Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plantation Recap

Missy and I clear the Ditch and Wall (Photo by J Blair) 
I am writing this after wrapping up a very successful weekend at Plantation. I am thrilled that so many could make it to watch team Lily do me proud. I would like to thank Jill Tallman in particular for flying in from Massachusetts to cheer Bucky and I on. I was also thrilled to see Frank and his family, the Specks, the Kager clan, the Daneker's, and all the students and parents who made it out to watch. The weather was perfect throughout the weekend and I was very proud of my horses and my students. It was the first one star for Tori and Miranda. They should be very proud that they both managed to complete! It was a busy weekend for team Lily, I was riding four horses, one in the 1*, two in the 2*, and one in the 3*. I was coached Miranda and Tori while they competed their first 1*'s and Jenn as she brought home a blue ribbon for team Lily in the preliminary.

The competition started on Thursday with Mettraise's dressage. Missy (Mettraise) is still figuring out the flat work, but her test was better than her test at Richland. Hopefully, every time we go out we score just a little bit better. Thursday was also an opportunity to take a peak at the courses and build a plan for Saturday.

Thursday eased us into the competition, but things sped up on Friday with Bucky's (No Boundaries) test, Parris's (Peace Proposal) test, Cali's (California Comet) test, Espresso's test, and Wild Genius's test.  I was very pleased with Bucky's test. He clearly wanted to show off for Jill. I was very pleased to be ninth in such a large and competitive division. I am hopeful that we have worked through his nervousness and found a warm up that relaxes him. Paddy the Caddy had a very nice test in the 1* scoring a 48.6 with Tori and Cali right on his tail with a 50.5. Miranda also got off to a good start with Espresso, they scored a respectable 61.3. Unfortunately Parris was naughty, ignoring my aids and putting movements in the wrong place. Finally, Jenn had a very consistent test in the preliminary and started off the weekend well placed in eighth.

In a break from most event protocol Jenn show jumped and ran cross-country on Saturday while Bucky and Missy show jumped and Cali, Paddy, and Espresso had a day to rest. Jenn was the winner of the day, going double clear cross-country and moving up from eighth to first. Well done Jenn! Bucky had a great day as well jumping having one of a handful of clear rounds in the show jumping and moving into fourth. No pressure! Missy had a dissapointing show jumping she wasn't able to focus and we pulled three rails.

Sunday was the big day for everyone. I am so glad that so many people were around to watch! The day was action packed with show jumping and cross country for the 1*, and cross country for the 2* and the 3*. Paddy show jumped clear and both Miranda and Tori jumped well. Missy was the first horse to go cross country. True to form, she was bold and quickly jumped around the course.  I was very impressed with the way she handled the course. We moved up from 40th to 21st. Sadly, my run on Parris wasn't as successful. She has been struggling with drops, and although we schooled several in the lead up she stopped short at the fence before the drop and I fell off. Guess who will be schooling drops in the near future! The 1* was a more successful outing. Paddy continued to be fearless as he jumped around the course within the time. Tori and Miranda were equally as successful on their cross countries. Miranda jumped around double clear. Tori had an unlucky run by on course but she rode well throughout the course. Both Miranda and Tori learned a lot this weekend and I look forward to working with them to prepare for their next events. Finally it was the hour of reckoning. Bucky was very bold and fresh on course. We came in just under the time and finished in third! Well done Bucky!

Enjoy these additional photos and a few short videos: Thanks for reading and I will check in after the next competition! 

Bucky bonds with his friend Jill 

Bucky looks out for the next fence 

Missy drops into the water 

Missy heads towards the exit

Missy finds her way out of the water complex

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

August Update

Maggie keeps a careful eye on the farm
Photo Courtesy of WeatherBeeta

It has been a busy August for Lilybridge Eventing. I have been busy bringing Missy and Bucky back into work, my students have had successful several successful outings, And Rasher has been progressing nicely. I do apologize for the delay in posting but I promise to fill you in on all of Lilybridge’s successes.

I will start off with Millbrook, which seems fitting because Millbrook was an event of firsts. It was Missy and Bucky’s first competition after a break, and it was Tory and Cali’s first prelim as a pair. This is also the first time that Bucky and Missy have gone head to head in the intermediate and Bucky managed to edge out a win. I was very pleased with Bucky’s dressage test. He was tied for third in a very competitive division on a 25.6. I know he has the raw talent, and I am hopeful that we are bringing it out. Unfortunately Missy’s test was disappointing, she lost her composure going down the long side and put in some unasked for movements. We managed to recover and score a 39.6. Kaelen Speck had a similarly mixed dressage test. There e some lovely moments but her mount Regal Dancer was being difficult.  Kaelen rode nicely and earned every point she could. Tori had a great first preliminary dressage on California Comet. They earned a 36.1 and started their preliminary career strongly.

If the dressage didn’t go according to plan, Team Lilybridge managed to pull it together for cross-country and make easy work of our courses. Millbrook has been a tough event for me, but I was determined that No Boundaries would cross the finish line this time. Thankfully it was a great first event for both Missy and Bucky, they were jumping great and I could feel that they were very excited to be back on course! Tori and Cali managed to make similarly easy work of their first Preliminary (save for one non textbook ride through the water). I was very proud of Kaelen who didn’t let her disappointing dressage hold her back. She rode very well around a big and technical training. Good job Tori and Kaelen.

I capped off the weekend with two clear show jumping rounds on both Missy and Bucky. I finished sixth on Bucky, and I finished just outside the ribbons on Missy. It was a strong start for both of them. I was proud of both Kaelen and Tori for all their hard work! Millbrook and Jonah Hill lookalike in our rearview mirror, we headed home to  prepare for Waredaca.

My students had a very successful weekend at Waredeca. I was very proud of the riding on display. First off I would like to congratulate Kaelen Speck, She recovered nicely from her disappointing dressage at Millbrook and put in a great test to earn a 31.8 and second place after dressage. Great job Kaelen! Sometimes horses just don’t want to do dressage. Kaelen jumped double clear in both show jumping and cross- country and ended up wining her division. Also in Kaelen’s division Melissa Carson and Bo Brown went double clear in both show jumping and cross-country. They finished on their dressage score of 42.7 moving up from 17th to 10th. Meanwhile, Kaelen’s soon to be new partner Pet Me Pet Me had a very successful run in her training division. I got my lowest score ever on Mimi scoring an 18.60. I gave up my blue ribbon because I wanted to give her all the time she needed to get safely around the course. I am very pleased with her progress! In the preliminary Miranda Webb and Espresso managed to get another event under their belt. They had an unfortunate stop and a bit of time but they came out of the weekend more experienced and ready for the next event.

            We had just finished unpacking from Waredeca when we started packing the trailer, minus one passport for Bucky, for Richland. He must have travelled oversees without my permission!Thankfully we managed to get the passport sorted out and started our long drive to Michigan. Thursday meant dressage for both horses. Missy continued to improve on the flat but she has a lot of work left to do. Our participation in the High Performance Training Sessions will be an excellent opportunity for us to make progress on the flat. I look forward to working with David O’Connor and growing as a pair. I no sooner dismounted from Missy than I was heading back out to warm-up on Bucky. I was very pleased with Bucky’s test. Bucky was very relaxed and focused on the test. I was thrilled with his score of 48 and his placing in the very competitive division.

Friday was a less successful day for Bucky and Missy. Both horses struggled with the large and technical course. Bucky took two rails and Missy took three. Both horses struggle with show jumping, but they have both made progress. Saturday ended the weekend on a high note. I am blessed with two bold and skilled cross-country horses. I was cautiously optimistic that they could both handle the challenging courses laid out in front of them. They both jumped around their courses beautifully. I didn’t finish in the top 8 with either horse, but this event was an important step in getting both horses ready for their fall seasons. They have both come out of work focused, determined, and ready for their next challenges.

I look forward to what the fall brings for my horses, my students, and myself. I think more will change than the leaves!