Very happy to be able to say Copper Meadows went GREAT. I’m really loving Copper Meadows, I seem to do fairly well there (:
First…Dawkins. He was great on Friday in my lesson. Pretty spooky schooling in the dressage warm up since there are a few xc jumps that serve as the fenceline, the dressage courts, tape separating the rings…etc. Good though. Saturday morning I rode him bright and early, 8 am. First in the Prelim! He was pretty tense in warmup, more tense than he’s really been. I was able to settle him enough and keep him pretty quiet for the test, although he was definitely spooky it just made him move even better! We scored a 36, and I think it was even scored a bit harshly as it was the first test of the day. I know he is very capable of scoring much, much better, I just need to learn to ride him for real on the flat! He show jumped a few hours later and was so good. The course looked good, twisty with some tough looking turns. I made some big mistakes in the ring resulting in 2 rails, I didn’t ride him forward enough to a spooky fence so he had the rail, then I was weak coming into the triple and it caught up to us at C where he had another rail. Everything else was great, and I’m happy with the way he jumped. He’s been jumping great lately! Again…he’s proven he has the clear round in him easily (at the 1* with my trainer), I just need to figure out how to ride him.
Sunday was cross country day! I “walked” my course (in a Mule…it’s definitely the way to go) twice-on Friday night and Saturday night. It looked like a super course, I felt confident in my ability to get both horses around well, and I was hoping clean! The only things that worried me a bit were the corner at 7 (rode beautifully on both horses…I need to get over the mental baggage I have with corners as clearly, as long as I keep riding them, there’s no real issue…*knock on wood*), the coffin as it looked a bit similar to the Galway coffin (again with the mental side of it)- it was a two to a two on a slight downhill to uphill, and fence 18 which was a simple rolltop, however you had to come through a tight path in the rocks and turn immediately right to get to it. I wasn’t worried about the fence…I was worried about getting through the rocks! I put my leg on and it was fine on both horses (:
Dawkins was out first. He warmed up well, and I felt ready to head out on course. He was sticky coming out of the startbox so I smacked him behind my leg to get the momentum going and he was FABULOUS. He jumped everything right out of stride, looking for the next, straight, and just on it! I was able to really loop my reins at him and let him GALLOP and it felt so great. I’m so excited to do the CCI* long format on this horse in a month! He jumped everything I was worried about perfectly, just cantered right up to and over the corner like it was nothing. Jumped right over the ditch wall, through the first water, over the trakehner and the steps…annnnndddd then we were pulled up. There was a fall on course so we were pulled up RIGHT before the coffin. I sat there for a few minutes a little worried and trying to figure out what I’d do to make sure he’d jump through-just because I have that mental baggage with coffins right now! I ended up deciding I would jump the training trakehner first-although it would make for an awkward line to the coffin I thought it would help to jump something, especially something with a ditch under it. They told me I was allowed to continue on, I picked up my gallop, jumped the trakehner, got my coffin canter, gave him a tap behind the leg (more for me than him!), he popped right over the in, the ditch, and the out!
As we jumped easily over the out I happened to look up and notice…the number was red, not green! Ughhhh no! I pulled up immediately, afraid I was eliminated. The jump judge told me I was allowed to continue, I just had to jump the correct fence first! So I quickly picked up canter, turned around, and jumped the preliminary c. Unfortunately, this meant I crossed my tracks and I picked up a 20 😦 I am still so mad at myself for that! I continued on and he jumped around the rest of the course great! Even though the results don’t make it look like it…he was probably the best he’s ever been, and I’m so glad this was my final event before my first CCI*! He still finished in 8th of 13 starters.
Raffy was a bit difficult in my lesson on Friday, I think just excited about being so close to the cross country course! She settled and was super by the end of the lesson. I got on her on Saturday morning, and she felt soo good. I ended up deciding to try a new tactic for dressage warmup, and just picked up trot and did a few leg yields, then my canter loops just to check that I still had the buttons. Then I walked around warmup until my ride time. I trotted around the ring, went in, and she was the best she’s been this year in the ring! We actually ended up getting 5 8s and the comment “what a horse!” which I’m thrilled with. She got a little overreactive in the downward transition across the diagonal and nearly halted instead of trotting, which got us a 4, and there were a few other tricky moments. She scored a 34, which (while not great) is my best score on her at Prelim, and put us in 3rd after dressage! Show jumping was a few hours later, and she warmed up super. She was jumping a foot over everything, she was quiet and listening, she was just great in general. We went in and again, I rode very stupidly to a few fences which caused us to have 2 rails. I took a horrible line to fence 1 and rode a bit backwards until the last second which made Raffy (being Raffy…) launch about 3 feet over the fence from the deep spot in order to not hit it-which launched ME about 3 feet out of the tack. I was actually afraid I was going to fall off for a second. Luckily I stayed on, but then she was not too happy with me and I started riding super backwards. We made the turn to 2-with me riding even more backwards- and she clobbered it. I got my head back on and rode decently around the rest of the course, until the triple where again I was a bit weak and had C down. I also got a little overconfident coming to the triple bar on the long side after a long gallop and ended up missing horribly- Thank you Raffy for saving my butt!
On Sunday she warmed up well again, definitely hot as always but ready to go! We went on course and she was so good! She was looking for every fence, and as long as I got her ears between the flag she was going! I was nervous about the coffin but she was fantastic- jumped right through no problem. And yes, I did manage to jump the correct fence on the second horse (:
I felt like I was going pretty slow, so I was shocked when I found out not only had I made time for the first time on this horse at Prelim, I was the only double clear in my division, and WON!!! Until this weekend, I had never even ribboned at Prelim…let alone finished in the top 3…let alone won. I am so thrilled with my horses, and can’t believe it! The only bad thing is knowing that if I had jumped the correct fence at the coffin- and not picked up the 20- I also probably wouldn’t have had the time for pulling up…and would have been 1st and 2nd But oh well, can’t dwell on the past.
Not only am I finally qualified for a CCI*, I am qualified for Area VI Championships and the AEC’s! Not that I have any plan or thought of going to the AEC’s, it’s just cool to know that I’m qualified (:
Now on to the Rebecca Farm CCI* and CCI* w/ steeplechase! Hopefully I’ll continue to update this blog, and I apologize for the lack of pictures or video.
Oh! And if you’d like to see, here are my pictures from the professional photographer.
Dawkins (excuse my horrendous position in show jumping- I feel like I’m massive on him and that ducking like crazy will help him jump clean for whatever reason…obviously it doesn’t help…and makes me look like an idiot. I only do this in the show ring…ugh. Anyways) https://www.capturedmomentphoto.com/cgi-bin/store/imageFolio.cgi?direct=EQUESTRIAN/Horse_Trials_Combined_Training/Copper_Meadows_(Ramona,CA)/2012/Copper_Meadows_June_9-10/Amstel
Thanks for reading!!