Lost Hounds HT

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally it was time for Lost Hounds this weekend. I spent the week practicing my braiding. Which I'd just like to mention how much I hate braiding.

Finished product

Rachel's lucky, no braiding for Airy

Thursday after work I headed out to the barn to clean my tack. I spent a couple hours taking apart the saddle and bridle and making sure it was spotless. Got home about 9, just in time to head to my mom's so we could watch the new epi of Royal Pains. Then I had to find a laundry place that was open all night. Luckily for me the Snowy White in Rochester is 24 hours, so I spent about an hour over there washing my green saddle pad for the show.

I took Friday off from work so I would have time to get everything done and get up to Edinboro to walk the cross country course. Got out the barn early and started feeding. Bonnie was picking up Astrid on her way home from work and they stopped at Tammy's to get the trailer. Bonnie had to get sawdust in the morning and Astrid and I stayed behind to get some stalls cleaned. Then when Bonnie came back she rode Kaye for me. Got her in the bridle and looking really good. Then Bonnie got on Airy while Astrid and I gave Kaye a good bath. We got Kaye nice and squeaky clean, picked her stall again and put her away. And then Astrid helped Rachel give Airy a bath. After lunch we all piled into Beth's car and headed up to Edinboro. We walked the cross country course, man was it a nice beginner novice course! Everything was straightforward, nothing too confusing back in the woods. Lots of room between fences. Just a really nice course. That's the way beginner novice courses should be set up. We walked the course twice and then headed home. Rachel grabbed Airy's tack to clean and she went home. We fed the ponies and I took Astrid home before getting to bed myself.

Saturday morning I was up at 3:30 to get ready. The plan was to leave about 5-ish, so I wanted to be at the barn by 4:00. Of course it was raining, and it rained the whole time I was at the barn. I was dashing out to the trailer between raindrops trying to load all my tack. I decided to tack Kaye up at home and haul her up with the saddle on since my ride time was at 8:30, and it makes me way to nervous when I'm rushed. Finally get everything done, get the ponies loaded and head up to the showgrounds. It poured the whole way there. We get there and park the trailer, it's still raining. Go to get my packet, still raining. I get dressed and finish bridling Kaye, still raining. I ended up not wearing my dressage coat because of the rain, instead I wore Bonnie's navy fleece pullover. I was soaked within minutes. But Kaye was so good! Our warm up was amazing. I asked for the trot she was flexed and on the bit. Picked up both canter leads and she stayed flexed. It was fantastic.

Free walk

I went into the ring and I had the best dressage test I have ever ridden. There were a few minor things that were my fault, but overall the test was great. Unfortunately I don't think the judge was watching my test. She gave me a 44.8 that put me in 10th place out of 11. And the comments she made don't even make sense. On almost every movement she said Kaye was resisting. Either she was watching something else or she has no clue what dressage is, because Kaye was not resisting! As much as it pissed me off, I just had to put it behind me. We'll make it up jumping. We had a couple of hours before stadium so my parents and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Ralph headed off to Erie for a bit and we went to walk the stadium course.


The stadium course looked so easy compared to what Bonnie has us do at home. It looked small after jumping training level too. There was lots of room to turn, the in and out was a two stride, nothing too hard at all. The third and fourth fences were set up that in order to jump them both head on you would have to do a sharp left turn after three to get 4. We decided to just jump them both on an angle so we could get a straight line between the two of them. Yeah, they were oxers, but beginner novice fences are small for both Kaye and Airy. We walked the course two times and then had to repeat it to Bonnie. Finally about noon we got the horses tacked up and headed up to stadium warm up. We started warming up and Kaye was a superstar. She very nicely jumped everything. Got her leads when I remembered to ask for them. She didn't try bolting at the fences or anything. Rachel and Airy had a few problems in warm up, but when they went into the ring they rode a great round. Soon after that it was my turn. Kaye was amazing!!! I love that mare. I wasn't nervous at all so I was able to actually ride her and not just hang on and hope for the best. We got in good to every fence, got all out leads. We rode the third and fourth fences just like we walked it. Kaye did exactly two strides in the in and out. It was perfect. Bonnie told me it was the best round she saw all day in beginner novice or novice. No one else but Rachel rode 3 and 4 in the straight line. Everyone else turned between them and there were a lot of problems.

Flower box just before the water

So then back to the trailer, change my clothes and over to cross country. Kaye knew that's what was next and so she jigged around the warm up. Bonnie just had us jump the oxer a couple of times and then she headed out to watch Rachel. They ended up waiving the optimum time for beginner novice because of how much rain we had. Well that ended up being a good thing. We were in the start box, I never even put my legs on her, Kaye heard the starter say "you're on course" and she took off! She locked onto the prelim/int fence and floored it. I fought her the whole way to get her to slow down and over to the beginner novice fence. And then when we landed she just flattened out and took off. We could have been in the Kentucky Derby! So I circled her to get her under control. We jumped the second fence and had to circle. We jumped the third fence and then three strides later she jumped the patch of dead grass from where a portable had sat all winter, and then we had to circle again. Jumped the up bank and circled. We had to circle after every fence until like fence 9 I think. After that she would come back for me. At least until the next to last fence, I had to circle after that one. When she jumped the last fence, she knew she was going home and I couldn't do anything to slow her down. I was just praying people would stay out of our way. We didn't have any jumping faults, and since there wasn't an optimum time, we didn't have any time faults either. So we moved up to fourth place. Not too bad. And as tired as I was after that cross country round, I think it was a good thing for me. I learned I can ride her through things like that. We did eventually work through our control issues. And I finished. I didn't let my nerves talk me into quitting, and that's important for me.