Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Carriage House 2014: The Ribboning

Optional Musical Accompaniment To This Post:

So, Carriage House was an unprecedented success. This is our 4 or 5 year going, and for the most part, it's just a bit of fun. I've never figured us in the running for ribbons or anything; it's just a fun outing for the beginning of the year to see where we are, competition-wise. But, this year, it changed.

The week prior was full of its usual drama, which I'll write about later, but long story short, we didn't get a lot of prep beforehand. I jumped him a bit on Saturday, the first time in months, and he was pulling me to the jump which I took as a good sign. It was a short session, and we hadn't been able to get much dressage practice in either.

I only got about 5 hours of sleep Saturday night before waking up at 4:30am to go get Royal. I got the trailer hooked up, Royal hopped right in, we almost got flattened by the newspaper-carrier, and we were off.

I had originally entered us in Intro A & B, as well as both 2'6" jumpers. I decided to switch to one 2' jumper to give us an easier start. Our first dressage ride was at 8:12 in the large dressage ring, and we got there at 7. So I had plenty of time to let Royal stretch his legs out on the 22' line, and he settled right in. We both know Carriage House rather well, and had no reason to be bothered by the other horses carrying on.

One point of relief is that I couldn't see Psycho McCrazypants anywhere. Maybe she decided the judges are All Out To Get Her, and decided to grace us with the absence. A gift I, for one, shall cherish. I got Royal cleaned and saddled up, and we headed to the warm-up. He was a bit bracy, so I asked him to move his hindquarters and shoulders around, and it seemed to help. He was relaxed and ready to go, so we headed out to the large dressage arena... just in time to see the horse in the arena bolting away. Oops. The rider got him/her until control and they finished their test, but Royal was watching the whole thing.

Our test started ok, but when we turned to go up the long side of the arena, Royal started cantering in his "big arena, run fast, wheeee!" way. I managed to get him to trot, and he cantered again, and I got him to trot, and the rest of the test was him going "Is big arena, why we no go fast?" So, I figured it was not going to be good, score-wise.

Afterward, we had a bit of a break. My mom arrived, and then my sister and her kidlets, and I met up with Parelli Instructor Fran Latane and her student Arianna, who were entered in the hunters and jumpers. I checked in at the jumper ring, but they weren't able to give me a ride time before my second dressage ride, so we headed over the the dressage arena. I mostly just let Royal mosey around on a long rein and we manged to go a little earlier than our scheduled time, due to some scratches. This test went a lot better. Royal really like Intro B, and he was much more focused. We had some fussy transitions and I would have like more bend in the circles, but overall I was pleased.

Then I was time to head back to the jumper arena, and take our place in line. We ended up in the spot after Fran, so we got to watch her and Princess go. They had a double clear in the first round and the jump-off (yay!) and then it was our turn.

Double-clear! It was a somewhat disjointed, and it was clear we're both rusty, but he tried his heart out and overall I was pleased with my equitation and balance. I was mostly just happy to have not made a stupid mistake and gotten us eliminated. Happy times!

So, then we had more waiting until they reset for the 2'6" jumpers. We went fairly early in that class, and had another double double-clear, but I could tell Royal was getting tired. He was both chipping and leaving long, which he doesn't do unless he's tired. But the try was still there, and it got us through. He still was happy and eager to jump.

So, the ribbons:

6th out of 9 in Intro A; 57.50%
4th out of 12 in Intro B: 64.38%
3rd out of 30(??) in the 2' jumpers.
Not sure about the 2'6" jumpers yet. I left while the class was still going on. I'll know more when they post the results this week. But hey! Not eliminated! That's pretty awesome.

Royal seemed please with himself, as he should be.

The next day we just hung out, I did some basic massage on him and hosed out the trailer. Next outing is in a couple of weeks, and I think we're ready.

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