Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Full Gallop Horse Trials

Just a quick update on our eventing scene. The Devils prepped for the American Eventing Championships at the Full Gallop Horse trials here in Aiken. A great event for us due to its proximity to Paradise. I can ride in an event and teach and ride at home all in the same day.(Very necessary in today's economy!)

I think Full gallop was Peter's debut last year at this time. He came out in the dressage ring and nearly bucked me off in the left lead canter depart. During his first test and the prep. before that, I was seriously thinking of contacting the PBR (professional Bull Riders Association) as they make tons more money than eventers do. I thought,"I'll just strap on a pair of bull horns instead of devil horns,they might not be able to tell the difference and it's certainly worth watching the show!"

Wouldn't you know it, The same two ladies that saw that first test last year were in the darn car again this year. Fortunately, Peter was very good.I took my eye off the ball for one second watching an approaching little boy that came dangerously close to A. Peter was also eyeballing him ready to eat him. I made an error in my test by asking for a "pay attention" half halt and Peter walked by mistake. Otherwise had a great test and finished 6th after the dressage. Just goes to show, one can never ever take their eye off the ball! (Learned that the hard way at Rolex 2004. Another long story...)

Harry won his dressage with a 25. How exciting! Pickles was also great for him and was 3rd. I was so proud of how he handled himself, as he tends to get so worried in the warm up and then confines of that little white rectangle we have to navigate every two weeks!

I am trying SOOOOOOOOOO HARD not to fiddle with them in Show Jumping! This is something that has plagued me all my life. I am also trying to allow them to go forward instead of backwards to the show jumps (what a concept). So Pickles and Harry were very good and not too difficult and went clear. Peter tapped two rails down as I got a bit strung out asking for the bigger canter. I hated that I now had three mistakes on board with Peter but we still had the cross country.

I had three rides, each fifteen minutes apart from one another. I LOVE doing it like that because there is no time to think or even better worry! It's all about instinct and reaction at that point. And you only have to remember one track. Of course the close timing puts tremendous pressure on Barbie, but the devils are used to being tacked up for a long time and are all fairly well behaved in the holding area.

It has taken us most of the summer season to get all the tack sorted out but we finally have it right I think. Peter and Pickles have only 2 bridles and saddles (each) but Harry needs a different bridle for each phase.

Zoom, Zoom, Jump, Jump.Three double clears .Wow! Pickles is getting to be like my favorite loafers. It has taken a year at training level (after being ready to go Intermediate ) but he is definitely back. Harry was good but still green. He is getting very close to moving up a class but I still want to be careful. Peter Pan had on his fairy dust and skipped around.

Jimmy Wofford said something to me after a ride at Radnor Three Day event about having bugs on my teeth after cross country - meaning I was smiling so much. I needed a blow torch to get them all off this time. Harry first, Pickles forth and Peter 8th. A great day!

It's Training level, not Advanced but these horses and I have come such a long way and I am really having fun. A big Thank you! to Lara and Andy, STEADFAST, and Barbie.

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