Posted by: eventer4life | June 12, 2012

Copper Meadows 6/12

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…

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.

Raffy- 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/Rafflasia&img=

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!!

Posted by: eventer4life | May 31, 2012

Quick update

Well I haven’t posted in…quite a while, so here’s a quick (poorly written) update that I wrote for another site.

So of course…plans never work out like you want them to.

In (somewhere around) October of last year, my trainer and I started thinking about goals for 2012. Of course, since I was prepping to move up to Prelim, one of the first things to come up was Young Riders. After I successfully completed my first Preliminary horse trial in November 2011 (with a qualifying result!), we made a concrete plan for doing a CCI* in the spring of 2012, and getting qualified to compete at NAJYRC (in my last possible year to do the 1*). I would compete at February Galway, March Twin, and 3 Day Ranch at Prelim, then do the CIC* at Galway, the CCI* at Twin, and go!

Of course…..that didn’t happen. I competed Dawkins at Galway in February, and he was fantastic! Second qualifying result-done. Easy.

Twin was next…and again, another qualifying result. He was even better, and felt great on cross country. Three down, just one to go!

It seemed like it would happen so easily, 2 shows with 2 horses at each to get ONE qualifying result? Easy.

But no…3 Day Ranch was great, my best dressage tests on both horses of the year, followed by the most amazing perfect easy cross country rounds of the spring. Looked like I had two results in the bag and was going to be qualified for twin!

Sunday morning we woke up and there was 4 inches of snow on the ground…I made the decision to withdraw, not wanting to risk my horses legs and figuring I still had Galway to get the last result for the CCI*.

Andddddd then it all fell apart. I went to Galway, did dressage and show jumped in the CIC* and was feeling great about cross country. Fell off at the coffin. On both horses. Majorly screwed up my back and couldn’t ride until…ohhhh the day before Twin dressage nbd.

Of course I wasn’t qualified for the CCI* at Twin…so we quickly changed our plans, dropped Raffy down to JYOP and switched my trainer to riding Dawkins in the 1* (since he wasn’t gret at Galway and I wasn’t sure my back would hold up to 2 horses)…then decided to reroute to the Colorado Horse Park CCI* in June.

The coffin at Twin was extremely similar to the one at Galway, and shared with the Prelim and the 1*…so a super difficult coffin for Prelim. Especially for me, first show after Galway! I had a stop there on Raffy, the rest of the course was easy but no qualifying result…no surprise there though, I was just hoping to get through the show.

On to May Galway…last opportunity to get qualified for Colorado. I had two of my best dressage tests of the year although my horses both wanted to be bad! Then (the bad luck continues yay) I got my hand stepped on 5 minutes before getting on for show jumping. I couldn’t close my hand or move my fingers, so my show jump rounds were not good at all. Two rails each, which I was extremely disappointed in myself for.

Thennnn…cross country. Moment of truth. The course looked great…definitely tougher than it had been at Galway, but looked completely manageable and there wasn’t a single thing I was worried about. Of course I go out…and have a stop at fence 2 on Raffy, a house I have jumped oh, only a million times. The rest of the course was unbelievably easy, soooo yeah I was just a little pissed off. Got on Dawkins…go out and he jumps the first five fences fantastic, then I rode poorly through the sunken road and we had a stop at B.

So no qualifying results from that show either!

At that point, the plan was still Colorado CCI*, then NAJYRC. We called the USEF, and were told that I could easily get a waiver if needed but that I was qualified through some rule I wasn’t aware of.

Then a few days ago, I get a call from the same USEF person I had talked to a few weeks ago. This time she says I’m not qualified, won’t get a waiver, etc etc. Sooo that was a little irritating but oh well.

Then yesterday, we finally decided to give up on Young Riders for good for 2012. No trekking around to find another show to get qualified, no driving 20 hours to Colorado to do the 1*…none of that.

I officially withdrew myself from consideration for NAJYRC this morning.

The dream/goal is done…and I’m not too upset. Moving on to the next…I’ll be going to Copper Meadows to hopefully get one last qualifying Preliminary, and rerouting to the Rebecca Farm CCI* long format, and regular CCI*!

Hopefully I’ll get…something…written between now and Rebecca Farm, although I’m definitely not the best at updating.

I’ll leave you with a few videos from past events this spring!

