Its been a crazy couple of months!
The last weekend in September, we competed at the Jumpstart HT at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Our dressage was ok as he was a bit above the vertical in places. I could hear the judge telling the scribe scores as we rode by so I was a bit unhappy with my test when I walked out. Overall our trot work is much better and we have slowly knock a point or two off each show. My goal for next year is to get below a 30.
We ended up with a 33.8 to sit in 6th out of 17 going into stadium. The course was reasonable but beefy for BN. He started out great in warm-up then lost his mind when it started to rain. Our warm-up went from quiet to trying repeatedly to dump me. I was last to go and it was quiet, so I just figure 8ed the center oxer until he listened to me and got his brain back. With Marcus you never know what you are going to get. Sigh.
Stadium was plain old ugly. He jumped the first jump, the tried to spook at the far side of the ring but luckily our next jump was a left turn so I just kicked him forward and turned him. He jumped fine, but was strong and made some questionably bold choices despite me trying to get him together. Overall, no carnage and we jumped double clean, but it was not our normal equitation like stadium round. We did however move up to 5th after it.
Cross country day we went early and I was a bit concerned about footing because of the amount of rain we had the night before but after walking the footing seemed fine. We trotted down to warm up and he spooked at everything on the way while moving like a saddlebred. We warmed up for a bit and the hopped over a couple jumps to see what we had. Luckily I had happy, listening Marcus and he warmed up like a dream. I headed up to the startbox off a really good oxer. I got up there and they started to count me down, and then stopped me because of a RF and course hold. Ah! Not good for nerves! Anyway, we got back on track after a short delay. He came out of the start better than he ever has before. I think he’s starting to really understand what Debbie (our starter) means when she says “3,2,1 Have a great ride!”. He attacked the first fence (simple log) and landed bold and forward. Fence 2 was a coop up on the hill, then a long gallop to a hefty brush. Fence 4 was a gray table under a tree and then the course went uphill to a coop-coop bending line. I was a bit worried coming into it that if he jumped bold over 5, we wouldn’t make fence 6. Luckily I got him listening, got a quiet spot in and rode him out easily. Fence 7 was a lone brush at the bottom of a small slope. He had gotten pretty strong at that point so I actually make him trot before the fence 8-9 sequence (log, rolltop). He was good, then we headed to fence 10 which was the only one I was worried about-a wide new shiny natural table two strides across the road. As we came down to it, two riders were about to cross my path (heading to warm up) into the infield so I yelled and got them to stop. He jumped the table easily and we headed into the infield. Fence 11 was a house, 12 a ditch and 13 a pile of logs, all of which he jumped fine. We were a bit quiet into 13 but I landed and made up for it through the water and over 14 which was about 3 strides out. The course the curved back to 15, a wide brown table, and 16, a roll top to finish. He was AWESOME! We came in 35 seconds under OT, meeting my goal of no time penalties.
After XC, we moved up to 4th to get our first 2017 AEC/Area 8 Championship qualifying score! Marcus got a few days off then it was back to prepping for Team Challenge.
I’m a bad mom so I didnt get many pictures but Frankie came to hang out at the KHP for the weekend as well. He was a good boy and stayed quiet in his stall. He got a bit *perky* when we went for walks by the stadium ring but that will get better with time and exposure. He was pretty excited when he saw horses jumping and heard the announcer but settled quickly back down when we headed back to the barn. I hope to get him out a bit more this winter and next spring.
All loaded up to go home: