Bonnie winning her division at Midsouth with a friend who'd come to town and ridden her THREE times before the show.
Pulling out of the drive with my friend slp2, horses in the trailer, on our way to Jump Start. We've been going to shows together for 10+ years and try to always do one every year together--the whole weekend was a blast and I love the anticipation of the travel day heading for a big show.
Having my new puppy (now a grown up dog) with me this year at shows.
Today was also not too shabby--took Keebler to a show for essentially the first time since June, arrived to find they were way ahead of schedule so plopped his tack on, warmed up, and got 1st and 2nd in our two jumper classes, a couple of division higher than I was anticipating starting out with! He is the coolest.
My own personal Best Moments: Going to the Colorado Horse Park for the first time. Having a fantastic dressage warm up, but then being delayed so that our dressage was ho-hum--we were tied for 7th, I think. Going double clear on one of the TOUGHEST XC courses we'd ever done at Training. Moving up to 3rd. Having a double clear, FUN SJ, and somehow winning it. Doing a victory gallop--Area V doesn't do them much.
That, and then working toward our T3DE. It was really fun working towards it. We were both feeling great. I love knowing my horse so well.
Worst memory? Coming back from my last gallop set, planning to leave that afternoon FOR our T3DE, and seeing that Paddy was lame, having torn a high rear suspensory in that last gallop set.
Going Novice for the first time at the KHP, and getting to do a horse trial at ALL since in 2011 I didn't get to do one. That feeling of galloping 17 jumps RIGHT out of stride and nailing every single one. Double clear on stadium, finishing 3rd. First ever novice, 2nd ever recognized ht, 3rd ever ht period!! Can't wait to move up to training in 2013, and here's to getting out there more!
Completing Dante's and I's first Advanced in Florida on our dressage score. Also tackling the Poplar Advanced course in March and feeling Dante grow from OMG WTF IS THIS at the beginning to OK I GOT THIS by the end. That monster course definitely made my eyes bug out, and I'm proud that we tackled all the scary stuff and only had a green mistake in a tough, tough combination. I learned more from that course than I have in a long time.
My year was tough and trying. But one of my best moments was leaving the start box at Waredaca on Toby in his first prelim and jumping around the majority of that course feeling like I was having one of THE BEST prelim rides I had EVER had. He was awesome...then he made a mistake in the water and I fell off.
The second best was at Seneca, which was not nearly as smooth as Waredaca, as he was WILD. But he was so, so good in the combinations and felt so scopey over some pretty huge fences, that it totally made up for getting run away with by a leftward leaning freight train. Of course, like Waredaca, it didn't end well, as I fell off on the backside of the last fence.
Like I said, a tough year!
We had other good moments. He was second in his second event back in the spring (after missing the entire fall season the year before). We won a prelim CT in the spring. We were 5th after dressage in an OPEN division at Seneca (that was freaking amazing!). And, the best part, I spent the year riding the coolest horse I have ever sat on....so, you know, it's hard to get too down about the results with that in mind.
This past year was a tough one for me from moving from a great community with local shows and several boarding barns on the east coast to the upper northwest of the country where horse people are fair and few between and the closest cross country course is 6.5 hours away. Also, losing my first horse in a freak accident, purchasing the completely wrong one for me, and then finally finding my current gelding, Koda wasn't an easy road either. BUT! Here are the best moments from the past year
1. First hack on Koda where he really showed his personality and I realized I had to have him.
2. Riding in a Kathy Playdon clinic and realizing that, yes, my position is still not bad and Koda has the talent to go up! (I think the words were, stop wasting your time on these 'step' and put up some real jumps!)
3. Realizing that the north has a lot to offer for equestrians, you just have to get out there and do it
I had lots because I did my first event since 2009 and it was soooo awesome to be back
The top moments would be:
- Most of the way through a xc school in September, all of a sudden Mr greenbean's entire demeanor changed, the lightbulb went off and he started get this whole cross-country thing. It was fabulous.
- Pulling up after passing through the finish flags at my first horse trial in three years having had my greenie be a super good boy in all 3 phases in his first horse trial ever.
- Going through the finish flags after xc of our second horse trial having had the greenbean not only be good but start landing and going "where is the next one?"- he was having fun!
