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View Full Version : Rubicon, ground too hard! :(



Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:48 PM
I walked the course today, the footing is cement :sigh: :cry: Even in stadium!

I hate to scratch the jumping phases with my mare, since one of my students wil be competing her (she will be doing her first HT since last year, I have been working with this student on "mastering" her, which has been challenging, but she has come a long way in her riding, has had one frustration after another in terms of a bizarre string of bad luck, and is a good "horseman" with a great attitude--she deserves this chance to *finally* run Novice at a recognized event, on a horse who would be, ahem, *fizzy*, but who would definitely finish with her, probably on her dressage score ;)) However, the ground is dry as a bone, and there are literally cracks in the stadium ring, the "promised rain" seems to have dried up, skirted us, the systems have gone North of us, South of us, East of us or West of us.

So incredibly frustrating. Anyone else out there planning to run, and making the decision to "make it a CT" if we get NO rain? This is my plan, alas. I have never seen Rubicon's footing look like this! The Williams' must be frustrated also, I suspect they will have a lot of scratches.

asterix
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:13 PM
I'll admit, I was chagrined to see the ground. I've never seen it like that. I talked with Sheryl and she said it was mush 2 weeks ago and they couldn't aerovate, and then watched as the storms yesterday (which hit Waredaca HARD, and also DC) bypassed them.

There is still a chance for rain tonight out there -- the storm I got in DC last night hit around 1 am.

I'm going to go as I would really like to put my new thoughts on SJ to practice, and the XC is so straightforward and easy for my guy I think it would be a lovely reminder for him...

but if he acts at all hinky in warmup, I will scratch.

He did jump in the clinic at Waredaca with similarly hard ground and seemed fine, and unlike HRH he has no foot/leg issues, but...
yeah, it's really nasty. I was surprised.

midnightride
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:22 PM
I was sadly expecting it to be hard.... it was soooo wet this spring and then the ground just went to concert. I had pads put on my guy up front and he had some extra Adequan this week so we are going...

Beam Me Up
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:57 PM
Aw . . . I didn't walk tonight, was just going to do it in the morning, but I guess I'll just check it out and play by ear. I live further south on 15 and got a good amount of rain last night, just assumed it got Rubicon too.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:58 PM
asterix, agree--have never seen it like this at Rubicon! Argh, SO frustrating for event organizers when Mother Nature basically f*cks them sideways. :(

We continue to miss the rain, again and again. :sigh:

HRH has great feet (is barefoot, since she has never needed shoes--wasn't shod until she was 11, our second season at Prelim :)), but there is a long stretch of gravel to gallop over towards the end of the course, which is dry and rock hard. And two pasture-related leg injuries during back to back summers? I just can't tempt fate with her. My student can do the MDHT, where they work the hell out of the footing. She and her mom will eat this entry fee, but she is going to Kentucky to be a WS for Dorothy Crowell in July, so she has lots of future in front of her. HRH is now 13, so I need to protect/preserve her soundness. It's just that Rubicon has always been a "destination event", so it is such a shame on many levels. Maybe we can do one of the schooling days, if it RAINS (I will have a couple of students going on Tuesday, so plan to be there helping them anyway.)

Good luck with Mr. R, I'll be looking for you two and rooting you on (fingers crossed that the clinic stuff paid off!)

B Street Tango
Jun. 11, 2011, 12:37 AM
What a bummer! Rubicon is always a great run, well organized event. The rain has definitely only hit certain areas the last couple of weeks. Even this evening, I was playing softball in Vienna, we were watching the clouds build and everything went right on past us. Very strange! Glad HRH is is doing well enough that you're having to consider scratching due to weather and not other reasons!

IronwoodFarm
Jun. 11, 2011, 04:22 AM
My guy is going to Rubicon in OBN on Sunday. I won't make any decision until I am there.

VAevent
Jun. 11, 2011, 06:19 AM
Did they get rain overnight? And what kind of studs are you using for really hard ground?

