Well, I have a lot of catching up to do! Hope everyone has had a good show season thus far!
After Spring Bay HT we headed off to one of our more local shows, Otter Creek Horse Trials held at Otter Creek Farm in Wheeler, WI. We had been putting in a lot of time with my dressage trainers Ken Larson and Alison Sader Larson of Larson Sader Dressage and it had been paying off. Hannah continued to get more fit as the snow melted away and the footing become more workable.
Friday was the dressage. We warmed up, Hannah felt great, she was moving forward into the bit, lengthening her stride rather then taking her normal quick hurried steps, smooth transitions and just felt smooth. I couldn't have asked for a better horse that day, especially because as she gets more fit she gets a little more difficult to deal with in the dressage, especially in the small ring! We put in a nice ride to settle us into 1st place with a lead of over 5 points with a 54.1. I couldn't have been happier.
I was so looking forward to the XC as we have run around the preliminary course for the last few years, I felt like we just had to make time and we could possibly win a one star! Well of course, nothing ever goes to plan.
We had our formal jogs at 5pm Friday after the dressage. Nate Dressel, friend & groom made sure that Hannah was sparkling as I got myself ready with friend Jordynn Sahagian and Kendal Torrel. We walked around and did a few practice jogs before presenting to the FEI judges. As we jogged down the hard road I could sense something was wrong and as we jogged back I could tell from the look on the FEI judges faces that something was not right. Hannah was slightly off. I was devastated but decided to withdraw from the rest of the competition.
I immediately brought Hannah in for xrays, as she has had shoeing issues in the past and that is what I was hoping for rather than something more serious like a tendon injury. Her angles were off on her right front which was causing the lameness. All it took was a little bit of special tender love and care from my farrier, Terry Dokken with Dokken Farrier Services to get her back to normal. We later discovered that she had a false sole, and once we took off more sole she went back to regular shoes and has been sounds since...knock on wood!
I was proud of my friends and students at Otter Creek also. Kendel Torrel took 2nd in her first ever CIC* on her mare Badland's Echo. Jordynn Sahagian and Nestor won the CIC2*. Students Jen Johnson & her horse Loose Cannon took 8th in the Training division and Maria Filsinger & her horse Pete took 3rd in the Jr. Novice division. Overall we had a fun and successful weekend!
Since Hannah was better immediately after Otter Creek we continued on to Hugo, MN the following Sunday for Carriage House Combined Test in which I was entered at the Preliminary and Intermediate levels.
I was one of the first rides in the small Preliminary division of 4 riders and we scored a 31.1 on our dressage to put us into 1st place. Considering the competition was really tough in the Intermediate I was happy with a 34.8 to take 1st against a total class division of 1...myself!
Show jumping was next, I have been playing around with different bits to see what will work for Hannah. Our first round I wanted to make sure I had the control I needed, we jumped a nice slow round having only one rail down to finish in 2nd place.
Next I waited for the jumps to be put up to Intermediate height and we entered the show ring. I pushed her a little more forward to the bigger jumps and we jumped double clean and took home the blue ribbon! I was very proud with her performance that day.
Next we were headed off to Maui Jim Horse Trials for our big move on up to Intermediate!