Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Aiken Update February 15th
Happy belated Valentines Day to all! I apologize for not posting sooner, I have just been so busy training up all the future champions I have with me. I have had a seriously busy and exciting last seven days, so I would love to catch everyone up with the happenings in Aiken!
The swirl of competitions began mid-week last week with Full Gallop Farm's Wednesday Horse Trials. Annelise Aurillo's, Your Lucky Day put in a great performance to finish third in a seriously competitive Open Novice division. Kara Coat's young mare Tessa also had her first go of the season in the Beginner Novice. We had a bitting issue in the dressage which made for quite a poor score, but she jumped around the show jumps and cross country like she has not missed a beat from last fall. I will be looking forward to moving her up to the Novice level this coming weekend at Paradise. She has matured a lot in the past few months, and she is shaping into a really nice mare that loves her job.
Thursday I packed up the trailer to head to the Sporting Days Combined Test with Peace Proposal (Parris), Cornwallis (Wally), and Tessa. Parris and Wally were having their first showing experience, and all things considered were both pretty good! They are very green and are getting heaps of exposure while they're down here. (Parris is pictured above learning how to behave while tied to the trailer at the show!) Unfortunately, the pilot forgot the finish flags in show jumping on both horses which made for a costly technical elimination on both rides. Don't worry, I straightened myself out just in time for Tessa's ride. She competed in the novice combined test and presented a much nicer dressage test than the day before, and jumped her second show jump course clear! She had a well deserved day off after her back-to-back shows.
On Saturday, I headed off to Pine Top Farm Horse Trials in Thomson, Georgia for the dressage and show jumping day. I was really pleased with Bucky, as I felt he performed well in the dressage and I made a few errors that made for a higher score than I would have liked. He also show jumped clear, which was really exciting. I had a 7 AM tune-up with Boyd the day before that helped me get my head on straight to ride well in the show jumping.
Unfortunately, I did not have my head on straight for my cross-country ride the next morning! Bucky was jumping great and I gave him a terrible ride into one of the simplest fences early on in the course. I had an unfortunate stop, which woke me up and got me riding the way I needed to for the rest of the course. I think I got to working so much on my show jumping that I forgot how to ride cross-country a bit! I was still really pleased in how well he jumped around all the tough spots on the course, so all things considered I was happy with the weekend. He's pictured here taking a little nap after all his hard work!!
Yesterday we were lucky enough to have Boyd out on the farm all afternoon to teach me and Jenny on our horses. He got on both Wally and Parris and helped me a lot with them, so I have a good idea of what we need to work on with each of them. They are equally green but in very different ways, so I need to have a very different focus with each of them.
I have a busy weekend coming up, with the Aurillos, Danekers, and Kanes arriving! We are very excited to go out to Takosushi and enjoy a beautiful weekend at Paradise Horse Trials. Stay warm and I will post again soon!