Monday, April 23, 2012

Good news is, it gets better from there.

Last post summurized our dressage disaster and here is the wrap up of the day. We head over to pop over a couple jumps and uh, oh yeah, learn my course. Opps how did I forget to do that? With my crew following behind one took Steady so I could head over and study the course with the help of two others. Then we went to warm up just to find what I had expected Steady was just as hot as he was in dressage. Cross rail kinda crazy running around with his head in the air after. Vertical same possibly a little better. Oxer same. I look at my friend helping warm up and I say, "this in not going to get any better. Let's just get this over with, I know he will go over all the jumps it is just going to be a bit crazy. We get to the gate and wait with 5 in front of us. As everyone elses horse are standing there waiting patiently there we are pacing, prancing true to racehorse form. Steady do you not remember that you are NOT a racehorse anymore??? We go in and are announced by one of my favorite people on earth, Mary. I never saw her face that day but she was still able to fill my hear with happiness. She announces our names and then shouts, GO AMY! over loud speaker. I LOVE this woman. I started the round wtih a smile and ended it with a smile. It was not pretty except the two stride line that he showed what he is capable of, which is greatness. Jump 5 and 6 were a bending line that I totally botched up, ROYALLY! Yes he was a mess, yes he was not acting the way he should have been but I could have ridden him the way he needed to be ridden and that would have helped. Instead I cut the corner all wrong and when I should have taken the jump at an angle to line him up for 6 I took him in actually at an angle in the opposite direction. Then stupidly came to the realization over the jump and in mid air cranked his head to what? try and turn him in mid-air? REalLY Amy, really?? He took a rail on 5 OF COURSE then we got all wonky to 6. But if I had just not made that one stupid move we would have been double clear and though far from pretty we would have been clear. But instead we added 4 penalty points to our already monumental dressage score. O.K. now that we got all that out of the way let's get to the part that I really care about the only part any true eventer reeaally cares about, CROSS COUNTRY!

I have to be honest and admit I wasn't sure I it was going to go once we got out there on the XC course. Steady had just not been acting like himself so I just didn't know what he would do. He pranced the entire way down to the course. He apearantly forgot how to walk the whole weekend. I will skip the mishap with the boot/socks where I ended up barefoot on one foot and him crow hopping. I did a quick dismount handed him off to my friend and fixed the issue the remounted a dancing horse, gawd, I can imagine what he was like at the track and why he did so well. We start over an 18 inch coop and do it over and over and over again working toward getting a calm, relaxed approach and gallop afterward. It took a while to get it. There were helecopters buzzing us (the park is surrounded by the military base) and I had to learn to let him GO!!! Joan kept telling me to stand up and put my knuckles in his neck. It is so counter intuitive to release when your horse clearly just wants to run. But it worked when we would get it right. A few times yes he did just take off but after a while I figured out how I could better control his speed with my body and my hands just make him want to go faster. Once we got what we wanted I asked if we could move on to the rest of the course. J and D gladly obliged. I am not sure if they were thinkng I was a nut ball for wanting more or not but they went along with it. What happened next I could attempt to just a bunch of big and fancy adjectives and adverbs to describe it all but I am not a good enough writer to do so. So will just go back to the 7th grade and give you a simple, "It was TOTALLY AWESOME!!!".

We started at the BN/N log and made sure we got the same results with did with the tiny coop. We jumped a beginner novice roll top and pheasant coop. We added in our first ever table. Now this is where the only blunder of the day was and it was ALL my fault and it is simple inexperience on my part. We had been approaching everything to this point at a trot to help Steady embrace his inner zen. About once stride out from the table the thought when through my head, "we do NOT have enough forward, for this jump" but Steady is as honest as the day is long and just did with it what he could which was kind of a deer hop to get over it. I came up out of the saddle and back down somewhere between the saddle and his neck in a huge heap of a person. He just cantered off nice and calmly and I know he did that on purpose. If he had an evil bone in his body one quick turn or change of speed would have surely been my undoing but he did nothing of the sort. So I quickly got my bearings sat up and went on laughing. OK let's try that again with a little more forward mometum this time and he sailed over it like a dream. We did a beginner novice rolltop combination. Hopped over a ditch just to show me that, well ditches are not an issue. We then came to the hanging log down to a ditch which is a training half coffin and I wanted to do it. I went over the ditch by itself for good measure and then to combo. PERFECT! I am high as a kite at this point. Steady is still up when we are walking in between jumps but he was being managable. His biggest concern the whole time was the huge group of screaming boy scouts just behind the tree line. There is something about screaming children that just unnerves this horse. It has happened before. I tend to think it is because of my kids and it is the 'Lassie' in him that is just concerned when for them. We move on to some banks and they were lovely. On the double down bank he had a very slight launch on the first one but nothing big. We then did a BN square hanging log. The approach and jump was beautiful and then the gallop afterward was amazing. I just let him keep going. He was rythmic, straight and enjoying himself so I went with it. He made it clear that he was in his element now and we were just connected finally. I knew I could trust him and he knew he could trust me. I was beyond happy and ready to head back, have a little gallop and hop over a few jumps on the way and call it a day. J and D asked if I wanted to try the Novice log. I thought, um, of course! We get up to it and I think hmmm that is a BIG novice log and we jump it beautifully. Then we have a little discussion and come to find out it was not novice it was training. Oh, well that makes more sense, can we do more?! So we strung together a training coop to the log. Hahaha I tell you what I was on TOP of the world!! Here is where you add in all of those descriptive words, instead I will say it was TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

Sorry for the crappy cell phone video and it is sideways...lol.
I am still on that high but I can feel the after show crash coming. That moment that you realize it will be a while before all of that awesomeness happens again and that you have a LOT of work to get there. Because of the events of the weekend I am re-evaluating our plan that I had and there will be more on that to come.



8 comments:

  1. That does look like lots of fun. I;m glad you had a great time, you guys deserve it.

    I forgot to tell you with your last post about your rotten test that I had one of those, too. It was so embarrassing. The horse was not mine and she was down right awful, wouldn't move forward, spooked at EVERYTHING, I ended up talking to her to get her over it and to just get through the damn test because I knew we were done and of course that was a huge no no. The mare would not keep a round circle, she switched leads on me at the canter, TWICE!! or at least this was how the judge wrote it on my test. The comments on my test were written with huge exclamation marks (and several) about looking at the purpose of a test. I think the judge assumed I knew nothing and just came riding in there for giggles. I wanted to die.

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  2. Be glad that the xc was last and the dressage was first - that way you got to drive home giggling!

    My worst ever dressage test got the comment "rider should learn the test" meoooow!
    Really? I thought it SAID 'buck twice at C' 'bolt the canter/trot transition' and 'spook at the judge'
    Do you know how hard it is to get a horse to buck exactly at the letter?

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  3. Awesome end to your day, Amy!!! At least the choppers held off to towards the end of the day - of course, when us Intro people were doing our tests :)

    Give that Steady boy a hug & lots of his favorite treats for taking care of you.

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  4. Thank you for your kind comment. I am thrilled to have found your blog. Your words stayed with me all weekend, and I am sure they echo the feelings and frustration so many Equestrian moms/wives deal with. I hope you read my latest post..........Hugs!
    Oh, and Good for you. You took a rough start to the day and turned it around. Sounds like you two found your groove about the same time.

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  5. Whoop whoop!! TRAINING JUMPS?? You guys are totally awesome.

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  6. That video looks like SO MUCH FUN!

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  7. "Totally Awesome" ! *grins*

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  8. That truly is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!! So excited for you and Steady. You guys look awesome out there. :D

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