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 11, 2011, 07:24 AM
I don't know about the rain (didn't look like anyone got much of anything based on the weather radar they showed on the 11:00 news last night :(), but we are due for some later today--maybe it will help the Sunday riders! The smaller the stud the better, so as to avoid bruising your horse's heels; the ground is very hard. A small road stud will probably suffice for traction (my very good farrier always tells me "the less stud the better if the ground is hard.") Good luck!

groom
Jun. 11, 2011, 09:01 AM
And of course, you don't have to run hard to run. You can lope around Prelim at 260 and not get eliminated for time.

FitToBeTied
Jun. 11, 2011, 03:54 PM
I watched prelim this morning and while the ground was pretty firm it was far from concrete. The course had good grass cover everywhere and that was proving a good cushion.

I was more concerned about a couple of horses I saw lumbering around the course before they were even halfway around.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 11, 2011, 09:20 PM
What a bummer! Rubicon is always a great run, well organized event. The rain has definitely only hit certain areas the last couple of weeks. Even this evening, I was playing softball in Vienna, we were watching the clouds build and everything went right on past us. Very strange! Glad HRH is is doing well enough that you're having to consider scratching due to weather and not other reasons!

Yes, it has been *extremely* frustrating, especially when one has to be a "footing Nazi". :( Thanks for the kind words, we look forward to seeing you out there with your new guy soon! Anything planned for the summer or fall with him?

midnightride
Jun. 11, 2011, 11:33 PM
Went Novice today and yes it was "hard" but even on a horse who hates hard footing we got around fine. I never pushed him and he knows his job so life was good....

GotSpots
Jun. 12, 2011, 07:06 AM
I ran around the Prelim and did not think it was too hard or like concrete. It was definitely harder than ideal, but the jumps are well located, and my horse was still feeling pretty great by the end of the course (even making up for his rider's attempt to do a little flag-reconstruction on one of the tables) and recovered well. I do have pads in, but that's his standard summer drill. Everyone makes their own choices, but I don't think it was unreasonable out there by any means, and certainly not for the BN or T horses. (And before you ask, yes we had to scratch my BN horse, but that's for a morning acquisition of some field jewelry, not because of the ground).

coloredhorse
Jun. 12, 2011, 08:30 AM
Sorry your student had to miss Rubicon, Dr.D! What a huge bummer. But I know what it's like to have to guard agains injuries when your horse has a "history;" footing Nazi, indeed! I've had to scratch last-minute myself due to footing issues. It sucks, but I'd rather eat an entry fee (or have a student do so) than risk one of my mare's future soundness. For the students, I just consider it to be modeling good husbandry; sometimes you eat your own goals and desires for the good of the animals! I'm sure you made the right decision for your mare, and as you said, there will be other opportunities!

cinnabar
Jun. 12, 2011, 10:44 AM
Disappointed to see that one rider made the time in the prelim and a couple were very close.

Beam Me Up
Jun. 12, 2011, 11:19 AM
Disappointed to see that one rider made the time in the prelim and a couple were very close.

How many time faults would have been appropriate?

Janet
Jun. 12, 2011, 11:37 AM
You have to know YOUR OWN HORSE, and make decisions, based on that knowledge. "Too hard" for one horse may be perfectly safe for a different horse.

asterix
Jun. 12, 2011, 03:04 PM
cinnabar, on the flip side, I was pleased to see that MOST prelim riders had time faults. Heck, a lot of us novice riders had time faults -- it was almost 95 when I ran, in addition to the hard ground. I did think my horse would be fine if I took it easy, and it was an important event timing-wise for us to have a confidence-building go...

