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How The Shows Went 2003 & 2002

The Legend Continues...

Well- I have big plans for this show season. The mare and I have definatly improved over the winter.  We've got her actually stretching to the bit, balanced and focusing (well, except when she's in season).  So far we are schooling leg yeilds, shoulder in, haunches in, counter canter, simple changes and lengthenings.  She's not solid yet, but she's getting there.  Her jumping is going great- her saddle fits her (after i got rid of the gel pad) so she doesn't get sore after I jump anymore- which is GREAT news. Saves me some $$ and keeps my horse healthy!! her dressage saddle doesn't fit me tho... looks like rolex next year will be shoppin time! better start saving... lol
I had hoped to do 2 novice events before moving up to training, but it didn't happen.  We had then planned on 1 combined test and 1 event, but we had a GIANT ice storm the day of the CT and couldn't even open the trailer, never mind get out of the driveway due to the giant trees that fell over.  We only got in the one HT, the
~CANTER Benefit on May 4th~
She was PHENOMINAL. well, except for the dressage.  She wasn't focusing- too interested in the geldings in the warm up ring *sigh* mares.  we managed a 47 somehow... but her jumping made up for it.  We had one refusal XC, but she felt so ON, it was great.  I didn't care- she was AWESOME out on course.  She told me right then and there she was ready for the next step.  She just felt SOOO ready.
I planned to move up to training level at
~Mayfest HT May 24-25~
since it is known to be on the easier side.  We had a clinic w/ Stuart Black the monday/tuesday before the HT, so I felt REALLY ready.  Our dressage warm up was WONDERFUL.  I thought I was going to go in and have the best test of my life.  But nope- when trotting around the outside I TRIED to practice some halts heading in the direction of the warm up ring & she wanted nothing to do with it.  This threw us both really off &I didn't get my act together until our trot stretchy circle, which was WONDERFUL, btw.  Her canter work was great, but apparently now if you break early it is considered an error- which we did, so I ended up w/ a 52 after dressage. *sigh* it put us in last place but I didn't care.  I know she can do the dressage- what I wasn't sure about was the XC course- & the nice big ditch on it.  We hadn't jumped a ditch in over a year, at which time it took us 10 minutes to get her over it.  Needless to say, it was the jump that i most feared.  My trainer just told me to ride forward with her head up, and she'd go... which she did.  We had a CLEAR XC round at our first training!  It wasn't a very technical course, but it definatly had some max sized jumps.  She didn't feel as awesome/balanced/ON as she did at CANTER- but I was able to widen my hands and kick her to everything.  I took all the short turns since I was worried about making time, but when I looked at my watch we were going too fast! So i slowed her down at the end even though she had lots of spice left in her- and finished right inside the time window. 
Stadium went well- not AWESOME, but well. We pulled a rail, which was my fault, but other then my mistake, *she* was great.   We moved up from 19th to 14th, but by golly I didn't give a damn about placings.  I don't think I do anymore at all.  Like they say- if riding we're all bright lights and blue ribbons, I'dve quit long ago.  I was beaming from ear to ear the entire day knowing that I completed my first training!  I'm hoping to qualify for the training level 3-day at mayfest next spring- all i need is 3 clear XC this year- and so far I've got one! :)
I'm just so excited to say that now my once little pasture pony and I are training level competitors.  It was so exciting when my trainer just looked at me and said "you know, a year ago I never thought this mare would be doing this.  Now look at her."  That practicly brought tears to my eyes.  And my friend also said "if you'd told me a year ago that you were planning on doing training this year, I woulda thought you were nuts. but you did it." 
Hmm.  I owe one to this mare.  The mare with all the odds against her.  The one who puts up with me. The one who has taught me nearly all I know about eventing.  The one I got to make mistakes with and enjoy the glory's with.  The one That took me safely around my first Training level XC course requiring only a kick here and there.  The one with the personality and temperment only a motherly figure could love.  The one that kicked me in her stall, and bites me when she's moody. The one that nuzzles me when I'm sittin her stall crying for who only knows what reason.  The one that tries her heart out and has a heart the size of texas.  The one that nobodys really loved before...  Yup- she's mine. And God do I Love this mare.
~Glen Oro HT~
