Stable View H.T. June 2017 – The Competition 

As the actual competition got underway for Stable View, I was faced with my worst nightmare: the rising humidity.

Dressage was okay. It was early enough in the morning that it hadn’t gotten too bad yet though it was already pretty hot. My trainer is a stickler for the coat too. Even on one days. Even in the heat.

But our test was simply the best we’ve ever ridden. The courts were on grass but Gus is pretty sure footed and didn’t have a step wrong.

He was consistent and connected through the whole test. And while maybe we weren’t as brilliant as some, we were steady.

 

We got our lowest score of 33.75. 

Then it was on to stadium where I was really starting to wilt under the heat. My trainer had to run from dressage warm-up to get to my stadium warm-up and usually I would have been hard at work getting prepared so that we could start jumping the minute she got there. But I felt like I was going to throw up so all I was doing was walking around the huge covered arena. Somehow, I got through warm-up and headed to the ring.

 

Gus put in another wonderful round for me.

 

These were probably some of the most brightly painted and decorated jumps that we had seen all summer and Gus was a little looky. But even when I got him to the jump with a bad temp or distance, he gamely popped over everything.

 

I think we had a rub on one fence but luckily everything stayed up.

And then, the minute I got out of the ring, I just about fell off my horse from heat exhaustion. LT grabbed Gus’ reins and dragged us back under the covered where I slid off and tore my helmet off. I wasn’t wearing a coat for stadium (since I had about 20 minutes to high tail it down to XC) but even still I was dying. Luckily I had LT, Eric, and my team mates mom helping me get my head back together, walk Gus, get my XC gear on, and get to the start box.

 

I didn’t even have a XC warm-up, just let Gus stick his head in the water bucket and found enough adrenaline to get through XC.

 

Once I was on course, I forgot about the heat and humidity. Stable View’s XC was big and fun.

 

The first half was open and gallopy, asking questions that related more to up and down terrain.

 

The water was no problem for Gus and I, though I saw a LOT of the juniors having issues at this.

 

We had some major fuck ups because I thought Gus was going to go and he really considered saying no.

 

Or because I just didn’t have enough leg towards the end. I was running out of steam and so was Gus.

 

When we came off course, I suddenly realized how hot and tired I was. If you watch the video all the way through you’d probably think I was dying. I promise I’m not that unfit, it was just beyond hot and humid. Gus and I headed to the nearest water tank. He got to drink, while I slid off him and unbuckled his girth.

 

And then, I had to dunk my head in too.

Stable View was such an amazing event. It is not for the raw beginners at a level but if you feel confirmed or you are testing to see if you are ready to move up, I think this is definitely a great spot. All the volunteers and staff were beyond helpful, the grounds were beautiful, and you can tell they really want their venue to be a premier eventing location.

 

Gus and I squeezed out a 6th place in our division and a Reserve High Point for BN OTTBs. I am hoping we will be going back in January where things won’t be nearly as hot!

Stable View June H.T. – The Orange Horse

So yeah… this recap is a bit late but this horse trial was too much fun to not share. Click HERE to remind yourself where we left off and let’s wrap this up!

Yup, that’s where we left off the night before Stable View. The ultimate of all #grayhorseproblems.

Thanks to my wonderful, amazing, not at all frustrating gray horse, I had to drag my trainer and team mate to Stable View by first light because this was not going to be a quick fix.

Until looking at these photos, I honestly had no idea I was wearing my “Dappled is the new black” shirt. Oh the irony.

I’m sure I was quite the sight, pulling up and unloading two orange horses. LT actually helped me get ready because there was just no way I was going to get him even semi gray again by myself. She even braided him for me, something I would never ask her to do in normal circumstances but was much appreciated. LT is amazing.

But you know… we got him mostly clean. Just that damn tail was left with a slight hint of orange. *sigh*

Can we just pretend it was done purposefully to match the rest of our colors?

 

Area III Champs at Chatt Hills – Stadium

Well, you already know how this one ends: no ribbons and a big pretty RF on my record. Falling in stadium was definitely a disappointing way to finish the weekend but it didn’t take away from all the fun (and it was an incredibly fun weekend).

Nor does it take away just how awesome Gus was jumping. By far and away, it was our best stadium round to date (minus the fall of course) and I really do think we’re ready to up the height and the technicality. Our pace stayed steady, Gus was taking me to the fences instead of always waiting for me to tell him to go, and we were both making decisions instead of hoping for the best. It’s just unfortunate that I had some bad luck.

