Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kent School May Horse Trials Results

Well, I guess I have put off writing this post for long enough. 

There's a reason I was waiting so long to write about our experience at Kent this past May. It went pretty horribly. It all started not so bright and early when it began pouring on the way there despite the Weather Channel app assuring us that there was a 0% chance of rain. Uh-huh.

It continued to pour for the duration of dressage and quite a while after that. Our test really wasn't all that bad. In fact the trot work in the beginning of his test was pretty decent and scored mostly 7s. Ben wasn't too sure about the slippery grass footing so the canter wasn't all that great. We didn't score anything below a 6 though which is a big improvement for him. We ended up with a 37 point something which is actually our first recognized score under 40. So I guess maybe 1/3 of the day went okay.

Here's the test: 

It had continued to rain right up until stadium warmup and even then it was still sprinkling. Ben warmed up well but was quite spooky in the ring and we had a round I'd like to forget sometime in the near future. It felt a lot worse than it looks in the video but we never really got a rhythm and the slick grass didn't help. We had a stupid stop at fence 4 because Ben was too busy looking beyond the fence at the spectators and we had quite a few missed distances but we exited the ring with only 4 faults added to our score.

Here's our round:

Cross country was just an all around disaster really. I wasn't really watching the clock all that well and they were running a tad early so by the time I got to xc warmup the rider ahead of me was already leaving the start box. This left me barely enough time to pop over two jumps that went pretty terribly which didn't help anything. He was excited around the start box but I left at a brisk trot because I had anticipated trouble heading to the first fence as you had to cross a small little land bridge type pathway to get into the first field. I figured trotting would help me keep his attention better but no such luck. We didn't even get over the bridge before he spooked at the jump judges and quickly backed himself back into the start box field. We didn't even get close to the first fence.

I reapproched and he was still pretty upset about the jump judges so while I got him up to the fence this time, he stopped yet again. One more try and we were up and over. He was good through the little wooded section and I thought we were good to go until he stopped again at fence 2. Why? Jump judges again. So he got reprimanded, and popped over fine the second time. We made it over 3 on the first attempt although it was sticky and then he stopped yet again at 4. At this point I was really wondering if something was bothering him physically, if he was worried about the footing, etc. but I could feel that he just was not focusing on his fences. He was looking everywhere except where he should have been. So we made it over number 4 on the second attempt and carried on. He actually jumped fence 5 pretty well although it was shared with BN so it was pretty small:

And then about 7 strides later this happened at fence 6:

I still have zero idea what exactly happened. I know we got a touch deep but he was going forward and it shouldn't have been an issue. Although you can see in the last picture even with his haunches on the ground he is still looking at something off in the distance so who knows if he was even paying attention to the jump. 

He was fine just a few scrapes here and there. I was pretty upset about the whole situation because I just could not figure out why in the world he was doing things like this. At the end of the day I chalked it up to a learning experience. And I knew I needed to find some solutions to his equine ADHD problem.

We had the Boyd Martin clinic the following weekend which I had mixed feelings about. On the one hand I was looking forward to asking Boyd about the issues we were having but on the other hand I had signed up for the Training group and I was worried that we might hold the group back if this was how he was going to act. But we went and had an awesome time which I will write all about in my next post. 

 I promise that post will not be as long of a wait as this one was because I actually am looking forward to writing that post!