Back on August 18th Ben and I ventured off to Lord Creek Farm for the Lyme Horse Trials. The day started early with an 8-something dressage time. He was quite good for dressage and put in a respectable test to score a 35.5. The grass was quite slick in the ring so he was very conservative in his canter as he was slipping a little bit. His trot work was obedient but could've been a bit more consistent and a little less tense. But I was still pleased and we were in 5th out of 13 after dressage so it couldn't have been that bad!
Next was stadium where he put in quite a nice double clear stadium round. The stadium at Lord Creek is very challenging because it is set on a large hill. Number 5 was a wide oxer that landed right on the downhill slope. I made sure to collect his canter and get quite close to this fence as I didn't want any yee-hawing going down the hill, especially as it was pointed right in the direction of the in gate! He was jumping quite well and popped me out of the tack a bit over a few fences! He can be quite strong in this stadium field as it is wide, open, and undulating but he was very obedient and came back nicely! After stadium we were in 3rd place.
Cross country was an absolute blast. What a great feeling it is to actually have fun on cross country again! We did have one frustrating stop at fence 5 because he was too busy paying attention to a woman and her two dogs (who in all honesty probably shouldn't have been on the course at that time...) but he jumped it perfectly upon the re-approach and was an absolute star for the remainder of the course (including over the ditch!). We came in well under time, we were actually the fastest in our division, which is maybe not the best thing considering we were also the only pair to have a stop! The boy likes to run, what can I say? Unfortunately that stop cost us the yellow ribbon and we moved down to 11th but we both had a blast and I felt like this was a GIANT step forward in our progress!
Here is the helmet cam:
Here is the on-the-ground video of all three phases:
We were supposed to head to Apple Knoll to go Training on the 1st but it was annoyingly cancelled at the last minute due to low entries which was quite unfortunate as I was very much looking forward to it. So our next stop is Stoneleigh-Burnham on the 21st in the Training division. I think we will then round out our season with Kent on the 6th and Course Brook on the 13th both at Training. I'm hoping for three solid Training runs to get him prepped for next year where I hope to get some harder Trainings under our belt.
I was also planning on applying to ride in the Phillip Dutton clinic at the Equine Affaire in November but as I started thinking more about stabling and hotels and more of the logistics it was getting expensive and confusing especially considering I may not even get picked so I decided I would just go and spectate instead of participate. More shopping time for me if I don't bring Ben anyway!
We had a fantastic jump school a few days ago where we played around with some bigger fences. I also bought one of those portable inflatable buffet things for about $7.00 to use as a liverpool which we tested out and it worked great. Much better than purchasing a 'real' liverpool for $300! So I set up a little makeshift coffin with our liverpool as well as setting up our small, skinny coops on an angle one stride apart. We played around with this xc stuff before moving on the bigger stuff. I actually went out with my measuring tape and measured the real height of all of the fences as I usually just assume that the fences that make my heart beat 10x faster than usual are 3'6" or higher and I never have a real measurement!
So in the following video the vertical with the gate is 3'3", the oxer of the in and out is 3'6", the vertical on the diaganol is 3'7", and the vertical of the in and out is 3'9"(!). He was fantastic over everything! I need some more work over bigger fences so I don't sit back so soon but other than that I was thrilled with it!
This post is already too long but I will be back at some point before Stoneleigh to write about what we've been working on in the dressage department! As always, thanks for reading!