Posted by: eventer4life | August 27, 2010

Caber Farm, “Buckette” Clinic, Pretend Show….

So a lot has happened since the last time I blogged! I had a lesson with Jil Walton, a “show” at her place, an event, and a lot of schooling!

First, the lesson! On Friday August 13th, I had a group lesson with Jil. She had a lot of tricky lines set up, and so we called her “Buckette” because she set up courses that were hard and complicated just like Buck does šŸ™‚ Dawkins did really well for the most part, although he had a few stops. The stops were completely my fault. I got really really bad about leaning and kicking for the super long, but after Jil made me SIT and WAIT, everything went a lot smoother.

The hardest thing for us was a line she set up where we either had to jump a skinny with big gold brush on top, jump down the bank (that we had gotten onto by jumping the skinny), then a bending line to an oxer or reverse the line, jump the oxer up the bank to the skinny. Dawkins was NOT a fan of the brush. We had some stops jumping the skinny first, but he jumped it really well after a couple tries. Then we reversed it. The first few times, he just stopped. Then he decided to run out left. However, to the left of the skinny was the down bank going || that way, so when he went left he went off the bank sideways. Then of course he spooked and bolted. When he jumped down, I was thrown off balance and my left leg went all the way over the saddle so I was standing in my right stirrup, facing his body. He galloped across the arena with me that way, then halted when he got to the fence and I swung my leg back over and went back and jumped it again šŸ™‚ It was kind of amazing! Everyone said they wanted trick riding lessons from me šŸ™‚ I got it on video, but it’s on my dads ANCIENT video camera which my computer won’t recognize. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it up soon. He behaved himself pretty well after that.

Then on that Saturday, there was a “pretend show”. Basically, there was 2 courses at each height (“Green”, BN, Novice, Training, Prelim, and then it went straight up to the 3* riders since there was no one in between lol). It cost $5 per course and it was run like a jumper class. So there was a jump off, and fastest clean round in the jump off won! The winner got all the money for that course. If you screwed up and wanted to redo it you could, just not for the money :). So I started out doing the Training classes. He stopped at the first jump in the first course because I hadn’t warmed him up enough (the warm up was at the end of the arena and VERY crowded, so I kept getting in the way) and I felt pretty stupid. He jumped well after that. In the second class at 3’3″ we made it to the jump off and then didn’t go fast enough so we got 3rd šŸ˜¦ He was being good so I decided to try the 3’6″. Problem was…I’ve jumped 3’6″ once. Maybe I jumped 3’6″ when I tried him but pretty much, I’ve jumped one 3’6″ oxer. Definitely never coursed.

Luckily, Dawkins was being super by the time the 3’6″ started! He jumped around clear no problem (even though I was riding like a monkey…it was not pretty) and then WON the jump off! It was so easy and so much fun. So I made $20 for that class and ended up breaking even šŸ™‚

In the next 3’6″ he was being great, made it to the jump off, and then stopped like 15 times at an angled 3’3″ vertical that he had already jumped the exact same way at the exact same height with no problems in an earlier class. Jil ended up giving us a little lesson until he was jumping calmer and better. Then he was done :/. For my first 3’6″ ever, I guess it wasn’t too horrible although I was disappointed.

I know I always sit back too early..I’ve gotten better over the 3’3″ stuff but I was jumping 3 foot over the 3’6″ fences. I think I’m going to put a jump strap on him the next time I jump to force myself to stay in jump position longer.

I went home on Saturday night and Thursday I left for Caber Farm. Caber is an awesome event in Onalaska, Washington run by the Camlin family. It’s a really well run, well organized (they actually were running EARLY. Now that’s impressive :D), fun event. I’ve never been before this year but I’ll definitely go back next year!
Obviously, I competed in the junior training division. The xc course looked like a lot of fun. It was pretty small for the most part, but there was a lot of galloping room and some actually reasonably difficult looking lines and combinations! There was one line that I was a little worried about early in the course. You jumped a small log, then had a sharp right bend up a mound over a log, then a really sharp right bend down the mound and straight over a skinny log. It was 4 a b and the skinny was 5. So when I was walking it Leigh told me I could and might need to circle before 5 because he could just orangutan over it or puke over it and we might not make it. There was also a full coffin on a bending line, there was a skinny coming out of the water, and there was a sharp bending line (although it was long and actually rode really easy) from a roll top to a little corner! And the corner even had flowers on the right side to make you jump it more like a corner!

