Midsouth Pony Club HT-Part 1

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.

 

This looks so much smaller in pictures

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.

 

#hunterhairandpearls

 

© Xpress Foto 920-619-8765
Minor disagreement about pace..
Maybe my favorite picture of M ever

MSEDA 2016 End of Year Awards Dinner

This past Saturday was the Mid-South Eventing and Dressage Association annual meeting and awards dinner.  Instead of a speaker, the Board decided to do an open forum including “100 ways to get eliminated”. As a relative newbie to the eventing world, I found this super useful! The two speakers went over all of the terms we usually lump together for “eliminated” including RF, W, MR, DQ. We got to ask questions and discuss rules, tack, and behavior. I hope they do it again next year.

Marcus and I did pretty well this year!

First, I got my USEA Area 8 Adult Amateur 6th place ribbon (we missed the Area 8 awards dinner because of weather). I’ve never won any type of regional or national award so this was super exciting. I am still in shock!

We ended up 1st in Senior Starter CT, 2nd in Senior Starter HT and 5th in Senior Beginner Novice CT. Not too shabby considering we moved up in June.

I was also awarded a $500 educational grant from MSEDA to be put towards lessons.  The Board said that since I came from a unique background and I wrote about my struggles with the transition, they chose me. In return I am supposed to document my progression in a blog they will feature. I feel super lucky!

Whats in a name?

We thought for a long time about what to name our farm and ultimately narrowed the list to 3: Wanderlust Farm, Sonoma Farm and Fall Line Farm. Each name had a special meaning-Wanderlust because we love to travel, Sonoma because of my love of wine and Fall Line because of our other favorite hobby, skiing.

Ultimately we settled on Fall Line Farm because skiing was my first love long before horses. The Fall Line is the line down the mountain that is most directly downhill-if you rolled a ball from the top it would be the path it followed.

Contemplating my potential demise at Abasin

I’ve always wondering how people come up with show names for their horses. My first horse came to me with his name (High Tide), growing up on the water I thought it was a good fit so I kept it. In hindsight, he only showed twice with me so his name didn’t matter all that much.

Marcus came to me as “Moscato” and since he had a long record behind that name, I kept it. It wouldn’t have been my pick but I do love wine, so I guess it fits. I toyed with the idea of showing him under his TJC name “Eureka Graffiti” when I switched to eventing but didn’t have the heart to change it.

I like wine. I mean I really like wine…

Frankie was the first horse where I really had to think about a name for. His TJC name was “F’lar” and there was no way I was going to show him as that. I debated calling him “Petite Syrah” because he’s a little guy and it would follow the wine theme behind Marcus. Another option was “Double Helix”-a bit of a tribute to my background in molecular biology, but as silly as it is, he looks like my first horse and “Double Helix” was a name I thought about for Ty and I didn’t want that association in my head.

After much debate we settled on “Intuition” for Frankie. While it sounds random, he’s named after a bowl on Breckenridge’s Peak 6 that I skied and loved on a trip out west last year. We felt it also fit given what we named our farm. My trainer also always says “I just knew…” when she talks about Frankie, so the name fits a few ways.

I hope my “Intuition” is correct and he turns out to be a great little eventing partner for me.

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Intuition is the diamond in the top right corner. Super fun bowl!