So the Issue comes out- I don't ride. lol. on XC we had several run outs, causing elimination. FUN! not.... The 1st half of this VERY technical course containing 7 combinations, 2 options and 5 skinnys total, went wonderfully.  But- Then we had a run out- and guess who didn't do ANYTHING about it?  ME! I let her do it, no beating w/ the whip, no yelling, no... riding.  I managed to get her through the course, inspite of being eliminated (oops!) Dressage was nothing special, Stadium was picture perfect (even tho i didn't get to walk my course and was the first one to go!) and they marked the scores wrong cuz we went out of order- they said i had a rail, but we have video- i was clean.  But it doesn't matter, i got eliminated!  Argh, o well. life goes on!
~*Headwater HT*~
Headwaters went a lot better then glen oro, but not quite as good as it could've.  Dressage, inspite of horrible warm up, went decently well! 9th out of 32!  With an *8* on our stretchy walk! The judge was right on about all her comments, it was great.  Stadium we had 3 rails- which were understandable after i realized her bit was on backwards :( I'M SORRY! XC- had 3 runouts.  But she got her butt beat for it this time! and then she settled down and finished the course great. I was last... but that's ok, we didn't get eliminated! yay! :) we'll get it right at Hunter's Run!
 July 26-27 i was at a Stuart Black clinic at Hunters Run, and it went fabulous. I did training level, and Stuart was very happy with our progress- even personally told my trainer we're doing awesome. which is a major confidence boost! Dressage was great! Stadium started out wonderful, but she got really hyped up about something at the end when we were working on a hill, and would NOT for the life of her calm down and get to the bases of her jumps. *sigh* but she was okayish... XC went pretty darn well! Got to do the training coffin and bank complex and the prelim water and some other odds and ends.  We then returned to "the hill" and she got all brain fried again, but we managed to settle her down in spite of it. I'd say all in all it was a fabulous weekend! :) can't wait til Hunters Run!!!
WOW!!! she was FANTABULOUS!  Besides the fact that it took me 40 minutes to get her out of the pasture saturday AM b/c she kept charging at me cuz she wanted her hay... all went really really awesome. 
Dressage could've been better, but i felt the test was REALLY nice on her part.  I was happy, but we had a 48.5 which isn't too great... we were in 6th, but I was content.  Then XC... warm up was fabulous, and we went out on course and it was smooth as silk!!! she floated around like it was nothing! We were one of only 2 double clear rounds in our division.  That moved us up to 2nd place!  Stadium went real awesome too- except the whole almost running out of the arena thing- but she really was listening to my seat- i barely used my hands at all- i just had to sit and say- wait- and she got to everythign perfect.  Gosh i'd give anything to ride 2 rounds like that again.  from heaven i tell you, from heaven.  my first training level ribbon!!! look out championships! HERE WE COME!!!
~*Richland Park*~
WOW! FANTABULOUS EVENT!  we got there late friday, and the facility was fabulous, as it was last year.  Some changes made things so much smoother. A late night braiding and an early dressage time left a small amount of time for sleeping, but that's ok.  Dressage warm up she was pretty good! I'd say in the top 10% of my good rides... and then i realized i memorized the wrong test.  I remembered the other one, but it screwed everything up big time. I got tense trying to remember it, and so she got tense and i resorted to old bad habbits. so we had another crappy test of 45.5. Stadium couldn't have gone better. Warm up she nailed a jump and then started sucking back, so i had to push her up, and that helped put her "RIGHT there". it was great.  For whatever reason i got worried about time in the middle of the course and pushed her, and she got to one jump at what i saw to be a really long spot, but she saved my butt and chipped and did fine. She's so fabulous in stadium.  The XC course walk proved to be a solid course, but I had the most fun ever walking the course.  Karen and Liz and Steph and I spent more time laughing on the ground then actually walking! lol. BEAVER DANCE!  o wow, ok. anyways.  XC was running 20-30 minutes behind off the bat cuz the ambulance was late, and so i had to get off her for a little bit.  Warm up went well, and we went in the start box and headed off. first 3 jumps very straight forward, 4th jump- a log pile, she nailed with her hind end where i thought was was gunna go down, but she recovered and felt fine- so on we went. 5 was the first combination- a normandy bank. I had been worried about it, but i jsut kicked and said go and she went! same with 6, and the water, and the "into space" jump, and the coffin! she just, went! the entire course rode fabulously. a few jumps from home i had to hold up big time to prevent speed faults, and it's a good thing i did cuz I was only 5 seconds away from getting speed faults!  She was simply fantabulous all weekend, i was very happy with her! 6th place on our dressage score.  We just gotta knock... 10 pts off our dressage score b4 the championships in... TWO weeks. we can do it, just u wait. we'll pull a deike. just wait :)
~ Greater Dayton ~

