Sunday, April 9, 2017

Winter is over and show season is right around the corner!

This winter ended up being a whirlwind. We rode a lot more than we typically do.

Here's the low-down on our shows thus far this year:

January 21: West End Winter Combined Test 2-  1st place in the Senior Beginner Novice Division with a 31.5 on our BN Test B and a clear stadium round, We also rode Training 3 and got a 65.9 with a rider error when I forgot my walk transition. After the show, we rushed home so that we could get ready for the KCDS banquet where Chris won a TON of awards for the year on Stuart!

January 29: Karla, Leah, and I ran/walked the Groundhog 5k at Subtropolis.

February 5: Stone Ridge Eventing had their 3rd schooling show in Miller, MO, and the weather was gorgeous! Like 64 degrees in the beginning of February. In Missouri. We had a 34.8 in dressage, a refusal at the first fence on cross country (those damn first jumps!) and some time penalties to go with it, and knocked 2 rails in stadium to end up 4th out of 4 finishers! Better luck next time.

February 11: West End Winter Combined Test 3- 3rd place in the Senior Beginner Novice Division with a 30.5 in dressage and a rail in stadium when my first-fence-phobia reared its ugly had again. We also did Training Test 3 and got a 67%.

February 25: Karla, Leah, and I ran/walked the Mardi Gras 5k in the Power & Light district.

February 26: Stone Ridge had their 4th and final one-day horse trial (until next winter, hopefully), Remember how I said the weather was gorgeous for the HT on 2/5? Well this was karma. I rode dressage in a blizzard. Literally. Check out the video ( We got a respectable 30.3. Luckily, they allowed us to ride stadium before XC so we could see how the horses would handle the footing. Dieter was slipping and sliding all over the place and generally unsure about jumping in the snow. He refused jumps that haven't been a problem since when I first started riding him. He took everything on the second try, but we decided to draw out of XC just to keep our confidence up going into show season. I'd hate to have him slip and get hurt or have a bunch of refusals and become apprehensive about jumping XC at the recognized shows. It wasn't like we had a chance at any of the series awards anyway.

March 4: Mid America Combined Training Association had their annual meeting/awards banquet at Main Event in Olathe, KS. It was a total blast. Dieter ended up 5th in the starter division for the 2016 season. Then we got to play laser tag and do gravity ropes (a high ropes course they have above the arcade area complete with a zip line!). It was a blast.

March 5: West End Farm Combined Test 4- 1st place in the Senior Beginner Novice Division at a 30 in dressage and a double clear stadium round. We again did Training Test 3 and got a 67.5%. It was really really windy that day, so I was happy with what we were able to accomplish.

March 12: Karla, Leah, and I ran/walked the Martin City Whiskey 5k and had a delicious breakfast after the race. That race has good perks. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in doing 5k races.

March 18: MACTA XC schooling at Heritage Park. Dieter was phenomenal! We jumped some beginner novice stuff but mainly novice! He was a total baller. We even jumped a training fence (maybe a couple) and he couldn't care less.

March 19: MACTA One-Day Horse Trial 1- We had to scratch because as I was picking out his feet getting ready for dressage, I noticed that Dieter's back shoe was half off of him. It couldn't be very comfortable for him to walk around, let alone ride. He got the day off and I helped with XC timing, which was fun. Luckily, we were able to get to the farrier that night to get his shoe fixed, but it was still a huge bummer to miss what I was thinking would be an awesome day!

March 25: Mill Creek had XC schooling at Longview, but we decided not to go because it had just rained a bunch and Dieter is the only horse of our string who has stud capabilities. Taylor has already had her own difficulties with slipping and sliding around XC/stadium, and Leah is just starting out so there was no need to test her confidence on a less than perfect day. Better safe than sorry. Although, we heard (after the fact) that the footing was indeed alright. We went to Iron Horse for a jump lesson that night instead. Dieter was amazing!

March 29: The horses had their annual vet visit (there's a ton of money down the drain- of course they all needed to have their teeth done). After the vet, we left for the World Cup in Omaha.

March 29-April 2: Chris and I had an absolute blast at the World Cup in Omaha. We were able to watch, in-person, every single ride of the weekend (except the ring familiarization stuff on Wednesday). It was awesome to be around top riders (I got lots of selfies and autographs), and see how they warm up (they had their warm up ring right in the middle of the trade fair). Plus it was nice to catch up with some riding buddies I haven't seen in a while and meet new friends. The shopping wasn't bad, either!

April 8 (yesterday): West End Farm had their fifth and final combined test at Longview Horse Park. The day was crazy. They didn't get started until about half an hour to 40 minutes late and it only went downhill from there. I was supposed to ride at 12:20 and didn't end up going down center line until about 1:15. Because they were running so far behind, the warm up ring was nuts. I even got blamed for a girl who's horse was bucking, ran into me, and then fell off her horse. All because I was trying to pass left shoulder to left shoulder and couldn't tell where she was going. Her trainer even took it upon herself to say something about how I need to look where I'm going. To an adult. The next time I had to pass her, I yelled "outside" as loudly as I could so she would be able to know where I was going, despite the etiquette. Then I heard them talking smack about me at their trailer (which was parked directly next to ours). Whatever. I'm over it. I was waiting outside the dressage ring for the 2 riders in front of me, both of which forgot their test and excused themselves from the ring. As I went down center line, Becky O'Bea (dressage judge) said, "I hope you have a better ride than the last two." I said, "I'm fairly certain I remember my test" but I didn't want to jinx myself by saying that I absolutely knew because stuff happens. Her response, "I'm fairly certain you do, too. And I'm fairly certain you won't give up." Our test was pretty good. It was windy, so he was a little on edge, but we had really good rhythm, despite a couple spooks at people walking past the arena or me asking for a bit too much. We ended up with a 29.5, though, which is definitely respectable. For stadium, they had Brody Robertson jumps and a couple of very tall sunflowers in the middle of the ring to make it look pretty and to spook every single horse there. I tried to trot past them and Dieter wasn't having it. We pulled a rail at the fence next to the scary sunflowers, but ended up in 5th place overall with a 33.5. Then we went to the cross country course. We started over 2 beginner novice jumps and the proceeded to jump all the novice things. I had one refusal at the stupid tiger trap (it's all my mental state with that jump. I have PTSD, I swear). But he got it easily on the second attempt when I let him canter to it at a good pace. Everything else was perfect. He had no more stops and jumped everything I put in front of him! Good boy, D.

Next up: Mill Creek Horse Trials May 13-14.

Here's to a great season to all!

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