Thursday, September 30, 2010

better late than never.

the past month. give or take. has been a whirlwind. with many long trips, hours staring at homework. midterms. o ya. and almost no time on a horse.

I should start out by saying that the weekend of the area championships, I decided that it would be a grand idea to have a small accident. sadly this is the lamest story and the truth. I fell in a hole moving a bale of hay. a few hours later I was nonweight bearing. (small problem when you spend all your hours on your feet!) so off to see another ortho. thank goodness it was only a sprain and a strained tendon! (in the first set of xrays they saw a possible break!) It was a tad bit of a relief. but the doc said a boot, too which I replied. well I work at a horse farm I just dont see how that could possibly work. insert look of disbelief from doc here. needless to say I got a brace that basically only let me walk and not put to much stress on my ankle. but no riding(or running) until I could do a list of exersices. bummer!

Next thing I knew we were headed to Richland! for fred's first outing and Morris's first Intermediate back. Richland was so much fun! many thanks to all the people that pitched in to give me an extra hand! as certain things were quite limiting with being a one foot wonder. Morris put in a good dressage test, and was so amazing to watch xc! he just loves his job. every time I watch him go it makes me appreciate him more! Show jumping was not quite what we had planned but the course was quite tricky and jumps were falling down across all the levels. Fred was a little star! he was on a pro am team for PRO. (that ended up winning) but for his first go I dont think we could have asked for a better place or outcome! he finished fourth on his dressage score! you could tell he was green, but he is so cute about it, i love watching fred grow up! all in all the weekend was a huge success!

Our next outing was the AECs, but we had a quick stop at a PVDA dressage show before hand. Morris keeps getting better and better! he was the high score at 2nd level for the show! and won both his classes! go morris go!!! and off to the AECs we went. I was so excited to go, I use to live in GA, and my rents still do. Morris was super in the dressage! and then had an unfortunate moment xc and put in a solid sj. it was a great weekend, filled with lots of hanging out with old friends! lunch with my family, and lots of great riding. I love watching it is a mini education. and i almost forgot... we debuted the new quartermark! courtesy of arts and crafts night! check out the blue clover eventing facebook page for pics

The next weekend we headed to a local show with Fred! He won the dressage! which was pretty amazing, because there was a horse galloping around in warm up! Fred kept his cool the whole time ( huge thing for such a baby! ) Fred was awesome in the show jumping, because he seemed to just get the whole o were jumping a course thing! go fred go! he had a green moment xc which I didnt see which kept him from claiming the blue. (thats okay he told me back at the trailer that hes got his sights on it for morven) Freddie's owners the Ellis family came to see him go, (and feed him cookies (he told me to say that too!) ) The girls got there first rides on Foxy, (the mini bike) which looked like a blast. We are all looking forward to Fred and Morris having great rides at morven.

Whew what a past few weeks! I have to give a big huge THANKS!!! to valerie for keeping sam going for me I started riding about a week ago. I rode the first time on a friday and then headed to a dressage show on saturday. We took fred and morris too! It was fun and between not being able to ride coming up to it and having the virus I was pretty pleased with Sams performance. He got a 71. something! and won the training level division! I was so proud of him. He even got an 8 on gaits. ( I think I should stop bragging about how awesome my pony is. he might start to get a complex!) Fred gets better and better every time he goes in ring. I cant say I blame him i think it would be hard to get 17+ hands all together in a small arena to! and morris was great as well winning the first level division! It was a fun filled day with the boys! and I finally felt back at home in the saddle. Now on to fixing all those bad habits I thought I had curbed that snuck back up on me during the break! o and finish some homework too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

area championships. take one.

So this post has been a bit delayed! It has been a long past few weeks. with work work work.. o yeah and school. i have been a bit behind in getting this up! I can honestly say that the drive home saturday was a long one. but my horse is the best! There is no horse that I would rather be sitting on. sam is just such an honest horse.. and he tries. his ears are always up and he just goes.! well so for the dirty details!

I got to the barn at an unreasonably early hour, since I had to finish packing! (had to close the night before) and then braid bath. beautify! Sam looked awesome and we got to the show a bit ahead of time, which worked out well. I got on sam and had the most perfect dressage warmup. He just went straight to work. not caring about the trailer parking that was going on or the horses dodging out of the way. When he went in the ring he stayed so rideable. (which has certainly been an issue in the past, hes not bad just distracted by the judge. cars. flowers. etc) after dressage valerie walked xc with me and then sent me out on my own. The championship course had 3 jumps that I thought would be quite hard. the first was a water trough. it was pretty verticle and the top had a black tarp filled with water. complete with floating ducks. The second was the novice ditch. I had a pretty good plan on how I needed to ride it and the third was the water. not because sam is bad about it only because you had to wind around in between jumps to get in and out of it. when I was done I could not resist and atleast take a peek at my score. it was a 31.9! and the lowest score was a 30.5 so far. only about half the division was posted at that point.