Dawkins at 3 Day Ranch

Raffy at 3 Day Ranch

Raffy SJ at Galway CIC*- Purchased mostly because of the incident after fence 3…enjoy (:

Dawkins SJ at March Twin

Dawkins XC at March Twin

And of course…I can’t write anything without mentioning the horrible tragedy that the Pollards recently experienced. RIP Jude’s Law, Ulando, and Icarus. My heart is breaking for the poor animals.

Posted by: eventer4life | January 25, 2012

Galway Downs Fundraiser Clinic, 2012

So on Saturday, I went out to Galway to school cross country at the fundraiser clinic!

We warmed up, and Dawkins was being pretty good. He was super spooky, which I expected since it was freezing, raining, and windy, and also getting a bit strong. Again expected- he was in the full cheek snaffle again and that made me nervous so I pulled a bit too much, making him strong.

The first thing we did on was the “bowl”- jumping first a down bank five strides to a house (preliminary) then hanging rails to the house. I got myself into some problems-the exact same ones I had at November Galway, actually- when I jumped down the bank then didn’t make a decision. Dawkins gets extremely backed off in there, which I know and should have done something about. Because of this we kept getting to the house from a horrendous distance. I finally started kicking once I got in-or once holding since he jumped in so weirdly. After that, we got good distances and he jumped well and it was all bueno (:

We did some Training/Preliminary stuff-all went pretty well, it was some of the easier preliminary stuff and Dawkins behaved. The sunken road went significantly better than it did at the show. The first time I got to the chevron super long and jumped ahead so Dawkins had to majorly save my ass and stretch his little body to not kill us both! I learned my lesson and kicked the next time so it was way way better. And now I know!

We went to the water after that, and ended up schooling a lot more than I expected there! We did the 1* line through the water- from a decent sized rolltop to a brush fence on a little mound-, the Training/training 3 day stuff, the Preliminary line, and ended with jumping a bigger drop into water than I’ve ever jumped before. Dawkins was a superstar, and jumped like a grown up pony into the water! Shocking to believe that this is the horse who jumped into water like this not long ago.

Image

(That’s from Inavale in June of 2010, our first event together. I wish I had gotten pictures or video from schooling this weekend to compare…it’s like he’s an entirely different horse).

We then jumped the moat-first the Preliminary line which is a hanging log four bending strides to a trakehner, then the 1* line which was two bigger trakehners on a slight angle! Dawkins jumped it so well, without a second of hesitation even when I was second guessing myself.

Thennn we did another 1* line, a big ish table to a brushed chevron on a slight bending line. Again Dawkins was amazing…I was a bit nervous when I was cantering down to the chevron, but he popped over it like a total packer!

I then schooled all of the Preliminary and 1* corners…the double Preliminary corners and the 1* brush corner. I struggled significantly more with the Preliminary corners than the brush corner, but I’m feeling much better about jumping them at the show.

To end, I schooled a table to the 1* coffin! The 1* coffin at Galway is a log, downhill 2 strides to a ditch, then 2 uphill strides to another log. I didn’t really realize what it even looked like until I jumped in! It didn’t feel fabulous, but we made it through decently on the first try-which I’m feeling much better about after seeing some others schooling it.

After that, we jumped a nice little BN table, and were done!

Dawkins was so good we didn’t school on Sunday (: I’m super thrilled with how well he’s going, and although I wish I had been able to get into the Ian Stark clinic, I’m happy with what I was able to do.

3.5 days until the first show of the season, then a week and a half until Galway!

Posted by: eventer4life | January 20, 2012

January 20, 2012

Hey!
I’m trying to make an effort to write more often, so here goes! I apologize in advance for the length, I don’t have much to say right now (:

Dawkins has been fantastic lately! We jumped up quite a bit in one of our lessons, and he was clean and jumping great! Super excited for this season! Just need to work on the spooky ride, so that I can keep his stride consistent and not sit down and make him hollow his back. We’ve also done a lot of practice with jumping corners, as I have some (mental) issues with corners. I’m lucky to be riding at a barn with a corner in the ring, so every time I jump I’m able to work on it!

