Sunday, March 4, 2012

Revisions, Supervision, Precision and Divisions

I had the bestest (yeah, I know, not a word) horse show of the year so far on Saturday at Chagrin Valley Farms. Bastian and I showed in the 2'-2'3" Special Hunter Division. Kristin was out of town this weekend, so I had to decide between staying super safe and doing the 18" Division on my own, or putting on my big girl panties and doing the 2'-2'3" Division. I wasn't totally alone, Cindy was taking Shae and so she would be there to talk down me off the ledge in cause my nerves took over or Bastian was a yo-yo. So we did it.

We went up on Friday to school and Bastian morphed into Cap'n Crazy Cracker. There were a lot of horses in the warm-up area and both of us get freaked out by warm-ups. He was actually being pretty good until I pointed him at his first X-rail to warm up, he over jumped it by like 3 feet, and landed in what could only be considered a traffic jam, we maybe had about 3 strides after the fence that were clear, but he freaked and in the process about 5 other horses freaked with him. Awesome. So then it started going from bad to worse. I stopped on the rail for a second to wait for traffic to clear so we could do the X-rail again, and he spooked at a horse walking through the aisle in the row of stalls next to the warm-up, he spun into traffic and caused a 2nd ruckus. :( So we walked a lap (a very tense lap) and I figured I'd give it one more go to just try and trot/canter him and get him focused. I asked for the trot, we got two steps into it and I had the feeling that I was sitting on a powder keg with a fuse that was almost burned we walked and I found a very nice person standing by the mounting block to hold Bastian while I jumped off (I wasn't about to try and get off on my own....I was getting a bad feeling about it!)

So we watched Cindy and Shae school and they were awesome! It was a little crazy in the actual show ring, but Shae and Cindy just ignored it and went over all the fences and were lovely. Then we headed back to out stalls so I could get a lunge line and I switched his bit from his D to his elevator because I was nervous about how he was grabbing my D and tossing his head up like a a crazy guy. We lunged for 10 minutes, then I climbed back on. He acted so lazy on the lunge and in an effort to be polite, I didn't ask for much from him, I wanted to gallop him, but the best we could do was a canter since there were still some other people in the ring. He was marginally better, but once we get jazzed, its really hard for us to come back from it. I was trying very hard to be soft and quiet, but it wasn't going so well. He wanted to take off to the fences and I would panic and grab the reins, so I'm sure you're getting the picture, we were having some problems and neither one of us were helping the other out.

I finally made it into the show ring to school the course and we ended up trotting everything, he didn't look at a single fence, which was good, but after our lines, he would land and either take off or land and throw his head down to buck and or spin. He almost got me off one time, I have no idea how I managed to stay on top, my left foot was out of the stirrup and my ankle was near the pommel, I was convinced I was gonna hit the dirt, but I managed to stay on. We schooled the line again then trotted all the fences one last time and called it a night. I was being grabby with my hands, he was reacting to it and we were getting no-where.

We got there SUPER early on saturday morning to school again. I completely avoided the warm-up ring and went right to the show arena. It wasn't the by the book warm-up, but we got it done. I trotted two laps then headed to our first fence, he clunked over it like he was full of lead. I had my horse back! :) The fences were actually set to the height of our class and there were oxers on all the lines so it was perfect. I had to put my leg on to everything, but he jumped like a pro. We got around the course in bits and pieces twice and then I called it quits and put him back in his stall. We ended up sitting in the viewing room for 2 hours while we watched the 18" divison (which we would have rocked had we shown, lol). With just a couple of trips left we went back to re-tack and get ready. I still avoided the warm-up ring and got into the show ring while they were flatting in the other ring to school the fences/warm up one last time. We jumped 6 jumps total, the single diagonal twice and the outside line twice. He was perfect and all the crazies were coming in to school so we got the heck out of dodge.

Here are our trips: Look how good we look! Yes there is some nit-picky stuff and I needed to add leg at some of the fences, but for most of them I had leg and I said jump and Bastian said "yes ma'am!" There was no craziness like at the last show. I actually placed!! Woot, I got 8th and a 6th. They did this silly keeping the warm-up open through the next division thing so we left before they actually placed the class, so while I am keeping my fingers crossed that we placed in the warm-up (it was our best round) I doubt I actually did, there were professionals schooling clients horses in the same class and they are all huntery and lead-changey. But I don't care, I had the biggest smile on my face after all three rounds, I was so pleased with Bastian and myself. We even managed to place 3rd in the hack class and he was being a bit grabby with the reins. So more happyness. Here are Cindy and I with our super-duper awesome ponies and our ribbons:

Cindy and are looking at doing some other shows at other venues as both of us just need to get out to shows and ride. I mean Bastian and I are schooling 2'6"-2'-9" at home, but can barely handle 2'3" at shows, I melt. So it looks like we will be headed to South Farm on March 17th for their schooling jumper show, the 2' division. Then its spring break for me the first week of April and we have some serious Cross-country schooling planned. So here is a somewhat revised schedule:

March 17th: South Farm

April 21st: South Farm

May 5/6: We have two options here: Stuart Pittman Clinic in Erie, or South Farm CT

May 12-13 Winona Horse Trials

May 24-27 KDA Spring Warm-up Dressage Show and May-Daze at the Park

June 2-3 EHSC Combined Test

June 9-10 Grand Haven Dressage

June 16-17 LHPC HT

After that it settles back down, but May and June are going to be CRAZY. Hopefully both Bastian and my bank account are up to the task! I'm more worried about the bank account..speaking of, have you been voting? Its free for you to click vote at and vote for Bastian and I. And if we win, that money goes right into showing, riding, and training! Kinda like a sponsorship, but you don't have to actually spend anything. (Although if there is anyone out there interested in actually sponsoring me and helping with expenses, let me know, I'm not gonna turn it down!)

Links for voting: and

So that's our story for the week. We were awesome at the show and made some real progress. I'm super excited to go to South Farm in two weeks if that is what we decide. :P

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