SO I let him lag a little on the long gallops. Hacked him today and he is clearly fine, so that was a decision I'm happy with.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 12, 2011, 08:31 PM
Sorry your student had to miss Rubicon, Dr.D! What a huge bummer. But I know what it's like to have to guard agains injuries when your horse has a "history;" footing Nazi, indeed! I've had to scratch last-minute myself due to footing issues. It sucks, but I'd rather eat an entry fee (or have a student do so) than risk one of my mare's future soundness. For the students, I just consider it to be modeling good husbandry; sometimes you eat your own goals and desires for the good of the animals! I'm sure you made the right decision for your mare, and as you said, there will be other opportunities!

Yes, exactly, and well put (as usual ;)) I think we are all happy with this decision, and I was just pleased and gratified to see the smile on my student's face after her final halt/salute in dressage; this poor young woman has had the world's *worst* horse luck (she and her wonderful mom must be paying off some Bad Karma in a former life), so they were just happy to get there, and complete dressage with a sound horse. (Not the most *submissive* of sound horses :lol:, but still.) Modeling good husbandry is what I try to do, I did grow up in Pony Club after all, and that stuff is stuck in my brain for all eternity!

As for running on hard ground, what Janet said. (When my mare was younger, I did Loudoun at Oatlands and fretted a bit about the ground, but ran her there anyway, at Training. She hadn't had the injuries at that point, and I iced her legs afterward--she was fine. I think it is, indeed, situational, and you have to make the decision based on various factors, specific to you and your horse.)

asterix, it was great to see you and The Baby out there, facing your (his!) demons, and conquering them. It's all grist for the mill, so onward and upward.

I was personally very frustrated because Rubicon is SUCH a great event (a "destination event"), and I love the courses (they were as inviting as ever this spring), just bad weather luck. It happens! *sigh* (But since I never know which one will be her last one, I hated to miss an opportunity, especially to give the student a good learning experience.) I may take her out to the schooling day (have a couple of students going) and do a little bit here and there, there are areas where the ground is less hard, AND we finally got some rain this afternoon. Halleliuah!

yellowbritches
Jun. 12, 2011, 09:02 PM
I pulled Toby up after the third fence on xc today. I had no idea what he thought of hard going, and debated not running (the ground was one of only several reasons...it was a rough weekend). But, once I got going today, I was enjoying him (I wasn't enjoying my riding in sj, but that's another story), so decided to give it a go. He was not loving the going between 1 and 2, but I knew that was the worst of it, so I waited to see what he thought in the softer going in the woods. Still didn't seem as happy as he could have been and wasn't galloping as freely as he usually does. A bummer, but he was clearly telling me he wasn't a fan.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 12, 2011, 11:06 PM
I pulled Toby up after the third fence on xc today. I had no idea what he thought of hard going, and debated not running (the ground was one of only several reasons...it was a rough weekend). But, once I got going today, I was enjoying him (I wasn't enjoying my riding in sj, but that's another story), so decided to give it a go. He was not loving the going between 1 and 2, but I knew that was the worst of it, so I waited to see what he thought in the softer going in the woods. Still didn't seem as happy as he could have been and wasn't galloping as freely as he usually does. A bummer, but he was clearly telling me he wasn't a fan.

:yes: The first field (fences 1 and 2) had some of the worst footing; since it's a pasture, it had a LOT of holes, creating uneven spots along with the hard footing. My student's mom was shooting for GRC, and was covering the first two jumps; I stood there with her and watched about 25 horses go, lots of choppy looking gallops, and you could hear them hitting the ground with every stride. Luckily that was only a small portion of the course, but in the case of sensitive horses, I can imagine they might say "that's enough for me."

yellowbritches
Jun. 13, 2011, 07:14 AM
That's why I waited until after the woods, thinking he'd start to relax once he felt it wasn't all that horrible. But, I also didn't want to be galloping down to fence 5 (that massive square box) questioning our intent, if you know what I mean. He actually seemed a little relieved, if that's possible (having left warm up at another event to get his shoe tacked back on and having him throw a temper tantrum because we left, I expected a bit more out of him!). Still bummed, but oh well.

piaffeprincess98
Jun. 13, 2011, 08:05 AM
I rode training yesterday. I thought the ground was firm, but nothing a little icing, poulticing and hoof packing can't handle. I just felt sick the entire time and a little shaky after walking cross-country (Thank God for the beer log!). I think the heat from this past week is finally catching up with me.

