Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Wish I was at Bromont blog

I've been watching the Eventing Nation entries about the Bromont event going on this weekend and even though it's raining and the course sounds brutal, I do wish I could be there.  Not saying I should be there, but it is for sure one of the most beautiful venues I've ever seen.  Maybe next year :)

In the meantime, things are shaping up.  Toga and I are taking a deep breath and using time at Preliminary to sort out a few issues in dressage and show jumping.  We competed at MCTA and finished winning the trophy for the best placed MCTA member at Preliminary!  Toga was super in dressage and although our jumping was a bit shaky due to my nerves and his enthusiasm, it went well with two double clears.  What a relief.  Then to top things off, Ari kicked butt and WON an open Novice division and we won ANOTHER trophy from MCTA!  Ari has been on the back burner for the past year, but I think this is his big time to shine, and he continues to be a pleasure to ride and train.

Two weeks after MCTA, I took a chance and entered Ari in his first Training event at Kelly's Ford.  Under the (false) impression that it was a "move up course", Ari, Spike and I set off to this event with no expectations at all (except that it would be a "soft" course as written in the omnibus...).  But fter walking the courses, I realized it might be too much for Ari and decided if he had the littlest bit of trouble or hesitation I would retire.  We did our dressage on bumpy grass, but he held it together and was super.  I didn't know he'd won the dressage until after show jumping, where he jumped the biggest Training course I'd seen in a long time with only one rail.  What a brave boy - it gave me confidence that he would be fine over the giant XC course.  And I was right.  The only thing that phased him was the tiger trap - sunken road in the woods - skinny on a bending line out of the woods.  THAT popped his eyes out but what a good boy to go anyway.  Even the ditch and wall that horrified me (for his sake) proved to be just something in his way.  In stadium he gets a bit strong and sometimes takes charge at the jumps, but on XC I  feel him think "I got this" as soon as he puts his eyes on the rushing, just a feeling of confidence that is so so cool.  I felt it again at Waredaca last week when he saw we were heading for the water and he literally attacked it.  So much fun!  He was again a star on the flat earning a 27.5 but this time he was only 6th, and then finished 6th after one rail in a pretty spooky show jumping round.  Nowhere to go but up with this one.

I took Toga to the Virginia Horse Trials, taking a chance that he would settle there better than he has in the past, and he did.  He actually laid down in the middle of the day instead of trying to climb out the concrete walls.  He was pretty good (very relaxed FINALLY) on the flat, but then a real jerk cross country.  He did not respect the jumps - or me - and nearly jumped me out of the tack over a skinny.  I was pretty upset with him the whole way round until we got to the one really challenging combination and then he showed me the Toga I love and jumped through it perfectly.  Show jumping the next day was wonderful - he was the most relaxed he's been all year.  We had two rails, but I rode the best I have, and he jumped the best he has the whole season and I was happy to take them.  I think we finished 8th.

Next on the radar is Seneca for both of my boys.  My focus has been on the show jumping and learning to ride through related distances correctly.  It's amazing how much I've let Toga decide how we jump through a course without even realizing it.  Well I realize it now, and I can't let Ari go that same route.  He doesn't have the scope and agility that Toga has, so I have to be careful that we do it right.  And regardless of Toga's talent, I need to be more accurate and consistent in all my jumping.  I'm hoping that over the summer I can improve those skills and in the fall continue upward with both horses.  Maybe Richland Park?  Maybe the AECs ?  That would be a tough one since it's in Texas this year, but maybe if we get a crowd together it could be affordable.  Packy's crew came home with a LOT of prizes last year I think we can do it again!