After the total high that was Windridge Horse Trials, I’m already looking forward to the next one. I don’t majikally think he’ll never stop again, or expect that we’ll lead from start to finish again, but it was definitely a step in the right direction, one that I’ve pointed him towards the last 2 years and failed every time. We’ve never finished on our dressage score before…ever. He’s always had a refusal on either XC or in SJ (or both), or I’d somehow manage to eliminate us, OR I’d scratch because he’d be stopping at warmup jumps. So while ya, it was starter and all of 2’3″, it was exactly what him and I needed.
Oh, and I’m making Trainer B ride him the day before horse trials EVERYTIME. Not messing with a winning formula.
For most people, the season is coming to an end, but I’m in Area II and close to Area III so there’s still some to choose from. As I was perusing the USEA website, I saw that River Glen in TN has a starter division that maxes out at 2’6″. Bigger than the typical 2’3″starter courses that I’ve been at and sounded like the perfect segue to BN since it’d be half little jumps and half BN sized jumps. So I emailed the secretary to see if they would be offering it, and…ugh.
They ARE, but they’re running it as a one-day on Friday only with no stabling offered. Since I’m 4 hours away, that’s just not happening. Their BN course looks very inviting though, and they list it as average on the Omnibus. I’ve cyber-stalked YouTube and MyCourseWalk and the fences don’t appear to be daunting, with lots of galloping in between to get rolling.
BUT. BN = USEA record and what if Windridge was a fluke?
Another option is to go to Full Gallop the weekend before and run their starter course as one more practice before BN, then head to River Glen for BN. That would be great if the Full Gallop weekend wasn’t already a bit…full. That Friday night I’m taking my oldest kid to a concert and then Saturday I’m running the Spartan Beast: all 14+ miles and 30+ obstacles. Last year it took me 6 hours, which means I wouldn’t even be able to get to Aiken until Sunday morning. I can already tell you that even just walking the XC course (and even SJ), let alone riding it, not even 24 hours out from the Beast would simply suck.
The OTHER option I have is to brave going back to Carolina Horse Park for their unrecognized horse trial. It’s the same weekend as River Glen, but half the distance and half the cost. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?
I’m hesitant about that one because, well, my last experience at CHP was less than stellar. And not even the whole becoming a lawn dart in stadium. No, it’s because the schooling day was absolute madness and I’m NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN.
Throughout the year, they typically have the schooling day on Saturday and the horse trial on Sunday. But the November one is also a championship, so they’re having D/SJ/XC schooling on Friday, SJ/XC schooling on Saturday while simultaneously running the HT dressage, then running the HT SJ/XC on Sunday. I can already picture the chaos. When I went for the regular HT in June there were 250+ entries. With the addition of the championship, I’d imagine the entries would be even higher.
What I DO know is that P & I are heading back to Windridge for the 3rd weekend in a row, this time for XC schooling on Sunday. Then I’m hoping to get in another hunter pace the next Sunday in Tryon, and then there are 2 local jumper shows the last weekend in October to pick from.
Now I just have to decide the best route to take for all 3 phases! Feel free to chime in!
Option A: Run BN at River Glen and hope for the best.
Option B: Go to FG November 5th and do starter while trying to stay on despite having legs of jelly. Then go to River Glen the following weekend for BN.
Option C: Stick to the schooling and local shows in October and then brave CHP’s schooling HT.
P got off a well deserved Monday & Tuesday, then yesterday I went to go set up a gymnastic exercise. One of the things Trainer B noticed when he rode him is that P gets flustered if you don’t help him pick a distance, and it’s high time he learned where to put his own feet and for me to learn to stay out of his way. So I watched this handy tutorial courtesey of EventionTV and copied it at home. P’s never done a bounce before so I started with just the trot poles and bounce.
After an initial WTF moment when he considered making the bounce an oxer (I had seen it coming and had already grabbed mane) he was phenomenal through it. So I put the one-stride vertical up, and while in the past P has balked when he’s seen a mess of poles (let alone all different colors of the rainbow), he sailed right over. Rinse and repeat a few more times and he got to be done. So proud of this guy!