I also went schooling yesterday at Galway Downs. I’m doing the fundraiser clinic this weekend, so the goal was to get him back to the level of confidence he had last fall! He started out unbelievably spooky-pretty much running sideways and trying to spin away going to the teeny log in warm up. I got him over it a couple times and we went out on course. He improved a lot once we got out there! He actually surprised my trainer and me with how confident he was. We schooled mostly Training level, with a few small Preliminary jumps thrown in there, including part of the 1* line through the water! He jumped everything very well, and I was super happy with him.

Of course, the next thing we worked on was the Preliminary corners. At Galway, the corners are fairly easy but…they are corners, and there are two of them. I have actually never jumped them before (took the options last fall), and was glad to have the chance to work on it! I rode badly the first 2 times, and he ran out, but once I actually RODE he jumped great! I managed to jump both of them, and once I was committed and riding tough he jumped even from quite an awkward line to the second corner. Now I just need to jump a couple (million) more corners, and it’ll be great!

Another thing that I’m really excited about was his bit- he’s gone in a mylar thing lately, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I had brakes, yes, but he leaned on it quite a lot and sometimes it felt like too much. Well, we decided to try a full cheek gag on him-then switched it to a full cheek SNAFFLE and he was fantastic! I’ll ride him around the one day event next weekend in it and the clinic this weekend in it before trying it at a real event-as I’m still skeptical- but I’m thrilled that we were able to decrease it so much and have him majorly improve! A couple months of flatwork with a pro does wonders (:

Raffy is also doing quite well, just working a few more things out! She has improved significantly over the winter as well. 

I’m taking Dawkins to the Galway fundraiser clinic this weekend, Preliminary at the One Day Event at Three Day Ranch next weekend, then going Preliminary at Galway Downs in two weeks! I’ll try to write a couple more times on here before that, but we’ll see if I manage to do that. (:

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: eventer4life | December 31, 2011

2011 Recap and 2012 Goals!

Hey! Long time no post, I apologize. Since I last posted, a lot has happened. I’ll start with recapping my 2011 goals, before getting to the other stuff!

At the end of 2010, these were my goals, with my comments on them from right now!:

-Post on a regular basis, even if it’s just 2 sentences at the end of every day! I want to aim for at least 3 posts a week, I’ll try for 6-7 though :] They might be short but I’ll try!–This did not happen…sorryyyy :/ 11 posts in 2011 is not exactly regular.

-Perfect my braiding skills!- I am actually quite a decent braider now!!

-Reduce my braiding time for 1 1/2 hours to…30 minutes maybe?-YESS 15 minutes! If I’m in a hurry. 30 minutes is pretty long for me now!

-Improve my dressage overall-Definitely! 25.5 at Training level, and a 33.5 at Preliminary! not too shabby, considering I was struggling to get below 40 last year!

-Stay present at competitions, so that my riding can stay near the level it is at home-Getting there, I’m definitely all there on cross country now yay!

-Start riding Dawkins again, even if it’s just a few lessons at the end of the year-Can’t believe I’m able to check this goal off my list, but I competed him successfully in our first Preliminary, won at Training level, was 2nd at area champs, and had other successful rides at Training! Never imagined (obviously) I’d be riding him again by the end of the year, let alone competing Prelim, so I’m thrilled with him.

-Stop relying so much on my hand-haha…not so much. Better I think.

-Keep my rhythm to the base of fences-Again better, not much though.

-Stop panicking and pulling back on the approach to fences-Sometimes yes! Improved, just not completely better.

-KEEP COUNTING!!!-I don’t anymore, but that’s okay!

-Get more video/pictures of my riding…even if I just see if I can buy more show videos -Yesss lots of show videos this year!!

-Break in my dressage saddle- Uh. Actually, no. My saddle does not fit me or my horses very well so it is FOR SALE (anyone interested? practically brand new beautiful Amerigo!), and I borrowed saddles all year.

And here are my goals for 2012!

-Have 0 jump penalties on cross country

-Finish at least one 1* on my dressage score…the more the better!

-Qualify and compete at NAJYRC in the 1* (Trying to decide which area…I’m leaning towards area 6 but I’m still considering area 7. Any input?)

-Improve my sitting trot and position…MAJORLY

-Run at least 4 times a week

-Work on Intermediate dressage movements (just for fun…no plans for intermediate any time soon (: )

-Improve my show jumping on both horses

-Get confident, consistent, and careful (hahahaha just the first two actually, I liked having 3 cs…) at 3’6″+ show jumping

-Find a dressage saddle!