The footing to the second fence was a bit downhill and I think because of that and the hard ground, people were pulling down to the base of it and getting bad spots. When my trainer and I talked about it, she just said to ride a smooth turn, take some outside rein to balance and let the fence come.

I would honestly prefer firm ground in the show jumping for this event. It can get nasty in there when wet.

We only slipped once the entire event and that was in one corner of the grass dressage ring.

But overall a lovely event as usual.

Fred
Jun. 13, 2011, 04:52 PM
There were two A Fine Romance babies (4 yr olds) in BN - Landmark's Ginger Rogers and Landmark's Legendary Romance (both ridden by Lauren Kieffer) - they did well, I think 1st and 3rd? - did anyone here see them go?

GotSpots
Jun. 13, 2011, 05:35 PM
I saw them both show-jump (well, I watched every horse yesterday show-jump. Give a girl a microphone ... ). Lauren Kiefer gave a riding clinic on her four horses on Sunday: each one had a soft, flowing, smooth, happy round, and I don't think Lauren's position got an inch out of kilter at any point. Could have been winning hunter rounds they were so pretty. I didn't see them jump around XC, but at least in the SJ, both of those BN babies were just lovely and seemed really pleased about their jockey.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 13, 2011, 09:29 PM
How wonderful, good for Lauren!! So nice to see the youngsters go around nicely and get a good experience under a skilled and tactful rider, *always* a riding lesson (and I point these rounds out to my students as a "tutorial"--do it THIS way, keep that in your head!)

Fred, my student Joy's filly (by AFR) just went to her first YEH at Waredaca last weekend, she was a superstar! Very sensible and well-behaved (and she was the only "pure TB" there, also the smallest! I think she was underrewarded as a result, though the onlookers were raving about her phenomenal floaty trot.) She is a "typical chestnut mare" in a lot of ways (opinionated ;)), but she is also brave and athletic--and has an incredible naturally balanced canter, she seems to have been born with this, so kudos to Fred!

Sorry for the hijack, congrats to the Fred babies, I will share this with Joy. (Who is pregnant with her second, so NOT riding Ginny at the moment, but has great plans for her.)


Who else is doing the schooling day tomorrow?

GotSpots
Jun. 13, 2011, 10:04 PM
Dr. D - I promise your student's wasn't the only pure TB at that YEH! My 4YO is OTTB (despite the brand that makes him loo NZ), and we had a pure TB in the 5's as well. If the mare is who I think it was, she's very cute though!

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 13, 2011, 11:10 PM
Dr. D - I promise your student's wasn't the only pure TB at that YEH! My 4YO is OTTB (despite the brand that makes him loo NZ), and we had a pure TB in the 5's as well. If the mare is who I think it was, she's very cute though!

Are the "5s" the 3 year olds? (I am completely ignorant in this area :p) You have an OTTB who is in the YEH? Very cool...The "there were no other TBs" thing is "per Joy" since she told me that all the other fillies in the class were WBs.

The filly in question has a blaze shaped like a horseshoe nail (wider at the forehead, narrows at the nose), and two hind socks. She is a bright chestnut, and yes--wicked cute! (JMO, but I am a bit biased ;))

Janet
Jun. 13, 2011, 11:24 PM
Was Joy doing the YEH (ridden)? Or was she doing the FEH (only in hand)?

Did Joy say her filly was the only TB "in her class"? Or the only TB "there" - the entire FEH/YEH set of classes?

I think there may be a failure to communicate here, as there are no "3yo YEH" classes.

yellowbritches
Jun. 14, 2011, 07:30 AM
I thought the ground was firm, but nothing a little icing, poulticing and hoof packing can't handle.
My concern is usually more the mental toll galloping and jumping can have on a horse and less the physical. I don't want my horses to start to think that every time they go out on cross country, their feet are going to sting and it is going to hurt.

