Well, folks. That’s it! Another season of eventing in Area 2 has come to an end. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it when I look at the calendar and see that there are still a few competitions going on, but I’m feeling great about how my horses have been performing at home and away, and I think they are ready to move on to their separate plans for the rest of 2011.
This past weekend was the Waredaca HT in Maryland. This is always a great event, and even though it is nearly 2 hours from the barn in Middleburg, it is well worth the early mornings!! This weekend was especially rewarding, with both William and Vienna putting in some great work. Will had one of those weekends where everything just seemed to come together. You know the ones. They are elusive, but my faith has been restored that they can happen!!
His owner and I put a lot of energy into making sure things are juuuust the way Willie likes them, and we were rewarded with a very relaxed, forward and flowing dressage test. What I wasn’t expecting was the freaking score. My hot little redheaded Thoroughbred and I leg yielded and counter cantered our anxiety into oblivion for 35 minutes in warmup and were rewarded with a 15!! I honestly thought it was a typo. He was great, and I was thrilled coming out of the ring, hoping it would be enough to put us ahead of the pack. I never in my life would have thought I would score in the teens at any level, so to do so at Preliminary on a horse I have been working with for a couple of years is seriously rewarding. After a few days of hacking around High Meadows farm in The Plains, Will is going to go home to Rappahannock county and spend the next few months regaling his retired pasture mates with stories of his awesomeness (Now, we’ll see if Stormy and John believe him!!)
The female member of my sassy red headed matched set was also a star this weekend. Miss Vienna had the most wonderful, forward and relaxed warmup that she has ever given me at a show (Thanks to the great final warmup area in the real footing right outside the competition arenas!!) She only lost a tiny bit of cadence going into the arena, and I really felt like she did a great job of staying loose through most of the test. Unfortunately for us, the judge has no idea how far we have come, so she still penalized our slightly nervous moments more heavily than I hoped. She scored a couple of 8’s in her canter work, but with a couple 5’s thrown in for moments of tension we lost our chance at being really competitive. She is a lovely mare and I’m lucky to have the ride on her. I have absolute faith that she we are building a great partnership! I have taken 4 lessons so far this fall with Lauren Spreiser in Marshall, VA and we have been working on some great exercises to get Vienna to relax her back and really engage her hind end. If she’s cute while she’s just kinda movin along, she’s LOVELY when she really gives it up. I’m so excited about her. She has been jumping 3’6″ at home for the last 6 weeks, so I think going into the Training level showjumping course felt like a breeze. That 3″ shorter was seriously easy for her, and she stayed calm and rideable while still giving a good effort at each fence. Cross country, of course, is a non issue for cocky little redheads like her, so its always a good time. I was so happy with the things that we achieved in the Dressage and Show Jumping phases on Saturday that I can hardly wait for every day that I get to keep practicing. I will continue to work with Lauren for the next couple of weeks, and then it will be off to sunny Florida to work with mom and pop O’Connor in prep for what I hope will be a great Preliminary level debut in January. There are lots of opportunities to go to schooling shows in the Ocala area, so I know we will have every possible chance to get our game face on.
Another super exciting thing on my November/December list of things to do is little mister Mosby’s big-kid-in-training education.
Now, those of you who have been following all year will remember Mo as the off the track Thoroughbred that was given to me by his owner Jeffrey Tucker and trainer Jimmy Miranda. I rode this adorable dude at work in the spring of 2010, when he was 2, and it was love at first ride. He was a shrimpy little plain bay fuzzball with the best natural balance I had ever sat on. I started riding him in the roundpen outside the shedrow, then in the big pasture, and eventually on the track where Mos demonstrated his innate ability to be very pretty and very very slow. 🙂 thank goodness he proved to be consistent in these abilities, and after Jeffrey and Jimmy tried everything they knew how to do for the whole of 2010 to get his butt to MOVE, he was given to me in February of 2011. Since then he has grown 2 inches, gained about 200 pounds and turned into a serious hunk!! Secrets out, he just didnt want to be a racehorse. Who knows if he wants to be an event horse, either, but thats what we’re about to find out. He is coming 4 in January, and he walk trot canters (both leads!!) and hacks around wherever with the dog crashing through the underbrush. He’s a winner in my books. Nov/Dec we will learn to do some on line work and hopefully learn to jump like a baby rockstar in prep for a Beginner Novice in January.
The big man is up to 25 minutes of hand walking, and I split this up into 2 so we have a lovely stroll with Shelby dog in the morning and again in the afternoon. Dr Ober comes back up north from her adventures with the team in Guadalejara to hopefully green light us for some even longer (perhaps mounted?) walks. If I have to keep handwalking him, I’m buying some skechers shape ups. 🙂
Anyways, now all I have to do is start counting the days until the Royal Winter Fair(10) and look forward to spending a chilly but fun filled weekend in the Ricoh Coliseum 🙂
Thanks for reading.