-Once again I’ll attempt to post more often…we’ll see.

I’ll try to post again soon, but thanks for reading! I am very excited for 2012 and all it brings, and not too sad about 2011 ending…It was a great year in many ways, but also not so great in a few ways. I miss Dru terribly, and wish I still had him. I miss seeing his face sticking over the stall door, jumping him around a big course, snuggling with him…everything about him. I suppose I can’t complain too much as he is now a happy beginner novice packer up in Washington, and I have Dawkins and Rafter dafter! I am thrilled to say that Dawkins has shown that he can be a preliminary horse again, and even a competitive one!

I’ve also had some amazing people come into my life this year…especially my unbelievable trainer. Without her I would be maybe successful at Novice on Dawkins, and I never would be imagining Young Riders next year. She has done wonders for my riding, and I can’t wait to see how far my riding gets with her help in the coming year!

Thanks for reading! Happy New Year, and I hope 2012 is fabulous for all of you (:

I’ll leave you with a few pictures, and the video of Dawkins and me at my first preliminary!

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Posted by: eventer4life | October 1, 2011

Copper Meadows Area Champs!

Copper video is finally here, and that means I can post about it now without having it be boring and have no pictures!!

3 weeks ago, we drove down to Ramona CA for the area championships at Copper Meadows! It was my first time showing there, and Taren and James ran a great, well organized event! Other than the lack of power and insane heat on Thursday/Friday, of course (:

Raffy was in the Open Training and Dawkins was in the Training Rider Championships. Which meant…2 different dressage tests, 2 (slightly) different cross country courses, and 2 different show jump courses.

I managed to not go off course though, which I’m pretty proud of myself for since it was my first time riding in 2 different divisions!

Dressage was Friday morning. Raffy was first and she was veryyyy up. Any time she can see the cross country from dressage rings (at least when it’s kind of close), she gets a little distracted from boring flatwork! Our test was definitely not so bueno, but we’re improving lots at home and Twin was better so I’m just going to forget about the Copper dressage! We got a 38.2…which in open was near last. But, like I said I’m forgetting about it (:

Dawkins was after her and he was good! We had a great warmup with the assistant trainer, he was relaxed and swinging through his back. I felt pretty good riding into the ring! Obviously, our test wasn’t perfect, and I definitely needed to push him on way more to get a more swinging fancy trot, but I was thrilled to have scored a 30.9! That was 5 points better than our best test up to then! I was in 4th in the Championship! And only 2 points out of first (:

Here’s the video of Dawkins (I only got Dawkins’ video at Copper)

I walked my course once on Friday, then looked it over again as I was going around the Prelim with my trainer (we rode a dirtbike around the course soooo it was fairly easy to do this). It looked great to me! I kept hearing how big it looked, which got me a little nervous but really, I was feeling pretty confident about the course.

Raffy was first out, which I’m always grateful for! She’s such a blast on cross country, and at Training level is very easy and straightforward : keep leg, don’t let her run off and leave strides out (which she sometimes gets very excited and starts doing), and other than that just get her ears between the flags and don’t let your arms get ripped out (: Seriously though, she is so much fun and I’m so lucky to be able to be riding her! She was GREAT although was a little weird out of the box and basically leaped up and down all the way to fence 1? Haha I was getting comments all day on how funny she was to fence 1. She just popped around the course like it was nothing. Kinda wishing I got her video now!!

Then Dawkins! He started out the warmup great by slamming on the brakes just coming around the turn to the natural the first time. Yayyyyyy…..luckily he got that out of his system in warmup! After that, he was a good boy and was jumping everything pretty well. We went out on course and he was awesome! A little sticky to fence 2 so I smacked him behind my leg on landing…it was my instructions, and I reallyyyy didn’t want a stop! After that he bolted off a bit and was quick all the way around. I didn’t really realize how fast we were going, other than wondering why we kept getting awful awkward jumps! Too fast…and too running. Plus, training jumps no longer back him off so I needed to be setting him up more before the fences. But now I know better! (twin was much smoother). He was seriously amazing to every jump though! The corner…haha well you’ll see, it’s the last jump in the video (they missed a few fences unfortunately…like the up bank one stride to a roll top! Sad that one didn’t get put in. And the last jump was missed as well). It was pretty ridiculous though! It was a spooky, weird, light wood corner which I hadn’t thought too much of since Raffy was so good to it…I did get him over it though!!! So Dawkins had 1.6 times (ahahaha I was fast 😛 ) but still moved up into third! I think Raffy was in 7th or so.