OK! well. Training championships. 

we left 4 hours later than we wanted to, it was cold, rainy and windy.  Got there around midnight, found her stall, setlled in, wrestled to get the tack room door closed with the wind, and went to bed while the roof leaked on me.  *sigh* slept well though! with my mavie stuffed horse ;)

I walked my XC course once before dressage, braided and had everything ready.  Dressage warm up was pretty decent, for us anyways.  Our dressage test was the best she's been in the ring this season... random little mistakes- broke out of canter early, came above in 2 or 3 transtitions, the ushual... u know, things that could've been avoided, but all in all i felt i rode her a lot better than i have in the past. *ARGH* And I forgot the stretchy circle! GRRRR. Would've had a 42ish cuz then when we picked it back up the connection wasn't there and we got a 5 on the stretchy circle *hmmph*.  Her trot lengthening felt NICE, but only got a 6... i thought it was worth at least a 7 or so for her! It wasn't rushed or anything! O well.  We got a 45.5 due to our dumb error.  Second to last *sigh* oops! o well, i was still happy with her.

Went and walked stadium twice, talked with Steph- who is a fabulous person by the way! Wish I'd gotten her e-mail or something. And watched a few others go stadium.  Tacked her up and warmed up in about 15 minutes, went in the ring and had a decent round! She rubbed the first one, but then started pickin up her legs.  Got lost on the way to 5 and took a really weird messed up line! everyone laughed at my "david o'conner at the 2000 Olympices" moment. But I actually made sure she was balanced around our little 10 meter canter circle to get back to the jump, and she did great!  Me and memorization... wow. lol. Double clean :)

Went and walked XC again, took out her braids, and put her studs in.  Went to XC warm up and she warmed up well.  Start box... 3-2-1 GO! She went! first jump, triple bar, great. then the hay jump, then "table for two!" then the fan brush jump, all rode well.  5 was the half coffin or the Weldon's wall option. I figured since we've never done a weldon's wall that was HUGE!!!! (when i say huge, i mean MAXED out) on course before, that I'd do that since I know she can do a coffin.  She jumped it great! I felt her look down at it in the air tho! lol.  6 was the log to the down bank, aimed at the middle, and was fine. 7 was the table where if u jumped slightly left, and then sharply turned right, you could cut off some time (at 470 mpm, i wasn't sure how we would do time wise) then the giant sharks tooth- great. *switch whip to left hand since all the run out spots were to the left the next half of the course*  long gallop to the red table, right bending line to the log drop into the water, then into the 2nd water and over the red coop. then a long gallop and a sharp right turn to the airy oxar- fabulous.  then the up bank 2 strides to the down bank was next.  Jumped the up part too far left.  I felt her pop her left shoulder.  I smacked her left shoulder, but i wasn't sittin in well enough...  

she ran out.

I reacted to late, and slid off... i remember thinking OW SHIT. but that's the last thing i remember.  next thing i knew There were a bunch of people standing over me.  "laura, can u hear us" they kept asking me questions.  "IS BAHADA OK!?!?!" was all i could think about.  Sheryl was there- yeah, peggy is taking care of her. dont' worry.  they Put some dumb neck brace on me, and it was on backwards and hurt like a mother.  I got to go on a fun ride in the ambulance to the hospital in Dayton. The guy gave me a nice little teddy bear. I was crying my eyes out.  There were only THREE jumps left. THREE!!!! *3*!!!!!!!! 3 more jumps and we would've gotten 7th place. but nope. I had to fall off and go to the hospital.  I was told i landed on my head- which is apparent now due to the bump and the fact that my neck hurts like a mother.  They took some x-rays and did a cat scan, and i was ok.  We got back to twin towers park as Bahada was escaping from her stall. almost everyone was gone.  ALL of my stuff was packed up even though it had been a MESS!!! all we had to do was wrap her and put her on the trailer.  People are SOOOOO nice!!!!!!!!!!!  I checked the scores... *sigh* we need to get our dressage score down big time.  We would've gotten 7th, but that's out of 12.  *sigh* o well.  I didn't care.  At least she was ok, and i was ok. 