Every horse is different (there is no way I could have even tried to jump Vernon there over the weekend...he HATES hard ground...I have withdrawn in dressage warm up before because he was protesting the footing so much)...and every rider has a different opinion on what is acceptable or not. The weirdest thing was the number of people who after hearing I pulled up and why who said "yeah, the ground is like concrete," but still ran. :confused:

RunForIt
Jun. 14, 2011, 07:46 AM
My concern is usually more the mental toll galloping and jumping can have on a horse and less the physical. I don't want my horses to start to think that every time they go out on cross country, their feet are going to sting and it is going to hurt.

Every horse is different (there is no way I could have even tried to jump Vernon there over the weekend...he HATES hard ground...I have withdrawn in dressage warm up before because he was protesting the footing so much)...and every rider has a different opinion on what is acceptable or not. The weirdest thing was the number of people who after hearing I pulled up and why who said "yeah, the ground is like concrete," but still ran. :confused:

Rasta is very much like Vernon and Toby when it comes to hard and/or slippery footing - absolutely HATES both (OTTB and pretty thin-soled). In all other conditions he is cheerful and very workmanlike. I've learned that once he feels that sting in his feet, continuing to ask him to hurt isn't going to turn out well...there are few places in GA with enough rain or $$$ to aerovate to make the ground good even to school...good for you, YB! :D :cool:

piaffeprincess98
Jun. 14, 2011, 08:00 AM
My concern is usually more the mental toll galloping and jumping can have on a horse and less the physical. I don't want my horses to start to think that every time they go out on cross country, their feet are going to sting and it is going to hurt.

Every horse is different (there is no way I could have even tried to jump Vernon there over the weekend...he HATES hard ground...I have withdrawn in dressage warm up before because he was protesting the footing so much)...and every rider has a different opinion on what is acceptable or not. The weirdest thing was the number of people who after hearing I pulled up and why who said "yeah, the ground is like concrete," but still ran. :confused:

I think you answered your own question! Every horse is different. My guy doesn't seem to change much with the footing. The only time his gait has ever felt different was at Waredaca one year because the dressage footing was so deep and muddy. He just got short and choppy. He actually seemed to be jumping very well, especially in stadium, this weekend.

Otherwise, we've packed around mud, hard ground and everything in between and been fine. I think you just have to be careful about how much you run them on footing they don't like. Don't do it every weekend if the footing is bad and listen to what your horse is saying (which it sounds like you did!).

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 14, 2011, 08:04 AM
Was Joy doing the YEH (ridden)? Or was she doing the FEH (only in hand)?

Did Joy say her filly was the only TB "in her class"? Or the only TB "there" - the entire FEH/YEH set of classes?

I think there may be a failure to communicate here, as there are no "3yo YEH" classes.

We are trying to derail this thread and yb and RFI are trying to get it back on track! :D I thought the FEH was for weanlings/yearlings and the YEH was for 3 year olds, but clearly I am mistaken :uhoh: I'm guessing that the FEH is any youngster shown "in hand", whereas YEH is U/S? If so, Joy's filly was in the FEH.

RunForIt
Jun. 14, 2011, 08:11 AM
We are trying to derail this thread and yb and RFI are trying to get it back on track! :D I thought the FEH was for weanlings/yearlings and the YEH was for 3 year olds, but clearly I am mistaken :uhoh: I'm guessing that the FEH is any youngster shown "in hand", whereas YEH is U/S? If so, Joy's filly was in the FEH.


No problem...I am well known for creating train wrecks :cool: Besides, I love the YEH and FEH horsies...especially when their daddy is FRED!!! :D Since you're the OP you can take this thread whereEVER!...Rubicon is a great venue - we're just all suffering Mother Nature's PMS these days (or is she in the throes of the Pause? If so, p-LEASE send the ol' girl some hormones!!!)

yellowbritches
Jun. 14, 2011, 09:13 AM
I think you answered your own question! Every horse is different. My guy doesn't seem to change much with the footing. The only time his gait has ever felt different was at Waredaca one year because the dressage footing was so deep and muddy. He just got short and choppy. He actually seemed to be jumping very well, especially in stadium, this weekend.