Then..show jumping! my most dreaded phase now, lol. I rode Dawkins before Raffy (but way too close for my stress level haha!) He warmed up super well, not touching anything and we were getting pretty decent distances to everything. Rails were falling like CRAZY! Luckily, Dawkins is spooky enough to not want to touch rails (normally…). He was so good! It wasn’t exactly pretty, but he jumped around and was double clean! The person in 2nd had a rail, so we moved up to finish in 2nd at the Area Championships!!! I was so thrilled, I can’t even tell you! He was so good, and has grown up so much lately. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on him like I was considering earlier this year.

After awards, I rushed over and threw Dawkins in his stall, tacked up Raffy as quickly as I could and got on and warmed up. She was jumping really well in warmup! I learned my new course as quickly as I could and went in. She was the best she’s ever been in show jumping! We were a little underpowered for the first few, and barelyyyy hit the out of the one stride and it came down 😦 I didn’t even realize we had it down until I heard we had 4 jump faults…I was sure we had jumped clean lol.  But no complaints, since she was soooo good! We actually managed to move up into 4th in Open Training (1st place Jr, haha!) Good girl Raffy!

So I was superrrr thrilled with my ponies at Copper!!!

Tomorrow…is my first Prelim. Ahhhh I’m scared to even write it, I’m so nervous! it’s just a schooling 1 day (but at a recognized place) and I’m excited but sooooooo unbelievably nervous. Today I had a not so great jump school on Dawkins (very good on Raffy though) so I’m feeling good about Raffy overall (her trot is also muchhhhh easier to sit) but super nervous about Dawkins and just really nervous over all! I’ll be back with an update tomorrow or Monday…hopefully a good one!

Thanks for reading!!!

Posted by: eventer4life | September 26, 2011

September Twin Rivers

Hey everyone!
Well, my Copper video is still not here so I’m skipping that show for now and moving on to Twin Rivers!

I took both of my horses Training level. We drove up Thursday mid morning, and I rode them both on the flat Thursday night. Despite riding in the dark, they were fabulous! Raffy was quite excited to see the cross country, but was a good girl and Dawkins was great despite thinking something was going to kill him in the dark!

Friday morning I rode Raffy at 8 am. She was tense at first but settled well and felt really good in the warmup! She went into the ring again tense, but was good! I still need some more work on just learning to ride her though! I wish I could ride her better so she could score as well and be as successful as she’s capable of! She got a 34.1.

Dawkins was at 9:42? I believe. He felt fantastic in warmup. I’ve figured out that before I can do anything else, I need to get him stretched down and swinging through his back. Once he loosens up and isn’t so tense, he’s a lovely little mover, relaxed, consistent, and easily able to be picked up into a frame without tensing! And he felt unbelievable! Better than he’s ever felt for sure. And for once, we went in the ring and held it together quite well. He flung his head up when I picked up trot after the free walk-I think it might have been that he had tensed through his back again and I was holding too much- but then went back to business and was great. His right lead canter definitely could have been a lot better. BUT he got a 25.9! And I can’t be too unhappy about that (: For the first time ever, I was winning after dressage!

I walked cross country Friday mid-morning by myself (wasn’t riding until Sunday morning, but wanted to see it before I walked it with my trainer!) and it looked semi tough for Training! The corner looked spooky and definitely on a harder line than I’ve seen at Training, there’s double down banks, and the C of the coffin was angled and kinda skinny! I’ve been schooling some seriously skinny skinnies so I felt fine about that, but it definitely didn’t look as easy as some of the Trainings I’ve seen! I walked it Friday afternoon with my trainer and she pointed out some other things that would be spooky, and I was feeling pretty decent about the course, especially as a last Training.

Show jumping was Saturday afternoon. I jumped Raffy at 2:30. The Prelim cross country was going at the same time I show jumped her, and if you haven’t been to Twin show jumping warm up is pretty much in the cross country field, so horses were galloping by and jumping right by us the whole time. She was convinced she was going cross country and was super excited. We went in the ring and the first half wasn’t great, but she was a good girl and we got around and the 2nd half was actually kind of nice, I think. We had 2 rails, which sucked, but we’ll get it figured out. I have video, but it’s on my computer and I didn’t get a chance to put it online and my mom and I accidentally traded computers so I’m without my own computer for a little while.