Apparently she stood by me until someone tried to catch her. then she trotted back to the barn.  *sigh* I'm okay with all this, but extremely disappointed.  Extremely.  3 jumps... why couldn't i have just ridden her to the center of the first bank, and sat back, widened my hands and kicked? for christ's sake laura, UGH. My frist championships... and i get a fricken Mandatory Retirement.  I know, it could've been worse, but, IT COULD'VE BEEN BETTER TOO.  ARGH. someone needs to kick me in the head. Don't get me wrong, i am happy as happy can be with the rest of the show. My seat in dressage was SOO much better! I remembered to ride her through it.  Stadium was great inspite of the confusion, and the first 75% of the course was great! There was absolutly nothing wrong with it! maybe we were too fast, but there were no speed faults!  *sigh* so do we try to get into kentucky now?  So i can try and end the year on a good note? or do i just call it quits and move on?  I need to talk to marian... *sigh*. we shall see.

so that is my story... *sigh* dreams of a championships... all... gone. And so quickly... I won't give up tho.  I made that promise to her.  I won't ever give up. I don't think she will either.  We're a team.  I love her soooo much.  I mean, we did qualify, didn't we?  Next year we'll come back and kick ass. just you wait! no championships tho, we'll be going prelim by then!  :P  Now THAT will be an even better dream come true.

~ Kantucky Team Challenge ~
(copied from my trainin journal)

So I went and picked up assyla after going for a nice trail with beth- just a nice trail was all it was :).  Took me not toooo long to get to assy's, though I did make a wrong turn and the "CHURCH".... if that's what you want to call a white house with weird windows.  I got to meet people at her barn, and we went for a trail ride through the orchard- It's BE-OOTIFUL out there!  I got to ride samson, and she rode mavie, and brandon was on flash for part of the time we were out there.  we had good times :) even though assy wasn't happy, her horsie is gorgeous.  ;) he is he is he is!!!. ;) 

So we had a nice slumber paaaaaar-tay! good times.  packed my too-huge trunk with a bunch of stuff that i really don't NEED, but ya know, might at some point!!! mwahahahaha. 

Got to the barn in the morning after my crazy driving down the dirt roads- we wonder why i have no suspension left on my car...  Got her all ready and shtuff, and Diane was a little late- but at 8:45 we were off on the road fine... until the first stop sign- but *sigh* I'm not going to go into that.  

The trip down took waaaaay too long, and we got there around 4:30ish. Assy and i made it fun though!  Laughing the entire time  I was uber excited.  We set everything up, and then I went for a ride.  Aly helped me a bunch!  Found a different better way to work on her tempo and make me ride a lot better and such.  I always knew spiriling in and out was supposed to be effective- i just didn't understand how... now i do .  We got her really listening to me and my seat and such.  wohoo!  Then we hosed her off and walked her and then went to walk my course in the dark *sigh* got half way through and gave up! headed back, had a.... well... "traumatic episode" involving hysterical crying and potential desertation at the horse park by my ride.  But yeah, that got kinda setteled- thank God assy was there otherwise i'd have killed myself.  .

Friday morning was ok. went and walked my course again, braided, braided another horse and made $20, got ready way too late- and headed to warm up. Kinda rainy and ucky out- but not horrible.  The footing in the warm up ring kinda sucked, and there were far too many people, My warm up was mleh, and then some little kid ran over and told me i had to go now.  Almost forgot to take off my rain jacket- haha, oops.  Went over to the ring, felt okish, circled b4 i went in, she felt decent, halted... and then bam. above the bit- UH OH!!!! laura already forgets to ride.  There were some okish parts in the test, but it was just uber tense and I was very upset with myself.  Traumatic experiences, rain and pms combined don't help emotions when your pissed at yourself for a shitty ride.  Her last halt was good, her right canter work was decentish, but i got a lot of 4's *sigh*.  and an error for halting too early. *sigh*.  BUT. it was ok.  or so i'm sposed to believe. I dunno, there were a few good moments.  It's coming. We will get better.  ... if we get worse, I'd be a tid bit worried.

Then we spray painted my mare with colored hair dye. woooohoo. good times.  Colored her feeties and her bum and her mane and tail.  No one else on my team would do it, but that's ok. She looked spiffy.  XC warm up was ok.  She was listening to my seat very well, but she kept twisting over the jumps.  .  Going to the start box she was all riled up, but stood like a lady once in.  headed off on course, and she felt alright.  first jump- a log. fine.  I asked her if she'd be there for me, and she kinda said- yeah, i think i will be mom. The second jump she looked at a little bit, but went over it. 3rd- the giant brush, perfect! 4AB- the bank combo- great ;). no fallin on my head! #5, the trekahner was really sloppy in front of it, and she popped a shoulder- she felt worried.  I let her run out- it seemed like at that speed and at that approach, it could've been ugly. she was bookin it... so we circled, had a small discusion and then popped over it just fine.  then the table, then the corner, then the HUGE f***in table all just fine.  The footing was kinda icky and so i had to pull her up a little on the gallop to the boats, but it was ok.  She did the boats just great, and then off to the coffin.  PERFECT! a little sticky on the in, but understandably so, and just thought her way through the rest. then off to the weird brush thing- fine.  then the golf cart crossing the road and a loud yell, and off to the gray oxary thingy. just fine, then into the woods, over the logs, and out of the woods to 15 and 16- the identicle table things with a tree in the middle.  then to the water- *almost* ran out to the right, which i guess was good cuz the footing & landing to the right were 8 billion times better, then into the water and off to the last 2!  4.4 time faults, and the 1 run out gave us a 74.4.