Otherwise, we've packed around mud, hard ground and everything in between and been fine. I think you just have to be careful about how much you run them on footing they don't like. Don't do it every weekend if the footing is bad and listen to what your horse is saying (which it sounds like you did!).
You also REALLY know your horse! :yes: Part of my problem this weekend was I just don't know Toby that well, yet.

GotSpots
Jun. 14, 2011, 09:56 AM
Exactly right. My horse jumped pretty brilliantly at Rubicon despite (or because of) the ground, while I'm sure some horses are less pleased by firmer footing and did not have good goes (or didn't run). Also, in response to the questions on time: I think at least the Prelim was fairly generously measured. I am in NO way a speed demon, and took quite a bit of time both at the stream crossings and at the tents and some fairly generous turns, and still loped home only about 30 seconds slow. I didn't see anyone burning rubber out there (but/for a couple of BN kids who were getting a bit run away with by happy ponies).

Dr. D - yes, YEH is split into 4 year olds and 5 year olds and is a ridden dressage, jumping, and gallop test plus a conformation section. 3 year olds and under are in-hand, and conformation only. We currently have a 4 year old OTTB who has done a couple YEH classes.

Fred
Jun. 14, 2011, 02:45 PM
I saw them both show-jump (well, I watched every horse yesterday show-jump. Give a girl a microphone ... ). Lauren Kiefer gave a riding clinic on her four horses on Sunday: each one had a soft, flowing, smooth, happy round, and I don't think Lauren's position got an inch out of kilter at any point. Could have been winning hunter rounds they were so pretty. I didn't see them jump around XC, but at least in the SJ, both of those BN babies were just lovely and seemed really pleased about their jockey.

great to hear, thanks GotSpots!!

Fred
Jun. 14, 2011, 02:50 PM
How wonderful, good for Lauren!! So nice to see the youngsters go around nicely and get a good experience under a skilled and tactful rider, *always* a riding lesson (and I point these rounds out to my students as a "tutorial"--do it THIS way, keep that in your head!)

Fred, my student Joy's filly (by AFR) just went to her first YEH at Waredaca last weekend, she was a superstar! Very sensible and well-behaved (and she was the only "pure TB" there, also the smallest! I think she was underrewarded as a result, though the onlookers were raving about her phenomenal floaty trot.) She is a "typical chestnut mare" in a lot of ways (opinionated ;)), but she is also brave and athletic--and has an incredible naturally balanced canter, she seems to have been born with this, so kudos to Fred!

Sorry for the hijack, congrats to the Fred babies, I will share this with Joy. (Who is pregnant with her second, so NOT riding Ginny at the moment, but has great plans for her.)



thanks for the great update, DrD! I do love to hear how the babies are doing, and please do share the updates with Joy. Another baby who has been doing well is Selena O'Hanlon's A First Romance - who won his most recent outing at OI.
Good luck to her with her babies!! (human and equine).

RFI! thank you!! ;)

sorry to take things slightly off course.....

fanfayre
Jun. 14, 2011, 03:56 PM
Another hijack!!!Especially as it has to do with FEH.
Gayle, I've been meaning to take my camcorder to the barn and tape Vida on the longe so you can see her go. Haven't actually backed her yet- I'm waiting for her chiro adjustment, if necessary, first.
I'd really like to do FEH but the closest is Rebecca Farm, a day and a half drive, so we won't be attempting that :(.
I think I'm going to try to organize FEH here in BC for a few of the later events, if I can get the support. To keep it slightly on track, by then our ground may be rock-hard, but with all the rain we've had until very recently, it's too soft we're concerned with...