Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stillwater Pony Club show and a Trail ride!

I will have to post pictures later after I get them, but I wanted to do a weekend recap as it was a lot of fun and very eventful.

DLSC's final hunter show (or at least final SCHEDULED hunter show) was on Saturday at Twin Towers Park.  This was perfect for us with the mini trial this coming weekend.  I would have loved to have taken Raz to the show.  The last show was a ton of fun with her, but I really felt like my plate was going to be full with Noble, so Raz stayed home.

Because we had the facility, the plan was to replicate an event.  Overall it was a great plan and worked fairly well.  Of course, there were some bumps just to test patience or something.

First up, the dreaded dressage test!  Although they're quite close to the hunter ring, the sand dressage rings rarely get used during hunter shows.  So it was really easy to warm up and do a dressage test with no interruptions.  Anita was there by the time I was able to get on (had to wait for a girth to be available - patience test #1) and has a great eye.  She was very pleased with our test which made me happy.  I was pleased with it too, but I do feel like I can't be the only one since Anita has put as much effort into Noble's education as I have ... not to mention that Jen owns him.  We didn't add up the scores, but she said she would have given us 6s and 7s with a few 8s. 

Next up was cross country.  The plan was to use the crossrail warm up class in the ring as our jumping warm up and then proceed directly out to the cross country course and jump a few things.  Patience test #2: Noble had only 1 front shoe.  The options were to either pull it or scratch the day.  Jen was ok with pulling so Anita and I (with Ella) drove to TSC and picked up a pair of nippers.  Noble was fantastic as he just stood there the whole time.  I missed the warm up class but jumped the actual warm up fences and took off.  This is where our recent epiphanies come in.  As long as I RODE the fences, he jumped them... sometimes brilliantly!  It's when I rode for the stall that he stopped.  Overall I was EXTREMELY pleased with him however.

And finally, show jumping.  We did the afternoon warm up class and jumped all but the one 2'6" fence.  He was amazing and jumped REALLY well.  After that we did one of the Future Hunter (18") jumping classes.  We didn't place in a rather large class, but I don't think I could have asked for him to perform much better at the end of a long day.

I really think we're ready for this coming weekend.  I'm looking forward to it.

On Sunday, despite being exhausted and having a to-do list at the farm a mile long, when Anita suggested I take Spider with Ella and Thumper out on a trail ride (while she worked at home alone with Shirley), I jumped at it.  And I'm SO glad I did.  Spider was wonderful.  She spooked when initially tied to the trailer, but settled.  She was nervous at times and did one spook out on the trail (in place).  BUT... she followed great, led most of the time, eventually settled in the canter, softened nicely at the walk, and slowed by listening to my posting rhythm at the trot.  We did about 4 miles and included passing 2 sets of horses and crossing a creek twice.

Anita reported that Shirley did wonderfully as she learned she could rely on Anita and start to trust her more.  I went out last night after the rain and in the dark and gave them some treats, found some itchy spots and just hung out for a bit.  They really are very sweet mares.

Well, this blog entry has been long enough I suppose.  There are a few other things I eventually want to get down that has come up recently, including the current land status and the major choices in activities in the next few weeks.... but later.

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