jump you jump. If you knock a rail or get a refusal, you're done. If you go clean, you start the course again. You go as long as you can until you get a fault or time is up.
3.) Gambler's Choice
This class gives each jump a point value. The harder the jump, the more points its worth. For example, a small vertical is worth 20, while a skinny is worth 50. Last year the "joker" fence was a corner that was worth 150. You make your own course, with the goal to earn as many points as possible. You have a set time limit. You can jump each jump once each direction and if you knock it down you don't get the points.
4.) Slalom
This is everyone's favorite. The ring is split down the middle on the centerline. There are mirrored courses on both sides. Two horses on course at once. The one who crosses the finish line first wins. The winner of each heat graduates until eventually there is just two people left. The winner of that heat wins the whole thing. Mind you this is all done in a 20mx50m arena so things get interesting sometimes.

Its a lot of fun for a great cause, so February will be a busy month for us. Let's hope that the weather holds out for all of our plans.

Thanks for reading!

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