Monday, August 20, 2012

Lord Creek Farm Horse Trials Results

I am happy to report that Ben is completely back to his normal self as we had discovered that he had Lyme disease. He is currently being treated for it but he is already one million times better than he was a week ago.

Lord Creek was yesterday and it went very well. We had a very early 8 something dressage time so there was still a little chill in the air which certainly got to Ben during our warmup. I warmed up for about 45 minutes before my test and he had just started to relax a bit when we trotted down the centerline. As a dressage test in general, it was just okay, but considering how much of a nutcase he was being in warmup, it was a very impressive feat for it to go as well as it did. There were no major mistakes, just some minor bobbles here and there and we ended tied for 4th after dressage on a 31.5. Now, they were being very very very generous with the scoring. That is our best ever dressage score and very far from our best ever test. But I was still happy and we were in a good position moving forward. My favorite comment on the dressage test was "Try working horse for longer before test." If she only knew...

Then came stadium which is always a challenge at Lord Creek because of the terrain in their jumping field. We had a very exuberant warmup where many comments were heard from entertained spectators such as "That horse is very lively," "Somebody's ready for cross country," and, my personal favorite, "I wouldn't want to ride THAT horse!" Regardless, he was jumping amazingly and was certainly back to the old Ben we all know and love.

Our stadium round could have been smoother, slower (way slower), and a touch more controlled but it was still clean and he jumped decently for the most part. I had to lay off the brakes a bit because he was becoming thoroughly annoyed with me hanging on his face (see turn to fence 3 in stadium in the video at the bottom of this post.)

Cross country was just an awesome time. We did unfortunately pick up one stop at a particularly looky fence that I expected him to have an issue with. It was a brush box filled with corn stalks, and I mean filled. On top of that, there were walls of cornstalks on either side of the jump as well as a footing change. I rode accordingly, expecting him to look, but we did pick up a stop anyway. But we reapproached and jumped it fine the second time around and he jumped everything else amazingly. The ditch and wall was interesting because he saw it at the last minute, peeked, got a pop with the crop, and then launched over it all with a split second. I'm sure that was comical for the jump judges!

Again, we were flying and came in very very fast. The footing was slick so they only set the time at 325 mpm and optimum ended up being 5:55. Speed fault was 4:16 and even with the stop we came in at 4:26...46 seconds faster than the second fastest person in the division. Oops. Ben definitely likes to run. I can't wait to move up to Training and not have to worry about speed faults as much.

We ended up finishing in 5th place. If we hadn't had the stop we would've been 3rd but I was still pretty thrilled with the pink ribbon! He was definitely full of himself after that cross country run and I'm so happy to have my horse back. Bring on Town Hill!

Without further adieu, here is my helmet cam (Yes I did finally get it up and running!) Skip to 1:45 for the countdown and start:

And here is my on the ground videos of all three phases:
(Not embeddable yet. Either later on today or tomorrow I will have it up here. For now here's the link:

As always, thanks for reading! Hope to be around fairly often as we prep for Town Hill in a couple of weeks!

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