Then Dawkins was an hour and a little more after. He warmed up GREAT, the xc was still going but he focused ok on me for most of the warmup. He was a little lazy actually! We went in and he was super spooky at first, jumping out of his skin to avoid touching anything when I buried him (my eye was a bit off…haha). But, Training jumps don’t seem to back him off anymore and we had 2 VERY uncharacteristic rails! In the whole time I’ve had him I think I’ve had 2 rails at Training (at 2 shows), and never have had 2 at 1 show! I don’t know what happened to the first, but for the 2nd I came out of the corner to the last line and I don’t think I had enough canter and I couldn’t see ANYTHING. I had been burying him to everything and was trying to stop doing that! So I panicked, kicked and leaned at the long (he hates the long) and he tried to add, took off, and punched out the back rail of the oxer. I could NOT believe we had 2 rails!!! But, there was still Sunday to make up for it. We dropped to 2nd 😦

Sunday morning was cross country!! I was pretty pissed off at myself for having 2 rails on BOTH horses and was really hoping cross country would make up for it! I felt good about the course, and was ready to get out there! Raffy was the first Training horse out at 8 am (dawkins was the last at 9:40).  She was much calmer on Sunday morning than Saturday for whatever reason, but still excited and ready to go! She warmed up AMAZING and I was excited to ride her around! She’s such a blast on cross country and makes it worth everything every time we go out (: Love her! She went out and jumped everything FANTASTIC! It felt so easy! She jumped the feeders and the corner fantastically, without any hesitation. Jumped into the water calmer than ever, and galloped around making it so easy! The coffin rode so easily, and for the first time instead of her wanting to leave out everywhere, she was adding and being very controlled everywhere! I was so worried about being fast (like Copper) that I was a little slow and had 2 time on her.

I felt so confident after that, that I felt great getting on Dawkins! It was pretty chilly and windy (for California at least 😉 ) and he was ridiculously spooky! I knew I was going to have to ride tough to get around. He was extremely backed off to 1, 2, and 3, and then had to gallop by a cut down (GIANT) tree to get up the hill to 4. I was expecting major spooking BUT he focused surprisingly well and jumped fine. After that, he was GREAT. Galloped down to the table at 5 and jumped it perfectly, then came to the spooky feeders. He left super long and kinda popped over the first one and I was left behind. When we landed he started to bolt off but I got him to 7 and over the feeder, then got him back and good to go to the corner. I was SO nervous about the corner! But, he was just about as good as Raffy and jumped it really well! He was perfect just about everywhere, and I finished a second under optimum, so I was double clear!

I came off course and was told that the person in first had fallen so if I made time (or had less than 1.5 time), I won! I had no idea if I had made time or not so I was a little nervous for a while!

I cuddled with my perfect ponies for a while, wrapped them, walked them, and then checked scores (ok…fine…I checked them a few times before that) and saw I went double clear and won the Junior Training at Twin!!!! Raffy was 8th, but was too great on cross country for placings to even matter.

I can’t even say how happy I am with both of my horses, and how much in disbelief I am that DAWKINS got a 25 on the flat with ME. I thought if I ever scored that low it would be on Raffy….but he’s gotten so consistent I’m beyond thrilled!

Here’s some of my XC on Dawkins…it’s cell phone video so super far away and not great quality but you can see fences 5-12 somewhat ok and then I’m a little speck going around! Raffy wasn’t filmed 😦 I’m trying to decide if I want to buy any video from this weekend…

I now have the 3 Day Ranch one day on Sunday Oct 2, as my first Prelim! I’m taking them both, and feel ready! I just need to work on my sitting trot (; Super excited!! I’ll be back with an update from that, or Copper, whichever comes first!

Thanks for reading!!!

Posted by: eventer4life | September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011-Rebecca Farm Video!

Hey everyone!

So I’m waiting to write about Copper Meadows until I get my video so the post isn’t just writing!

It’s coming, but it’ll be a few more days!

Until then, here’s Raffy and I on cross country at our first event together-Training at Rebecca Farm!

