South Farm Redux

Monday, May 31, 2010

Well Memorial Day weekend was a busy one for me. Luckily Friday afternoon we did get out of work early (Yay!) and so I was able to make it out to the barn by 4:30. Colleen and Carlee were there for a lesson, so I helped Carlee get Fanny ready and then watched her ride. And then Bonnie had me tack up Kaye for a short jump school. We just jumped through the quad a couple of times as crossbars before calling it a night. We wanted to take it easy on her, plus we had Saturday to raise the fence height.

I was at the barn early Saturday, we only had a few hours there since we had to leave by noon to get ready for Kezia's wedding. Rachel was there first and she had a great jumping lesson with Kaye. And then a quick tack change and I was on. Jumped through the quad about 3 times as crossbars and then Bonnie started turning them into verticals. She started with the last one and then each time I jumped through she added another vertical. Then we jumped the offset oxer a couple of times and the helicopter. Very good jump school for me. All the fences were set right about 2'11" exactly what I would be jumping at South Farm. Actually probably a bit higher than South Farm. So really good ride, very pleased with it going into the show. Henry and Astrid rode Fanny and Mickey while Ari and I took a quad ride back to the pasture to take down some fence. And then finally Ari had a ride on Fanny before we settled the horses in for the day and went to get ready.

Kezia's wedding was beautiful. The service was held in the Wurtemburg United Methodist Church in Ellwood City. Key made a gorgeous bride.

Sunday morning found us on the road to South Farm again. Since we were only taking Kaye, Bonnie decided to load Pele up as well. That way he could keep Kaye company plus Bonnie could ride him around the grounds. I don't think Pele has been off the farm in a very long time, so it was the perfect opportunity to get him used to it before he needed to show next weekend. We got to South Farm and saw that Rachel and her Dad had beaten us there. While Katie and Bonnie checked on the horses, I headed inside to pick up packets and turn in entries for next week. When Bonnie joined me a few minutes later we ended up running into both Rob and Desiree so that was pretty cool to catch up with them.

We headed back to the truck where Katie had tacked up Kaye and gotten dressed. We finished getting the horses ready and then Bonnie got on Kaye while Katie hoped on Pele to head down to the ring. Bonnie worked Kaye a bit before the two of them switched horses. Katie finished warming up Kaye and then it was time to head into the dressage ring. The two of them had a nice test except for where Katie got a little too eager for the circles and had an error of test. Of well -2 for that. So a quick rider change and Rachel was in the saddle. Unfortunately Rachel memorized the old Beginner Novice B test and so she was thoroughly confused in the ring. Jennifer Patton, the judge, was super nice though and gave me a copy of the test so that I could read it to Rachel. She still ended up with 2 errors of test but she had a nice ride, and Jennifer complimented me on the pair when I returned her test. Another rider change and Katie was back in the saddle to do her jumping round. She ended up having a double clear round, but instead of trotting like Bonnie told her too, she sort of ran Kaye of her feet. All in all though, Katie had a good day, it was enough to put her in 4th place.

After Katie finished her jumping round, I was finally able to get on my horse and warm up for our dressage test. We had a really good warm up. And then I hoped off her to give Kaye a bit of a break. When I got back on just before my test I couldn't quite get back the same feeling I'd had before. But I was still much more relaxed in the dressage ring than I usually am. And Bonnie said that my test was even better than the last time, so I'll take it. Plus Kaye didn't completely jig through her free walk! Jennifer's comment was actually 'relaxed, but needs to show more stretch' instead of 'jigging' The dressage was good enough to put us in second place with a score of 37.4. I'll definitely take that! After I finished my test, Rachel got back on to do her jumping round. She and Kaye had a very nice, controlled ride. They left all the fences up, but did have a handful of time penalties from trotting a little more than they should have. Still even with the time penalties and the 2 errors in dressage, Rachel finished the day in 4th place. Not too shabby.

After Rachel finished, she and Bonnie took Kaye back for a quick hosing off while I walked my stadium course. The course was pretty easy compared to what Bonnie has been having us jump at home. The fences were all a tad under 2'11" and there was only one combination on the course a two stride vertical to oxer near the end. Bonnie brought my horse back to me and I quickly warmed her up over a few fences. We only jumped the crossbar twice before moving on the vertical. Jumped that a handful of times and then turned to the oxer. The first time we jumped the oxer Kaye tripped a bit on the landing. Man did she not make that mistake again. She jumped even bigger so she could not even land in the same spot. So we finished our warm up and headed into the ring for the Novice stadium. Kaye and I both had a blast! She was pretty strong in the ring once she saw the bigger fences, but I was able to keep her from getting too fast. She was jumping big, but man was it fun. We had a double clear round, and since the horse in front of us had a rail in stadium it moved up up to first place! My first blue ribbon at Novice! Woohoo!

Love the big grin I'm sporting!