Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Winter '06-'07 & Otter Creek Spring HT '07

Winter again, which means COLD and SNOW! I was done with my shows for the year following Midsouth so Hannah had three solid weeks off, which was nice and relaxing for both of us and I could focus on Lennie and his training, since he was (and still is) with me. Winter was a great time to work on our dressage and I really wanted to get my dressage scores lower. Lena and Jenny Warner are a blast to ride with. Jenny comes out every weekend and we would ride together. Before the snow Mark, Lena and I would go on hours of trail rides, they showed me all over the forests where we could ride, not like I could remember for a second which path to turn on if I were alone!

Winter involved a lot of hard training. Lena was great. My favorite is when she would help me with my lateral movements while she was on her Grand Prix horse Ymer. She would ride right next to me so we were almost touching, it was and still is so much fun! My goal was to move up at Otter Creek Spring HT to Intermediate. I did the usual May Jonathon Holling clinic ( and we had a rough start but talking things over with the Warner's we decided to give Intermediate a try.

We received a 42.8 on our dressage test, not bad for our first Intermediate test. The cross country course looked big, but I was prepared and Hannah was fit. We were ready for XC!

We had great weather and an awesome warm up. Being the first course of the year Hannah was really strong and I was struggling to control her. We headed out on cross country and negotiated the first part of the course great. There were a few new fences and she flew over them. A lot of people were having trouble at the water but we dropped in and flew over the "Otter" fence with ease and headed up towards the last few fences on the course.
It was about the 4th to last fence on the course, just a smaller bench before a bending line to some bounce banks down where we had a problem. It was coming out of the woods down a hill and Hannah was too far on her forehand. We jumped the bench but she hit it hard with her front legs, she landed fine but I was catapulted over her shoulder and hit the ground HARD. It hurt and I got the wind knocked out of me, Hannah continued on to our next jump.
Hannah waiting patiently for me to get up.

Although my lovely horse figured out where to go for the next jump I lay gasping for air on the ground. The jump judge hurried over to me and asked if I was alright and of course I'm gulping air down and can barely respond. The EMT's were called over to check on me and made the decision that I should go in for x-rays to make sure I hadn't hurt my back or neck. This was my first (and hopefully only) experience of having a neck brace placed around my neck and being strapped, literally, to a back board. My mom, Sarah Bergstrom, ran over along with some close friends including Jenny Warner, I made her promise to me to take Hannah back to the barn and give her buckets of carrots because she was spectacular. It was a long boring ride to the hospital and my poor mother was almost in tears the whole way there as I was giggling and talking like normal, though she thought I was delirious. All turned out well and the doctors gave me the okay to hobble out of the hospital advising me to lay low for two weeks and take some extra strength Tylenol. The Tylenol was much needed the next day as I was so sore I could barely move! But leaving the hospital I insisted that my mom, step dad and step brother take me immediately back to the farm so that I can assure everyone that I was just fine! I enjoyed the competitor's party and some delicious food and pampered my amazing horse.

The next morning I enjoyed watching everyone do their show jumping rounds and enjoyed mingling with everyone. I was ready to stop being so sore and go to my next horse show!

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