Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Virginia Horse Trials

It was a fifty fifty week for us up in Virginia. Barby and I were really excited to be taking Peter and Harry up to the Virginia Horse Park for their first Three Day Event. I think it has been over 9 years since my last one star competition with Riverdance and Charlie up in Bromont.

Peter did not take well to his digs up at the horse park. He was hysterical from the word go. I did not know what to do with him. He is a seasoned traveller by now and rode well in the trailer but HATED the stalls at the horse park. He spun round and round in a complete lather, pacing frantically back and fourth like a caged lion. He kicked the cement walls for 5 days straight and we were very very worried about him. He kicked both his hind shoes off in the stable Friday night. of course the clip went straight into the middle of his foot and bled like crazy. Barby caught it right away and the blacksmith helped us get it off. So it was a very long night taking care of the foot in the hopes we could run cross country the next day.

Peter and Harry were well behaved at their first trot up and were accepted. It is a very special feeling to jog your horses up in front of the ground jury. Three Day Events are a big deal and we are so lucky and privileged to be able to ride in them.

Dressage was really fun.I wore my tails and very old top hat and felt great. The boys looked beautiful and we were very pleased with the way they went.Peter finished 7th and Harry was 16th but not far behind in points.My pictures show room for lots of improvement in my riding . It is clear to me where I am losing points.I have to confess I learned the wrong dressage test before I went up there. But luckily I figured that out in time!And I even remembered it twice.Thank God!

The cross country course was very hilly. I thought the footing a bit hard. But it was rolling and the jumps were challenging enough.The time was 7 minutes and 53 seconds. WE measured the course short and I should have paid more attention to that. I thought the time would be very hard to make with the hills.

Peter went first and was not himself in the warm up. I have a real bond with Peter and we were definitely not firing on all cylinders on the day. He was actually behind my leg.My first 5 jumps were good and I was on the clock but I decided to angle fence 6 very slightly to help cut a second or two and WHAP!!!!!!!!Peter hit it very hard and I FLEW out of the tack like a rocket and landed with a thud on my left rear cheek.I sat there in a heap until David O'Conner came over and said "you alright honey?"I grunted and got up and was put into a golf cart by the medical staff. Apparently I had cut up my nose(have no idea how).Peter ran off like a shot and was gone from sight.

Well DARN!!!!!!!!!There went my chances on Peter. I haven't fallen off in competition in a while. This was a pretty good fall too. I knew it would stay with me for a while.Typically I had had a good dressage as well.

Enter one thousand mind games.This is not your event. Give it up. Go home. Get out of here. God is warning you. Bad Karma. Get out. Did I mention the Peter was number thirteen? If I ever get drawn that number again I will withdraw.VERY VERY VERY BAD NUMBER!!!!!

I still had to ride Harry and he deserved the best I could give him.I got on him and had to warm right up as I only had 30 minutes between rides. Good thing as I would have been stiffer had more time gone by.I really had to pull myself together and put all the bad thoughts behind me.I thought I would ride conservatively as Harry missed his last outing at Poplar.Well I went a lot straighter at fence 6 and it was not a problem.Harry went clear and inside the time. I was very proud of him.He was a saint the whole weekend.

Harry was as calm as Peter was hysterical. It was awful.We cleaned everything up after cross country and settled the horses in and it started to pour. We were very lucky indeed with the weather!Barby and I were pretty tired after worrying about Peter all night. We went and watch last years Burghley tape in the freezing trailer and took a break.Watching the best riders in the world fall off and have run outs made me feel much better. I am in very good company.

Show Jumping was a little let down. The course was very nice. Really fair and I am happy to be back jumping some bigger jumps. Harry didn't mind the indoor ring but I over rode two fences and had them down.I was not in my best form I have to admit.

With the rails I solemnly went back to the stall and pulled all Harrys braids out and undressed and put the tack on the trailer ready to go.Well we got called back into the ring in 10th place. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!It was like a bad dream!!!!!I squashed my boots back on.Threw on a stock tie.Tacked Harry back up and galloped into the ring JUST as they were announcing our name.We were honored to win a prize but I felt very shabby next to everyone else.Apparently there were lots of rails.

Our drive home was uneventful thank god.Peter seems to have settled back into himself and Harry looks like he never left.

Barby was great at the event. I could never ever do this without her.She never leaves the horses and took a lot of pressure from me.She is a star.

One Star complete.At least for Harry. We are going to take a small break for a while and work on our show jumping and dressage some more before our next eventing outing.Stay tuned.


PruSki said...

AMAZING! Not the part where you fell off, but the rest. I live not too far from the VHT and it is a goal of mine to ride there. Hopefully next year. Good job on holding it together and finishing. That took alot of guts! Good Job!

Lellie said...

The Va. Horse trials is a huge undertaking. Brian and Penny are great people.There are zillions of volunteers that make it all happen. Brian and Penny have to be the best organizers ever. It is a great goal for you. Good Luck and thankyou for reading the blog.Lellie

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