Thursday as usual is the arrival day, hack day, set up day. The weather was chilly but we warmed up as soon as we got to work shuffling stuff from the trailer to the barn aisle. The horses settled in and were very well behaved during their hacks. This weekend was to be extra exciting as an organizer of the Ralph Hill 2011 MN Clinic Series, with Jane Braddock & Jen Johnson we decided to fly him in for some coaching over the weekend!
Friday was again a bit chilly but we were up bright and early! Maria was busy getting Hannah ready for her dressage, braiding, cleaning, shining boots. Hannah was more than "fresh" this morning and did not agree that we had to be doing dressage. She was tense and all she wanted to do was gallop around with her head in the air. She seemed to settle down somewhat towards the end of our warmup and we headed into the arena only for all of her anxiety to come back. Alison Sader Larson helped us in warm up and we worked really hard to calm Hannah down and getting her to soften and come through.
As soon as we stepped into the arena to make our way around the ring while waiting for the whistle, her stride became small and she felt like at any minute she was going to leap from the starting gate as if she were a full thoroughbred with no draft in her...well the trot work was ok, and the canter work...well a little too exuberant. As I mentioned earlier that she felt as if she were going to leap from the starting gate?...well she decided to practice that move down the long wall during an attempt for a medium canter, yes, in true Hannah B form she threw her head in the air, nose above the ears, and galloped down the long wall...Brian Ross scored her very accurately and spot on to what I guessed when I finally exited the arena. She earned a very well deserved 44.8! Oh well! That sat us in 5th place in a field of 6 riders. Both Jamie Price & Megan Moore had two horses running in the division, Poker Run and Overdraft & Widespread Panic and The Grasshopper, and Cindy Anderson had her horse Windsor.
Next up was Maria & Pete. Their warm up was nice, he was obedient in his leg yields and later movements and we practiced a few transitions and getting him really supple. I don't know what it was, maybe the weather, but as the horses warmed up they seemed to build and build upon themselves. Maria entered the ring and put in a very good test, they had some mistakes, but also some very lovely areas, earning a 9 on their entrances "Now that's a salute" was the comment from Brian Ross! Although they earned a 37 they sat in 1st place after the Open Preliminary division was finished.
Lucy Goosey was up next. Alison helped me warm up on her as well. She started out really really nice and uphill and then began to pull and get strong as the warm up progressed. By the time I got her to the ring I was having a hard time keeping her up, but managed to pull it off as best we could. Lucy strutted her stuff around to earn a 24.5 from Kate Phillips, putting us into the lead of the Novice Championship division and also having the lowest dressage score at the show.
Next it was time to go and coach the rest of my students. I had Morgan Samuelson and Ricky, Savannah Ruhs & Grady, Kailey Giancola & Nokomis, and Maura Tierney & Dylan going in Novice, then Kailey Giancola & Cherish and Emily Shirley & Ty in the Beginner Novice.
Morgan, Savannah & Kailey all were in the same division against each other and each of them put in a lovely test. Morgan & Ricky earned a 30, to put them into the lead. Close behind was Savannah & Grady earning a 30.5. Not too far behind was Kailey & Nokomis with a 32 in 4th place.
Next in the Novice was Maura & Dylan. Dylan was great in warm up, but just like Hannah earlier in the day, once he entered the ring he became a little stiff and the judge nailed her for it. They scored a 46 to sit them in 13th place.
The beginner novice students were next out, Maria & I waited for them to arrive and played with Alison's dogs Cozmo & Tini.
The BN students arrived and went right to work. With Emily entering the ring first on Ty, they put in a solid test. I was very proud of her, her dressage has come a LONG way, and it helps to have a great horse to do it on! Thanks to the Johnson's for allowing Emily a lease on their beloved Ty! They earned a 34.8 to put them in 5th place! 2 point improvement over their last score!
Kailey & Cherish went in the ring next. Her mom, Linda & I stood on the sidelines with crossed fingers hoping that Cherish's canter would be good, as we have been working hard to improve upon it. She put in an excellent test! They earned a 34.3 to put them just in front of Emily in 4th place! A 6 point improvement on their last test!
The BN students also had to do show jumping. They both rode great & had flawless rounds which moved them each up! Kailey moved up to 2nd and Emily to 3rd! Cross country for them tomorrow would be the final phase!
Overall Friday was a very successful day of rides! The horses were all good (for the most part) as well as the riders! Everyone was looking forward to XC! We headed off to walk our courses. The courses were all very similar to Otter Creek Summer HT so we all knew what we needed to improve upon from the last show (like going IN the water for Lucy!).
We all headed out for some good food and some much needed sleep in order to prepare for XC Day at Otter Creek!