Monday, August 15, 2011

A Blog is better late then never!

I'm back!! I can't believe it is already August, I'm officially 24 and summer is already over half way done?!

So much to catch up on considering that Otter Creek was the last blog!

We have:
Carriage House
D-Camp at Trophy Hill
Fox River Valley
Roebke's Run

Ok so lets start from Carriage House. Carriage House was an interesting show this year. Although the show jumping courses looked quite inviting to the eye with some rider questions, the horses surprisingly did not like them. I'm not sure if it was the heat and the horses weren't up to the challenge, the brightly colored fences in which I have had a variety of horses jump and not have a problem with or just a fluke. The day was rough for a lot of the competitors, starting off the beginner novice division with some falls, lots of a refusals and eliminations. Unfortunately I think the biggest problem was the "start" of things, although the BN mistakes could have been rider error, it seemed to put a hinder on everyone's cheery mood and cause some nervous chatter throughout the show grounds. This showed in the ring. Many riders were making mistakes and their mounts could tell they were nervous.

I decided to move Lucy up to Novice there, she earned a 27 in the dressage. Very good considering every one of my half halts was followed by a very "enthusiastic Lucy step". If you have seen her go then you know what I mean - if you haven't then come and watch her sometime! Then it was our turn for show jumping, she was overly exuberant in the warm up, leaping over the warmup fences. We entered the ring and she thought that those brightly colored fences were quite interesting as well as a variety of other things in the arena taking away her concentration from me. Clearing her fences with room to spare was not a problem, but keeping her attention on me was. She was very well behaved, did nothing wrong, just a few greeny mistakes. She stopped shortly at the down bank which they counted as a refusal and then stepped right off the bank. As we came around another corner there was a jump judge sitting in the corner which Lucy thought was quite intriguing. Not spooking at the judge but focusing on the judge quite intently as we came through the corner she didn't see her next fence. Had a brief stop and we turned around and she jumped right in no problem. She was very well behaved! Overall it was a good experience and now I know more of what I need to work on with her before she moves up to Novice.

Carriage House was followed by a fun week! The Jr. Board put together a fun D-Camp held at Trophy Hill. We had 12 kids attend starting Monday night and leaving Thursday afternoon. Monday was move in and the kids got settled and set up their tents. They camped right in the back yard at Trophy Hill with their horses sleeping close by in the stalls. Tuesday we did XC and Weds we did a show jumping lesson. They played a variety of games and did a lot of horse management as well. Everyone had a great time! At the end of the week all 12 kids did a musical ride for the parents - it was amazing!

Next up was a weekend away at the cabin. It was a nice two day break, although the weather was bad, Bryan and I got some good fishing in!

Then we headed off to Fox River Valley in Barrington, IL. I had Hannah going in the CIC1* there and Lucy doing the Beginner Novice. Lucy is still green at jumping, as you can see from her over jumping her fences and is still cautious at cross country, especially at the water. Although she is 8, I am treating her like a youngster because I want her to be really confident as she moves up the levels. Of course with her dressage background she put in a really nice dressage test earning us a 19. Hannah put in a lovely test as well to put us in 3rd with a 51.2. Just over 1 point out of 1st place. The cross country looked nice. My goals was to work on Hannah's rideability. I now have her going in a snaffle and am still getting used to it. She flew over the fences with ease and we came in a little over optimum time adding 14.4 time penalties to our score pushing us into 4th place. She made up for it in the stadium by putting in the only double clear round in the CIC1* allowing us to finish in 2nd place. I was so happy with her! Lucy did great as well - she ran around the XC hardly blinking an eye until we came to the water, she slowed to analyze the situation, but in my opinion maintained forward motion, but the jump judge did not agree and we unfortunately added two stops to our score. She did well in the show jumping, only dropping one rail, surprising for how high she jumps her fences! She is so fun to work with and see progress over the summer!

The students had a great time too. Maria Filsinger finished another preliminary and Abby Turnacliff took home 4th place in the training. Maura Tierney finished in 7th place in her Novice division as well. It was a fun weekend. I traveled with the Kellenberger family, Lisa as well had a successful weekend finishing 5th in her training division. Deb Stern was there as well and won the beginner novice division from a 3 way tie on a 26.5! Minnesota was well represented!

Next up was some vacation time! The fourth of July weekend Bryan & I headed up to some friends cabin for some fun in the sun. We played in the water and went tubing. It was a good break! Came back home for a few days of work and then headed off to Osh Kosh, WI for a volleyball tournament. Although my team and I didn't do so well we still had a blast!

Then I was back at it. My students rode the horses while I was away so they were maintaining a steady work program and taking care of the farm. It is good to have reliable help at home so I can get away once in awhile! Lucy's next show was at Roebke's Run, hosted at the beautiful Schweiss' Farm in Hector, MN. The few days before the show brought us lots of rain so we arrived to a very muddy facility, but none the less the Schweiss were hard at work putting out footing and draining water from the places that were not supposed to have water! We got all settled in and checked in. At check in we discovered that XC had been moved to Sunday in order to allow the footing to dry out more. We rode dressage on Saturday and then had the rest of the day to walk courses and relax. Lucy was tense for her dressage test and the judge marked her down for grinding her teeth, scoring her a 37 on a very lovely, steady test. With a double clean XC and show jumping round though she moved up to finish in 2nd place. The team did great as well. Janelle Johnson took home the blue on Royal Cootitan, Kailey Giancola on Nokomis took home 3rd, Maura Tierney on Dylan took home 4th in their Novice division and Savannah Ruhs & Grady took home 5th in their Novice division. It was a great weekend! Congrats to everyone and THANK YOU to the Schweiss Family & all of the volunteers to make it such a great show - we look forward to coming back in the fall!!! Of course thank you to my groom Maria for always being such a good help and a GREAT photographer!

Another blog to follow shortly recapping the USPC Champs in Lexington, KY & Otter Creek Summer Horse Trials!!!

Until then - take care - kick on and keep riding!!!

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