The Lyme Horse Trials was a resounding success!
I took Ben in the Novice and my trainer's horse, Mickey, in the Beginner Novice. Both horses were excellent and it was a really fun day, although quite exhausting considering all I did from 8am to 1pm was switch back and forth between the two horses!
Ben's dressage was the first phase of the day at 8:30am. He was a little bit wild for dressage and stadium so his test was definitely not anywhere near the quality of work that he has been putting in lately but he had some really nice moments in the test as well. He scored a 30.4 to sit in 7th after dressage although I do think they were scoring generously and I would have put his score for that test more in the 35-36 range.
He spent his first trot circle desperately trying to scratch his nose/leg/get a fly so he added in some unnecessary flair with that right front leg in the beginning of our test! Here it is (the video is of all three phases but dressage runs from 0:00 to 4:37):
Next up was Mickey's dressage at 9:00am. Mickey has a very severe distaste for dressage and with him it is all about surviving. You kind of just have to grit your teeth and get though it, hopefully without getting run away with and making all the transitions happen where they're supposed to. It actually went better than I expected it to and he scored a 42. This put us in 17th out of 19, but I had expected to be in last after dressage so I was pretty happy with it all things considered!
Ben's stadium was up at about 10:00, so we headed up to warmup at about 9:45. The warmup area was small and full of a lot of horses which made Ben a tad crazy but he was jumping well.
He went in the ring and put in a really nice round, aside from the first fence which he totally just went through the top rail of because he was too busy bucking from excitement!
Here's our round (again, all three phases, but stadium starts at 4:42 and goes to 6:02):
I went back to the trailer, swapped horses, and was back at it with Mickey for his turn. The event was nice enough to let me jump out of order and jump stadium first in the division at 10:45 so I had time to get to xc on time with Ben at 11:15. That being said, the division ended up starting very late and we spent a lot of time hanging around the in-gate!
When it was finally our turn we went in and Mickey put in a really nice clean round (runs from 0:00 to 1:50):
It was finally onto the best part, cross country! I got back to the trailer at about 10:55 due to the lateness of the stadium start and I had to be at the start box on Ben at 11:15. He still needed to be tacked and on top of that its a mile hack to xc at this event, which takes about 10-15 minutes. I threw Ben's tack on and got my butt down to xc as soon as I could!
Ben was an absolute star on xc and he put in probably one of the best cross country rounds I have EVER had on him. He easily jumped double clear (a little too easily, we had to circle at the end to avoid speed faults!), proving that our great ride last weekend was not a fluke and I actually do have my horse back. I am so excited to see what the rest of this season and especially next season brings!
Here's the helmet cam:
And here's the on-the-ground video:
The last phase of the day was Mickey's cross country. This was more or less his first real eventing experience and I was super proud of him, he handled everything like a pro. This horse loves to jump and will basically jump anything you put in front of him. We did have one little issue at fence 4, just a basic log, because I didn't have enough left leg on and I think he just wasn't entirely sure he was supposed to be jumping it. Absolutely my fault. That was our only issue in an otherwise great round though!
We did lots of walking and trotting to avoid speed faults because if you let that horse go he doesn't come back! I made sure I kept him nice and steady the whole way. Here's the helmet cam:
And here's the on-the-ground video:
At the end of the day Ben ended up in 5th and Mickey ended up I believe 12th out of his big division even with the stop. I was super proud of both boys, they were both great. I had a ton of fun riding two horses and I think it was really great for my riding to have to continually switch back and forth between two very different horses. I slept pretty good that night, however!
There's not too much going on for another month or so on the eventing front, sadly, as now that Ben is back all I want to do is run him cross country! I think September 21st we'll head somewhere, I haven't decided where yet though, as there's a lot to choose from that weekend! I think I'll also try to get him to Kent and Course Brook in October to round out the season. If he keeps up the good work I think he'll have an early Training moveup next spring but as always we just take it one day at a time!
As always, thanks for reading!