South Farm or how Naughtie Earned Rockstar Status

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day weekend officially marked the start of the Windhurst Event Team's show season.  We had three horses and four riders entered at the South Farm Combined Test on Saturday, May 28th.  Of course we had a tiny bit of a problem.  Three horses and only a two horse trailer, you do the math.  So Friday night, Bonnie hauled Kaye and Naughtie over and then we took Mystic Saturday morning.

So first thing Saturday morning when we got there, the kids and I fed and watered the two mares while Katie got Mystic ready to ride.  After the marsies finished eating we gave Kaye a bath and the kids got her tacked up for me.  I started to warm Kaye up a bit for Victoria.  She was rather, um, excited to be back at South Farm.  So I worked her down for a while and then got Victoria up.  While I was riding Kaye, Ethan and Astrid were kind enough to bathe Naughtie for me, so I could get started tacking her up.  Since it was Naughtie's first show, and I wasn't sure what she was going to do, I figured it would be a good idea to lunge her in the indoor a bit.

Astrid and I took Naughtie over to the indoor and started her on the lunge line.  She was a little perky for all of about 2 laps and then settled right into the routine.  I lunged her about 25 laps each direction, just in case. And then I got on.  She was as god as gold.  We walked some small circles around the indoor and she just relaxed and walked.  It was almost time for Victoria to ride her dressage and since Naughtie was being so good, I figured we could head over to the dressage ring and watch.  Well, just as we were leaving the indoor, some birds flew out the door right above us.  Naughtie spooked a bit, and by spook I mean she trotted off about 4 or 5 strides.  Then she realized it was nothing and settled back into a walk.  Good girl!

So we headed over to the dressage ring and got there in time to watch both of Victoria's tests.  And she rocked them!  She had very nice, relaxed rides.  Really proud of how well she did.  After that we had a bit of time before the rest of us rode.  So the marsies got to chill in their stalls for a bit and get some water.  And I was able to change into my show clothes. Naughtie and I hung out in the barn for a bit and then we headed back over to the dressage rings.  Ethan, Katie and I all rode our test right around the same time, so I was able to watch their tests.  Naughtie was a rockstar for dressage really.  The first test we rode was USDF Intro B for the very green division.  She was a little fast in her trot work.  But that was my fault, so I can't really be mad at her for it.  Our figures we good and symmetrical, our transitions accurate.  Really I couldn't have asked for a better first test from her.  We had a few minutes then to pull off the running martingale and take a few canter departs and then it was back in the ring for USEA Beginner Novice Test A for the baby beginner novice division.  The trot work was much better and the canter work was pretty good.  Our second canter depart was a little ah, explosive.  But again, entirely my fault.  I was asking for way too much for the depart.  After the depart though she settled into a nice forward canter. And we finished up with a fairly nice test.

We headed back to the stalls, and Naughtie got a chance to drink and chill in her stall for a bit before it was time to jump.  Victoria and Ethan were up first for jumping.  And well it was eventful.  Ethan was up first in the cross rail division.  And he had a nice round, Kaye was listening and just trotting around like she usually does with the kids.  Then it was Victoria's turn, and well, she did the same thing she has a tendency to do at home.  She grabbed with her legs and did nothing to slow Kaye down.  And so Kaye went faster and faster and faster.  And Victoria got scared and bailed.  Right into the wooden fence around the ring.  She was ok luckily, scraped up and bruised a bit, but mostly ok.  So I borrowed Ethan's helmet and got on Kaye to settle her down.  Lots of walking and s-l-o-o-o-o-w sitting trot around the warm up.  Finally Bonnie and Victoria come back (with my helmet, so I could see!) and since Victoria wasn't going to ride her second Bonnie suggested I take her in and do a schooling round at the 2 foot height.  Which actually really exciting me since I had the chance to take Bonnie up on a challenge. 

The stadium course was a very twisty, turning course.  And there was this one section between fences 7 and 8.  Sarah intended for it to ridden with a large looping circle around to 8 like so:
Well you know Bonnie, why take a longer route when you can go shorter?  And so her challenge was to ride a direct line between the two fences:
While I wasn't quite sure I'd be able to do it on Naughtie, I knew on Kaye I'd have no trouble.

Kaye was her usual awesome self for me in the ring, and so Ethan felt ready to try his 2 foot round.  And Kaye was great for him.  He jumped everything well and then after he crossed the finish he leaned forward to pat her, and accidentally kicked her.  So Kaye took off a bit and Ethan bailed in pretty much the same spot.  So Kaye was in the doghouse, and Sarah was none to happy. 

Well by this time I needed to get Naughtie ready to go, ran back to the barn, threw her bridle back on and we made our way to the jumping ring.  She warmed up great, and soon we were ready to head into the ring.  She was Awesome!  She jumped everything for me.  At first she was a little confused by all the colored jumps and everything being crammed in the ring, but she listened well.  We finished the very green division with a double clear round to land us in 2nd place.   A couple minutes to rest and it was time for a return trip.  Unfortunately I let her get a little flat coming into the first fence and we pulled a rail, but with no other mistakes it was enough to keep us in 4th place.  Not too shabby for her first show.