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September 14, 2009

The Blues

The weather gods smiled upon us at Morven Park this weekend! I think this was the first show we’ve attended this year where it didn’t rain on us. Amazing!

Unfortunately, the good luck gods turned their backs, just a little. Poor Cleo and I went for a lovely hack on Thursday, after a short and great workout, only to have my aunt’s visiting dogs chase us back. Yikes! In the process, Cleo took a swipe at them and must have torqued a fetlock somehow. She’s already back on the mend, but I opted to leave her home from the show—we didn’t need the scores, and it’s not worth it with Devon only a few weeks away.

Midge, too, caught the blues—and not the ribbon kind. He was tight and squirrely all weekend, especially during the freestyles, and while he scored well, he didn’t put his best foot forward. It’s frustrating when his brain leaves, and I have to remember to ride him more like a stallion than a gelding—he doesn’t get better when I try and assert control. He has to believe that we’re a team, not that I’m the Alpha Female, and he is my subordinate. I think he would have been naughty in the ring no matter what I did, but I think I probably could have worked with his tension a little better in schooling.

Ella missed the wrath of the Bad Horse Show Demons and was a superstar all weekend. She did fourth level, test 3, both days, and her Saturday ride was, hands down, the best ride I’ve had on her in the ring, ever, at any level.

She was uphill, organized, fluid and balanced. The walk could have been more relaxed, and the canter pirouettes are still a little lacking. Maybe my left canter half-pass wasn’t quite the way I wanted it.

But the changes were huge (actual comment: “hind leg almost jumps up too high”), the trot work was lovely and fluid, and she finished the test happy, not exhausted. She got a whopping 71.40 percent, and she was high point at fourth level for the whole weekend. Yay!

She didn’t save any energy for Sunday, so she was pretty pooped, but she went around like a good girl to the tune of 67.90 percent, and she stayed good in the bridle the whole time, which I was pleased with. She can get a little braced in the jaw when her back is tired and the self-carriage fails, but she’s really improving with time and strength.

She and Cleo and I are off to Devon next weekend—Ella for the 4-3, Cleo for the Brentina Cup. Both those classes are on Sunday, so I’ll drive up Saturday morning, school and watch the Grand Prix kur. Perfect timing! I’m looking forward to see our WEG team hopefuls strut their stuff. Maybe the good weather will hold, and Devon won’t be underwater? (Don’t bet on it.)

LaurenSprieser.com
Sprieser Sporthorse

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