I don’t think I ever wrote anything about Rebecca Farm but obviously it’s the most amazing event in the country in my opinion, and I absolutely love it! Soooo glad I didn’t have to miss it this year! Raffy and I got a 29.5 on the flat, went double clear xc, and had 4 rails show jumping to drop from 2nd to 8th. Much improvement from Rebecca-Copper! (1 rail at Copper!) So here’s my cross country video

Yay Rafter dafter! Love her!

I’ll be back in a few days with Copper recap and video!

Posted by: eventer4life | September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

Wow…again long time no post! I suck!

Quick updates-

I competed both horses at Woodside in Training!

Dressage day was not my day. I rode Raffy without spurs, which was a big mistake. She was behind my leg the whole test, and I was unable to collect her canter after the medium or even MAKE her canter once! We got a 33.6, which put us in 6th I think. Dawkins felt great! Very spooky but it was an accurate test, and he was pretty consistent. However, he got a 36.8 😦 He was in 11th.

I walked the cross country, and while it looked like definitely one of the harder trainings I’ve ridden, very doable! There were lots of combinations on the course, and I think a lot of the tables were maxed Training.

I went out first on Raffy and she was very good! She was pretty sticky on course, especially at the start, and we had an issue at the ditch…you can see it on the  video.

Luckily, with a little encouragement she did jump the ditch and went around everything well. optimum was 5:20, and I came in at 4:33 (: There was a lot of room to GO including a long stretch from 9 to 10 where I really got going. Unfortunately I forgot that I was tied for 6th and lost the tie by being way fast.

Then I went out on Dawkins. After riding Raffy around, I knew I’d have to ride him very tough! He can be extremely spooky and that’s been our issue all along. But he was GREAT. Very spooky at 7 (the log to the ramp), but soooo good! I took it pretty slow with him going through the combinations, so our time was 4:47…haha that was the OT optimum, at 470 mpm. Weirdly enough (never thought I’d say this!) right now, I’d feel more comfortable riding him around a Preliminary event than Raffy! While Raffy will ALWAYS jump, she gets so anxious sometimes and just wants to pick a fight because of the anxiety. Dawkins however, just wants me to be there for him and doesn’t have the baggage Raffy has. Either way, they’re both awesome!

Here’s Dawkins XC video-

So I was sitting in 7th and 11th after cross country.

Show jumping was Sunday morning, and was a bit stressful for me! Since both horses were in the same division and they were running in reverse order, I could only get them to put 8 horses between my two. So I got on Dawkins first, and went at 8 am. He was fantastic! I was nervous about the blue jumps at 1 & 2 after a barnmate of mine as well as many other novice riders were eliminated there! But I rode him tough enough that he jumped them quite willingly (: Definitely my best show jumping on him as well, even with a few mistakes (uh…10a? haha). And he was double clean!

Dawkins SJ-

Luckily one of my friends (a fellow working student for my trainer) offered to get Raffy ready and bring her down for me! You can see Raffy in the background on Dawkins video, lol, in the blue cooler! So I threw my saddle on Raffy and after a bridle mishap was ready to go! She warmed up really well, but unfortunately I had 2 rails :(This time I definitely know what I did wrong, so maybe we’ll be able to get that down to 1/0 by the next show and clean at Twin!

Raffy SJ-

So I finished in 7th and 11th! 7th on Dawkins, so he got a pretty purple ribbon (:

I was so happy with the weekend, and a little shocked I got through my first show with 2 horses!

My next show (this weekend) is Copper Meadows, where I’m doing the Training Championship on Dawkins and Training on Raffy! I’m excited! We are then doing Twin Rivers, both at Training again. I’ll try to update after Copper!

Now…pictures!!!!

Accepting my ribbon...for Dawkins, on Raffy! They kinda look similar...right?

McCool photography-Raffy in show jump! Pretty girl (:

Raffy in XC warmup

Raffy in XC Warmup

A slightly awkward, random photo of Dawkins in his stall

Dawkins in XC Warmup

McCool photography- Dawkins on course!

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: eventer4life | July 4, 2011

July 3, 2011

Wow it’s been a LONG time!! And an incredible amount has changed since my last post.

