Thursday, May 17, 2012

The truth about things

The thing about horses is that one minute everything is great and then the next everything has changed.  I think this rule is pretty true about life.  This spring has been like that, the hardest thing for me has been losing North, second to that was my step moms heart attack.  My parents (bless them!) took this as a chance to let me ride one of their young horses, Dakota.  While at first this was a great plan, honestly every time I went to tack him up I wanted it to be North.  Dakota and I are finally starting to click, he is such a talented horse, so a big thank you to my parents for letting me figure it out! but to go back...

The Plan at the start of the season was to move Lena (Lady in Red) up to Preliminary, and if that went well the one star at Va.  Red Hills was awesome, and Southern Pines II was a learning experience.  The dressage was much better, but I had a bit of a blonde moment and had some poles down. I put Lena in first to close and then way to far away, (atleast I am not making the same mistakes), since I had my moment(s).. I decided to go slow cross country and just have a confident cruise around.  Lena didn't disappoint, she didn't quite understand why were going slow, but jumped amazing, (did I mention how lucky I am?!!).

This is about where Plan 'A' stopped.  The next weekend we shipped the first load of horses back to VA, and on Saturday morning Lena found it necessary to cut her leg, requiring stitches and some time off. Holy bad timing, she was totally sound, and looked at me like "its just a flesh wound, really...." better safe then sorry.  So I scratched from the fork, and made a new plan to qualify. enter Plan 'B'.

Plan 'B' was fair hill and then MCTA or Plantation. The lead up to Fair Hill was less than ideal because of the stitches I only had time to ride her twice before heading up for dressage.  Clearly not ideal, and I was in a panic about getting back and then finishing up packing for rolex (no big deal).  So needless to say I was not riding relaxed and calm, and Lena had not been jumping, galloping, or getting turned out as much as she likes (she is a teeny bit red headed at times...)  So the dressage was a repeat of Red hills, she was tense, quick, and counter canter was more flying changes.... I crossed my fingers and toes literally waiting for the score... 51... not qualifying. since the ground was quite hard I decided to Show jump, and then head home... Lena jumped an amazing double clear round. Dakota came along and hung out, he was such a star! Perfect on his first over night adventure.

So Plan 'C' was formed... at this point I decided to leave it too fate, I would do to DRPC, so I could take Dakota, and then Plantation.  DRPC was awesome, Lena warmed up great for dressage and was almost to flat in the ring, something she hasn't done at preliminary thus far.  She scored a 37.7, and was in the middle of the pack.  She jumped another flawless double clear show jumping, and I had a fair amount of time cross country (since she was running again the next weekend I went super slow!).  We ended up finishing 2nd.  I could not have been more proud, even though I gave myself a black eye. Whoops... Lena thinks that extra effort is required sometimes, and promptly jumped me out of the tack and I smacked myself in the face, with my whip non the less...(my first one ever... was totally hoping for a better war story.. ) Dakota was such a star as well, it was his 2nd event and after posting a 25 in the dressage, he followed it up with 2 double clears to finish 3rd! We lost the tie because I was a bit faster.... I didn't think he was going that fast, he just has this amazing ground covering stride.

So on to plantation we went.... Lena was perfect, and ended up 7th.  We will be heading over to Mara's for some more dressage lessons pre-VA, and I will be getting jumping lessons on everything I can!! We had some hair raising moments, because I couldn't pick a distance, bless Lena for still jumping for me.  Dakota put in another stellar dressage test, to be 4 points out of the lead, jumped the best show jumping round to date, even though I had a pole (see above about lessons, and picking bad distances!!!) Then cross country was well not to be.  He ended up pulling a shoe going down the hill to jump 3 and lost his footing right before the jump. I decided to pull him up since he was not feeling his best.  Dakota has since been out jumping and was back to his perfect self! (not that I doubted him, so he is headed to VA as well) The best part of plantation (besides qualifying for VA) was getting the illusive purple ribbon. Seriously, laugh all you want. I have been on the hunt for a 7th place finish forever!! I have every color except purple. (I was at the point were 7th would have made me happier than winning....) So atleast I can cross that off the bucket list!

This spring has been mostly full of moments of "what am I doing with my life?!?" and lots and lots of tears.. However being back in Virginia has put the spring back in my step, thanks to some pretty amazing people, horses, and moments.  I am looking forward to the one star at VAHT in a week, until then I will be that paranoid person jogging, and icing ad nauseam (just in case)..