This past weekend was Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trial at the KY Horse Park (I know I should venture out more, but I really love the KHP). This event is #2 for favorites-mainly because of the organizers but also because the courses are always challenging, but fun to ride. I also have a soft spot for this horse trial because it was my first ever USEA event in 2015.
Midsouth PC also runs their Novice with dressage/XC on Saturday and Stadium on Sunday, so I was really excited to see how Marcus took to the change.
Friday night we had flash flooding-I usually ignore The Weather Channel but this time, they actually called it. So, cue in panic mode for the footing for XC.
Saturday morning I loaded M up and headed over to set up, walk my course and braid. I walked the XC course and only panicked about 3 jumps- the #2 table, the corner and the half coffin. Not bad really. The footing for the most part was okay, so I relaxed about that. But we did have a few extra water crossings on course.
Dressage was not perfect but a big improvement from May Daze. We still have places where we need work (i.e. the B-E and E-B change of directions and his “SQUIRREL!” moments) but our circles were round and our transitions were pretty relaxed. My goal was below a 35, and we ended up with a 35.3 to put us 5th of 17.
I walked XC with my trainer once she got done judging and we talked about a plan for the jumps that were making me nervous. She suggested avoiding one of the water crossings because it was rushing water (you could take an indirect route from 7B to 8 to avoid it) and we made a plan. I got tacked up and headed down.
I think M was a bit confused but warmed up perfectly, and they asked me to head to the box a few rides early with only a 30 second count down. No turning back now.
Fence 1 was a simple log and he jumped it no problem, then we headed through the gap and out to the outfield. He was locked on until we hit our extra water #1 right in front of the #2 Produce Stand table that made me want to puke. Not wanting to get muddy, I growled and kicked and we jumped it. The corner was #5 which we had planned to jump dead center, but alas my fearless eventing partner was too busy spooking at the flower and we jumped it right of center.
The middle of the course flowed really well even though we were conservative on pace-there were a few places where the footing was just so so in the outfield so I figured a sound horse was better than time faults.
Fences 14-17 were back in the infield. Fence 14 was a large roll top, then 5 or so strides to the half coffin. He took a flier at 14, so in a moment of panic I yelled “WHOA” then I had to growl because he peaked at the ditch. It worked out great, and we went on to jump the last two fences and finish 6 seconds under optimum time. We moved up to 4th after that double clear.
He’s so darn cute on XC. Why did we waste so many years in the hunter ring?
Oh that’s right, because I’m a chicken shit.