So what happened is this: we came off a long sweeping corner to big vertical and I knew right away that we weren’t going to have a good distance. Maybe the right decision would have been to push more forward but I was worried about getting flat and bringing the rail down. Instead, I asked Gus to give me a long spot. And he did. Gus has never jumped like he did over that fence, cracking his back and sending me flying out of the saddle. I might have been able to hold on except Gus also twisted in mid air and there was no horse to come down on to. I slid right off his side like I was doing an emergency dismount. My feet landed then I fell backward onto my butt before I just flopped down in the sand.

It felt like forever that I lay on that ground but it wasn’t even a few seconds. I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe I had come off. But I jumped up and went to Gus, who was standing just a few feet away. This was not his fault, just bad luck.

But we both came out of it mostly unscathed. I did get a pretty nasty bruise on my leg, yanked my right shoulder muscles something awful, and probably had a minor concussion from something hitting me on the forehead (?!?) but nothing major. Gus didn’t even get a scratch. He got to enjoy a few well deserved days off while I downed Advil and tried to get through my work. I’ll trade with him any day!

 

Area III Champs at Chatt Hills – XC

I only have one regret about XC last weekend…. I didn’t turn on my Cambox. *cue tears* I was just so focused and gunned that I completely forgot. Which is a bummer because it was a super cool and fun course and I wanted to share it all with you.

I will say though, that after running XC at Stable View which is maxed out and very well decorated, Chatt looked… small. Not easy. But small. And a bit plain. There were still some technical questions that I thought were appropriate for the level and all with the goal of moving you up and getting you ready for the next level.

My goal for this run was to really ride for time. I didn’t need to of course, but so far I have been coming in way too fast and I want to start working on where I am and how fast I need to be going. I knew all the minute markers and the halfway by heart so I felt pretty good about this. Gus was pretty amped up in warm up and going into the box. So when the volunteer told me “Have a great ride!” I started my watch and walked out. He was not pleased.

This was by far and away our best run ever. Gus was game for everything, rated when asked, and took everything out of stride. He was a little unimpressed but I’ll take it! We hit the first three minute markers right on point and then we got to the water.

Now, Gus was perfect to the water. He jumped “Noah’s Ark” like he’s done it a million times (he has) and powered into the water like a good XC horse. Love him.

We swung out wide to go over the table and then got to the jump before “The Hump.” This was supposed to be my 4 minute marker but we hit it at 3:30. Grrr. The water rode faster than I was expecting. But this was not an area where I wanted to power down so we kept going. The Hump was fun because it was a big mound and a much steeper downside to another fence than I’ve ever asked Gus to tackle. He got to the top of the hill, saw the downside and balked.

I could almost hear him say “are you kidding mom?!” But he trotted down gamely and then cantered out over the little fence. Good boy!

We were able to slow down at that point, and did trot some, to get back almost on our minute markers. Gus did not even bat an eye and rode so well.

I am so so proud of how well Gus did. I think part of it is that he really does like his new bit (I’ll do a post on that later) but most of it is that he actually understands his job and loves it. That’s all I can ask for! I am also really proud of myself because it wasn’t so long ago that I was looking at these BN fences and thinking “holy heck, there is no way” and now I am wanting to jump novice. It is so incredible what a good trainer will do for the confidence.

Stable View June H.T. – Pre Competition Shenanigans

Normally I don’t talk a lot about the pre-show time. Normally because it goes something like this: we got to the show, we set up, we walked courses, we rode, can’t wait for the actually show to start, woo hoo!

However, here’s how the pre-show time went for Stable View:

We had a four hour drive from the barn to Stable View that actually turned into six hours due to construction and rain. SO MUCH RAIN! Husband and I were hauling two horses this trip and there were some definitely scary moments where we could not see the road. But, luckily for us, Stable View was reporting wonderful sunny weather…

That is, the sun was shinning until we pulled in with the rain clouds. Seriously, drenched in seconds.

But the rain did manage to stop for a few minutes so that we could go walk XC.

Only to have it start thundering and lightening when we were five jumps from home.

Then the working student realized she left her helmet in her mom’s car (which was not on the grounds) so instead of having a quick lesson together, Gus and I waited and practiced our selfies under the huge covered arena while she borrows my helmet.

Then it was off to LT’s friend’s farm where we would be staying the night. Last time we were there Gus stayed in a little covered and hot-wired fence run in. He didn’t sleep all night so when I was given the option to let him stay in a big open field, I said yes. We let the horses out but they were both more interested in the grass so we went to clean up and decided to bring them their dinner in an hour.

And then I cried. And laughed, because what else are you going to do?