Monday, May 3, 2010

Poplar Place Horse Trials

I have been very bad at writing I know. It seems I cannot get caught up here at the farm. Barbie and I took off for our annual treck to Rolex and then I was lucky enough to be invited to teach at my friend Janice Holmes beautiful Holmestead Stables the Monday after Kentucky.

Janice was VERY kind to have me teach her students and she even took about four lessons herself! I headed back to Aiken at 9.30 PM to be ready to ride the next morning. Three king sized Red Bulls later I arrived at Paradise at 7 am and started back to work. It was a complete whirlwind at the farm leading up to Poplar Place.

Barbie hacked everyone out while I was gone. I am so lucky to have such reliable and trustworthy help. She is an amazing person and invaluable to the horses. I show jumped them on my day one, working on simple adjustability excercises. The horses were great. Then they had a gallop. Wednesday was a stretching day and Thursday dressage lessons before our depart for Poplar.

We had an early start and arrived on time to avoid the crowds at Poplar. Last time I rode Peter Pan there he was VERY VERY unhappy with the crowds and a complete liability to those around him.Harry is a cooler customer and doesn't seem to mind as much.

Our Friday warm ups were really fun. I was looking forward to the next day. I love Intermediate test A and I love the large arena even more.It is very hard on the horses to perform in the small arenas. Peter was very good in his test, though I had a small blip with an early transition ( his choice , not mine ) that proved to be very costly. I still have to let his neck out, always something......

Harry had another meltdown in his counter canter but it was better than last time. We need to get over this small drama and then he will really be something.

Sadly the event turned into a 50/50 for us. We ended up having to scratch Harry due to an infection in his leg. I had a very awkward show jumping with 5 rails down AND I had to make a circle before the triple. Poor Harry was not himself. He was running through my hands badly and very very unhappy. I thought about pulling up after about the fourth rail but chose to keep going in the end in the hopes I could give him a good experience. I did not.

We immediately decided to withdraw and give him some meds to make him feel better. I have to extend a huge thank you to Rachel the vet at Poplar for all of her help and advice. I was disappointed not to be able to run the cross country with Harry but there will be another day. And the horses come first.

Peter had an expensive rail in Show Jumping , knocking us from third to 6th place.His brilliance across the country pulled us up to 5th to finish. I was very happy with his footwork cross country. He was brave, agile and very willing.

We REALLY MISS Pickles. What a complete luxury it was to be able to ride three horses at an event. I am very grateful to have the two, but to be able to ride those three devils around the same courses really helped my riding. When one is down to two and then one needs to be pulled , it puts a huge damper in the training process.

I hope I can find a third horse to ride at the upper level. I have some very nice babies at the moment but it is a big difference once the levels change. I need as much practice as the horses to keep my eye and my mind in the right place! If anyone out there knows of a horse that needs a jockey, please let me know!

So now it's time for some ice on my shoulder and bed.I have some very juicy blog topics to discuss so stay tuned. I just need to find some time.