Monday, July 21, 2014

CDCTA Two Phase Results

Ben and I competed in the Novice division at the CDCTA combined test at Mystic Valley Hunt Club yesterday, and I could not have asked for a more perfect day!

He warmed up fantastically for dressage. He felt incredibly light, he was calm, and he was being quite obedient. The only thing I was a bit concerned about was his left canter transitions as he was popping above the bit when he did them in warm up.

We headed down to do our test and he was incredible. He stayed in the bridle the entire time, he was bending really well, and he absolutely nailed his left canter transition. If I was being really picky, he could have had a little more energy in a couple places, especially the free walk, he could have stayed on the bit a better in the canter-trot transitions, and his trot-walk transition was kind of abrupt, but overall the test really was excellent, probably the best one he's ever done.

We were handsomely rewarded for our efforts with our personal best dressage score, a 26! I don't think I stopped smiling the entire day yesterday after that, we've never even broken into the twenties before. His test was all 7s and 8s, which is just remarkable for the horse who scored a 52.6 three months ago...
I don't have the video uploaded yet, but I'll post it here when I do!

Stadium was also great. We just popped over three fences in the warmup before heading into the ring, and he was totally on it, dragging me to all the fences, and jumping clear. I got him a little close to fence 1, I let him get away with dropping his inside shoulder on the way to fence 5, and we has a slight disagreement about the distance to the last fence, but there were all minor things to work on and I was thrilled with the round as a whole. I received lots of compliments on Ben the whole day, which is always a nice feeling, especially on a horse I brought up myself.

I just uploaded the stadium video so here it is:

When all was said and done we finished in second, just one point off the leader! I feel like we're finally starting to put the pieces together; I always knew this horse had a really good dressage test in him!

Next up is Frazier Farm Horse Trials on August 10th!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back At It!

Ben and I have had a fairly good run playing in the jumpers thus far this spring/summer but I am over the jumper thing a bit faster than I thought I would be and I'm ready to go back to eventing. There's only so many hours I can sit on my horse at the in-gate waiting for my classes to start...

Not to mention that the big A rated hunter/jumper shows get rather expensive very quickly!

For the most part, I'm just going back to the basics with Ben and "re-starting" him in eventing like he's a baby first being introduced. We've already begun this journey by going on a little xc school last week where he was an absolute star, jumping everything beautifully, and didn't look at a thing!

He jumped two different ditches like a pro the first time he was presented and genuinely seemed to be having a blast. I had a blast too, it's been a while since I actually galloped and jumped cross country!

Here's the video:

In about a month I'm going to take him to do the baby division at a local schooling event, which is listed at 2'3", but it's really just logs on the ground for xc. The goal is to just pass through all the flags and cross the finish line. He can quite literally step over every fence.

Then if all is well there, we'll go to the Lyme Horse Trials on August 17th, which is where we just went schooling and jumped all the Novice fences and where he's jumped awesomely for the past two years at their event, and we'll do the Novice. After that, I have no plans, as I'll just see what's happening.

Additionally, I am going to take my trainer's horse Beginner Novice at the Lyme Horse Trials as well. Dressage is not his strong suit but he LOVES to jump, and it is more or less a given that he'll jump clean so I'm really excited to take him too.

On Sunday, Ben and I are off to a little Novice combined test just to get back in the dressage ring because we haven't been since May. His dressage work has been coming along really nicely and I'm really happy with where he is right now. He seems very happy overall right now!