So anyways, dressage was on Friday afternoon. I rode early that morning and he was okay, then Leigh had me go lunge him in side reins until he behaved himself. So he spent a while on the lunge line…until he stopped throwing his head around and running backwards and just calmly went forward into the contact šŸ™‚ Then I got on AGAIN for my test. I spent a long time warming up and ended up feeling really good about the way he was going by the end of warm up. After a momentary lapse of memory right before I went in (I forgot which way to turn at C…whoops. Luckily Leigh asked around and got it figured out!), we trotted up the center line and he was surprisingly well behaved. He was soft, he was round, he didn’t throw his head and stiffen and pitch a fit. He was really low though, and pretty slow. I was expecting a decent but not spectacular score šŸ™‚ Leigh was happy with it, she said that finally he was good enough that she had something to work with. I ended up getting a 35.5, placing me 7th. Right in the middle of the pack which is not a bad place to be šŸ™‚

Early in warm up šŸ™‚

I walked the course again on Friday night, then again Saturday morning. I didn’t ride until 5:22 pm on Saturday which gave me wayyyy too much time to get nervous! I watched all the other divisions go, took some pictures (I wrote an article for EN with the pictures so hopefully you’ll see my not-so-amazing photography up there soon šŸ™‚ ), helped get some horses ready, and then tacked Dawkins up and got on. He did get loose and bolted across the line of trailers while doing that but….oh well. Then we warmed up. After some issues on my part, Leigh whipped us into shape surprisingly quickly and he was being really good by the end of warm up. He went out on course well! He hopped over the first jump without spooking and continued surprising me with his lack of “ohmygodohmygod you want me to jump that ohmygod icanticanticant OKAY”. I’m not sure if it was my riding or he was just being better but it was really good šŸ™‚ He jumped the line I was nervous about (with the mound) PERFECTLY. We didn’t circle, just popped over the log and cruised down to the skinny (er) log no problem. I was THRILLED with that. However, when we came to the coffin I must have been riding really not so good…he stopped twice at the first rolltop….after that he was really good again, with no problems in the water, at the corner, over the ditch wall (I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT!! Yeah, there was a ditch-brush wall at Training…definitely never seen one of those before), and over the last jump. So I don’t know what was up with that, but I’ll be working on that for a while I’m sure.

Okay, so I look slightly incompetent haha. But…LIKE MY AIR VEST???!???? This was my second event riding in one, first event riding in my own šŸ™‚

Stadium was pretty good, I actually RODE him šŸ™‚ He spooked in the corner coming to the 6-7 line and so I went into old habits and gunned him at it and he pulled a rail and then was frazzled for the 8 a b one stride. And spooked at the judge’s tent after 7 and went from slightly out of control canter to halt…I almost fell off haha. Luckily, I didn’t. We got it together and finished really well though. We had 8 time faults (probably from the halt, lol) and 1 rail. We went in in 11th but the girl in 8th stopped out so we got a ribbon šŸ™‚ And it was BLUE! Baby blue, but still.
And we finished. Not a NQR, but still. A finish. And now we’re going to hopefully get it together for Aspen, EI, Woodside, and Galway. Hopefully.

On Monday I leave for Leigh’s to go work for her for the month (have I talked about that on here? I don’t know…). Then I go to Woodside at the beginning of October and go to Hawley’s after that for…well, not sure on the exact length yet. I don’t want to come back to Montana, that’s for sure šŸ™‚ I really just want to keep working and competing and learning more than anything šŸ™‚

Just chillin with our ribbon...cause we're cool like that...NBD šŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!


  1. Brigit, I have so much fun reading your blog. You are living my dream and I feel that even though I have picked a different path having children and a (different) career, I get to somehow live vicariously through you. Good for you for going after what you really want to do (and good for your wonderful mom supporting that dream!!) Sooo…keep those entries coming!

    • Thank you! I love that picture šŸ™‚

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