First things first, I never went Prelim on Dru unfortunately, and never will. He was entered Prelim at a few events while we tried to get him sound, but his arthritis had finally caught up to him when he was in steady work, and we could never get him sound enough. We ended up (on our vet’s recommendation) sending him back to his owner, so he can just hang out in a field with no pressure to be in hard work. I’m hoping he’s happy, because I truly, absolutely love that horse and I miss him like crazy.

But, just as Dru stepped out of my life, Dawkins really stepped up to be a good pony for me! I took him Novice at Twin which was a bit of a disaster, then Novice at Galway which was GREAT, and if not for a minor brain lapse on my part, we would have won! We got a 32 on the flat with a decent test, then had a rail in show jumping when I jumped the second to last jump which I was CONVINCED was the last jump, and cantered around for a moment looking for the finish flags, then realized OH there’s a jump 10, and veered over to it at the last second. He pulled the rail but was a very good boy overall. We were in Open Novice, so that rail dropped us even farther than it would have in another Novice! We were then double clear on cross country which went VERY well and was quite easy, I was thrilled! We finished in 8th, but would have been first had I not had the rail! Oh well though, it was a great event overall and I was thrilled with him. After that, we decided he was ready to move back up to Training at Woodside! Because of EHV, we ended up scratching and decided to go to Shepherd instead. Shepherd went quite well for our first Training back! Dressage was alright, my trot work was generally decent although my lengthenings were not so good. The canter was VERY tense and was why we didn’t do as well as I had hoped. We ended up with a 37.7, which had us in I think 17th in Open Training?

I was quite nervous about cross country, but the course looked great! Not an easy give away course, but not impossibly hard! Some of the questions looked a little tough for training, like a log one stride to a bank, but rode great overall. My course was actually pretty good I think! I was definitely pulling more than I should have been, but I can tell in my video that I was at least suppling him for parts of it, and I could get him back for most everything. We did have a stop at the log to the bank. As I was galloping up the hill to it (there was a little hill up, then a sharp (ish) turn to the log), I was having a hard time getting my reins back. I was literally galloping along going “Ughhhhh why have I not put rubber reins on this bridle? Why can’t I keep a hold of them?!”, so I came up to the turn with my reins too long and ended up rushing through and ripping him around the turn too quickly, so he didn’t see the fence until the last minute and stopped. I hit him and we went great the second time. I definitely need some major work on my position down down banks though!!!

Here’s my cross country video! Feel free to comment with comments/critiques! I welcome any fresh eyes on my riding! (:

Show jumping was also better than ever! The course looked great to me when I watched Preliminary jumping, and then great when I walked it. Dawkins was jumping well in warm up and I was excited and ready to go! He was spooking a lot when we went in but jumping! The 2nd-3rd jumps were on a bit of a bending line, and I kicked a bit much, and then took back a little much so he didn’t jump the 3rd very well. I then kicked to get him back in front of my leg so we didn’t get to the 4th very well and had the rail down. As we came to the next line I didn’t really see a spot and was worrying about pulling another when I realized that as long as I sat tall and kept my leg on, and he went, he would NOT have another rail down…pony doesn’t much like pulling rails! So the rest of the course went well, and we just had the one rail. While the results did not reflect what a good weekend I had, it really was a great weekend for me! He was so much better than he has ever been, and I am still (a week later) obsessing over how great that cross country round was. I am so happy with him!

So after that, my plan was to take him to the Training 3 Day at Rebecca Farm! I have always wanted to do a long format event, so I wanted to jump on the chance to do one, even just at Training level. Of course the stars were not aligned and Dawkins decided to get his legs stuck somewhere, so they are scratched and ballooned! He’s already pretty much fine, but had enough time off for us not to want to push it fitness wise or being ready wise! I’m glad that I won’t be pushing for it either, I don’t want to make it a bad experience for him. Maybe at the end of the year or next year though!

And now the most exciting news of all!!!!

I got a new lease pony!!!!! I’m not going to say anything about her until after our first show so I’m sure she’ll work out, but she’s fantastic right now!!! I did my first jump school yesterday, and after some struggling, got way better and she was so much fun to jump!!! I’m hopefully going to a jumper show and a CT with her this week, and then we’re headed up to Rebecca Farm!!! So we’ll see how it goes, but I’m really loving her and am so excited to see how it goes as I get more used to her!

Hopefully I’ll post more often….thanks for reading!

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