I was sooooo happy with that round though.  yes, the run out could've been avoided as i think about it (well, DUH!) but i'm not upset about it in any way shape or form. she was fabulous out there. handled the hieght just great. :)

Stadium warm up was excitable and "interesting", but good.  She had black and orange "bootys" sprayed on her, and pumpkins on her bummy bum bum. She looked fabulous!  She was wired going into the ring, but she was listening to my seat.  we kept getting wonky spots to some jumps, and i dont' think my form was as good as it could be, but I felt like we rode our way through it the best we could.  Double clean :).  I was happy.  Could've had more finess to it, but meh- no complaints here. She was a great mare. she is a FABULOUS MARE!!!!!!!!!   I was uber pleased with her. she got a nice long walk after gettin cleaned up, and I packed and we headed out by 1:30.

The ride home was just as entertaining as the ride there filled with games and much laughter and a tid bit of sleep.  Got home by 9:30 (TOOO LONG!!!!!!!!!! of a fricken trip)  She got to go out- which makes me happy cuz she got to stretch and walk around and not get all stiff in her stall.  Shes such a good girl. :). 


my first year at training... on a horse I trained ALL BY MYSELF.  I can NOT believe how far this mare has come. It's incredible.  I know she's got prelim in her... I know she does.  I'm hoping she's got YR Prelim Champs in her too... If i can get her jumping more off her bum and pickin up her legs all the time, i KNOW she can clear the shtuff just fine.  The dressage is coming, I sware.  We've had a LOT of break throughs recently, and I think next year we will definatly get in the 30's.

wow.  I loff her.



Show Season 2002

 Beginner Novice

This season was our first season together.  We decided inspite of the lack of partnership and training, that we would just jump out there and see what we could do.  And surprisingly enough, she did quite awesome! 
Our first event, at South Farm in Ohio, was quite interesting.  Not only was she a nut since she hadn't been away from home in such a long time, but she was a nut to ride.  Our dressage went decent, got a 42.5 for our first time out, and then went double clear in both stadium and cross country.  Though on cross country we were going training speed, she was flying.  We ended up getting 5th place out of 12 (i think). 
Our next event was a schooling event, and we got 4th palce. Again, a decent dressage with 2 fast clear rounds. 
Our last BN event was at Hunters Run- our "home turf", and we got 1st place!  Another decent dressage test of 42.5, and a clean XC with a rail down in stadium, we managed to edge out the not-so-great competition.  At least the XC made me feel better, cuz the other people in my division really weren't too great... But all in all- i was very pleased with her willingness and the fact that she was settling down with each show.
Novice Level

The "big move up" was at Checkmate Horse Trials in Canada.  We AGAIN got a 42.5 in dressage.  In spite of the crazed up times (stadium was 2 hours late!) and her cutting her pasturn, we only knocked one rail on a MAXED out course.  Then on XC we got a refusal at a rather large up bank, which she took fine the 2nd time.  She was great tho, and even was awesome when i pushed her for time- and we did finished inside optimum time. We didn't place, but i was pleased.  and the trailer ride with beth was well worth the trip!
Our next novice was at Equus 3-day, where we got eliminated on XC... She was so psycho and ran past everything... i couldn't control her.  So we put a different bit in her mouth for the next show, Richland Park, and she was great.  We would've placed there had we not been 40 seconds too fast.  That was by far, the best cross country round i've ever had tho.  Our last Novice of the season was at the Kentucky Horse Park.  It was a team challenge, and i looked forward to this all summer.  Our team looked to be doign great after Dressage- we were in 3rd.  But i again, got a 42.5.... *sigh*.  XC, however, ate our team alive.  2 of us got eliminated, and me and Jeff finished, but i had 1 refusal, and he had 2.  Go figure the least experienced one would finish on top!  We got a stop at the ditch- but it was my fault, i gave up at the last second. All in all she was fabulous tho! What a great first year together. Just gotta work on the dressage and we are set to go!