As I was getting on for cross country I pictured my course and how every fence would ride about 10 times.(i have a habit of forgetting jumps!) and i can honestly say I was so happy to be sitting on sam. his ears pricked right up as a we walked into the warm up. he just knows i swear! You had to hack to the start box and sort of stroll around for a few. and sam can be pretty attempting to fall asleep in the box type of guy. but he was all business straight out of the start box and over the first jump. he was certainly moving along after the jumps. and after fence 3 we had a gallop through the woods with rocks sprayed orange so you could see them. sam thought we need to look more closely and after a bit of kicking on I had to seriously sit up and wait to the 2 jumps going out of the woods! he was like a little rocket. after that we had a gallop to a chevron. which sam spooked at! but jumped so boldly over. it really reminded me that I need to slow his foot work down to the trough and the ditch! and wow he was so good! I could go on and on about how perfect he was but I cantered through the finish all smiles and pats for the super pony.

We went to watch a few show jumping rounds and checked the score board and I saw that I was in 2nd after dressage. wow! and that I had a 20 on cross country. This totally blew my mind. SO straight to the show office I went and started the inquiry process. I asked about my stop and which jump it was and how to find the TD. so after they told me off to xc to find the TD I went. I said my horse spooked and was going a bit out through his right shoulder and jumped the fence on a angle. but never for a single second did the horse stop. TD talked to jump judges. no dice said that I had stopped and then jumped from a stand still. at this point I was crying and totally upset. I was shocked and asked what you do after an inquiry because I could not stand by and let a stop that did not happen be counted. I was told I could protest for 200$ yikes! okay I said. so I went and wrote my statement and brought my check to the show office. where the secretary tried to talk me out of protesting. I was informed that no one ever won and it was just a waste of my time and money. I kindly said okay, but I have to do this. if I loose atleast I know I tried. at this point he asked me to see if they had pictures and to talk to the photographer. I also told them valerie had seen the jump and was willing to talk to them. I turned in my form and was now waiting for the president of the ground jury to preform an investigation, after they told me whoops it was only 100$ to protest but it was 200$ to appeal. While this started I looked at the pictures (which they had of me in the air but not before.) and talked to the photographer who said he remembered me and did not remember a stop. So I tried to tell the secretary what the photographer had said, who tried to tell the TD, who flipped out! and just said I needed to leave everything alone and stay out of it. I think I spent the majority of the day crying.

but I still had to show jump and I was determined to put this out of my mind and have a good round. I started in the warm up not riding very well and being a bit to casual with my canter. then the last 2 jumps were awesome! I was ready to go.... until o wait theres the show secrtary coming up to me while im standing in the in gate and the next horse to go in. O Lara we need to talk about your protest after your round. It rattled me alot. at this point I just wanted to get out of the show jump ring and find out what happened. I lost my focus and had my worst show jumping round to date. I have never had more than one rail. I pulled 3 and they were all mine. I ran sam off his feet and past all his distances. yikes. finally on the turn to fence 7 I was like LARA pull it TOGETHER!!! sam deserves a better ride. and the last 4 were perfect.
Right as we walked out it was straight to business. I was informed that my protest had be denied. my check would be cashed. and not that it mattered anyway because I had just pulled 3 rails. (and yes he actually told me that). I was devistated. It was all I could do not to cry at that point. They showed me the statement from the jump judges which basically said my horse was cantering reared up stopped then jumped. I had no idea what to even say to that. I walked back to the trailer and packed and started to think. and this is what I came up with. (well and after consulting the rules) first an appeal is free, if I had known this I would have appealed. second the president of the ground jury never talked to me, or the photographer, or valerie, how can it be an investigation, if you only talk to the jump judge??? I honestly did not even know the name of the president of the ground jury, third they never looked at the picture. sam is up over the jump with square knees and I was in a solid jumping position which could not have happened had my horse stopped. fourth. as a competitor you should never be treated as badly as I was. and last the officals should not lie to you about the rules. (though we should all be familiar with them when you ask them they shouldn't tell you something that is not there)

Saturday was by far my longest drive home. I cried alot. and then realized that I would not be one of those people that just sat by, first thing monday I contacted the USEF and filled out all the proper forms. while my horse was perfect he did not get to show it, sadly for once through no fault of mine. I was very impressed with the USEFs fast response. The only thing that I hope to gain from this experience is that I can at the very least make sure this never happens to anyone else. Sam still got a bag of treats. some extra grain and a few days off! he doesn't know that he was anything but perfect. and while the score board might not agree. he was.

heres a link to the pictures. I will be the first to admit the show jump ones arent the greatest. but he looks super over the water trough and the chevrons. (where we "stopped"). and he shows off his awesome trot in the dressage! hope you enjoy them.

and now I really should get back to homework.