Frankly just being able to do xc at all after several years away was just fantabulous
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)
Taking my trainer's 21 year old Holsteiner mare to her first event, her third ever competitive outing in her life. It was hysterically bad at moments, but fun. I rode all but the first two fences of SJ with one stirrup. I didn't even attempt to make XC time. Pictures
With the same mare, doing a costumed musical freestyle to Dancing Queen where I was dressed up as a Dressage Queen Pictures
Saddest was taking my pony to her last event, even though I didn't know it was going to be it at the time.
Very top, completing my very first full BN course with Sterling where three years before I had a bad fall with my now retired mare Mercedes.
At my last xc schooling session, doin a mini nationals cup taht had me going up and down a good bank, through water to a BN jump, then rounding it off with a N two stride combination. We both felt on fir that day!!
Riding my supposed retired mare in a dressage clinic and having her school me once again on how to properly ride a fully trained dressage horse. 25 she may be, but floaty trot, spot on laterals, and balanced transitions had me convinced she tapped into the fountain of youth.
There are so many memories of this year, because Sterling and I really started to "get it". May 2012 have even more.
Watching my horse positively metamorphosize and fill in his topline and hindquarters after starting to work with a new, classically-oriented trainer. Feeling both of us start to understand how I can put my leg on to fences and keep him balanced... beautiful.
For me, it was seeing my homebred 4 year old compete in the YEH competitions and finishing up the season 4th at championships. It just made me proud to see my dreams coming true, and even though he's not in any training (only has me) he stepped up to the plate and never refused a single jump or had a rail down. And he was happy. We've finally joined the eventing world....
I would have to say my best memory of the 2012 season would have to have been at Caber Farms, I was sick all weekend as in when I did have a voice I sounded like and 80yr old smoker!! Dressage was not our best but I was content with it, xc was a simple straight forward course and my guy was great considering I lost my core 1/2 way through the course so no correct half halts and poor eq over fences, then stadium we were good until the 5th fence where we had a sharp right turn to the next fence with a major miscommunication on the turn but made it over the fence and actually finished very nicely. I came out of the ring thinking I for sure knocked 2 rails but somehow still finished in 1st (also a first for that!) I was so happy and proud of how much my pony saved my a$$ all weekend. While we were packing the trailer and getting ready to go home I was talking with my boyfriend and a couple fellow eventers about how my next goal is to finish on my dressage score place in first & WITHOUT any rails next time, everybody blurted out at the same time that I in fact didn't have any rails!! I went on for almost an hour after finishing the event thinking that I had rails in stadium I will never forget that event!
I had a really, really rough season. My big goal was to go to the Midsouth CCI*, but my horse collapsed and died at his first event of the year. I was horse-less for a few months, then my lower-level horse came back from lease because of an unresolved lameness. The unresolved lameness turned out to be EPM, which was a bit of an extra blow because he already has ulcers and kissing spines and had spent most of the winter rehabbing from a suspensory strain. Thankfully although I sat out most of the season, I got back into the game and it ended on a very high note.
My lower-level guy not only came back sound from his EPM, but really stepped up to the plate this year. In early September he packed my butt around my first event since losing my other horse, despite a few tears and several near-breakdowns. Then in early October, he won his training division at Jumpstart, even though he hadn't run a training in 3 years. Just when he has me convinced that he's only comfortable at novice and below, or when he has me convinced that I ought to just retire him because I can't figure out why he hurts, he comes back to prove me so wrong. I'm so proud of the little guy!
In the grand scheme of things it's not much, but I was also very proud of my green horse for going out to his first jumper show last month and winning a class. He kept all the rails up (they were 2', so I'd kind of hope he'd leave them up...), but more importantly, he wasn't the least bit backed off and for the first time was looking for the next fence. It was a great way to end the season with him.
Well I had a kind of crappy season too, but still feel pretty lucky overall.
-jumped a 4' fence with my 4 year old (a grid - but it was cool)
-my "little" horse in training was such a reliable, sweet guy all year
-I got a pretty bad concussion (horse/rider fall at the TROT - yes, I had my helmet on) and am lucky to have had caring folks around me to help me recover.
Thankful to have recovered as well as I have so far, and back jumping. My two reliable guys let me keep plugging away at it. The people I board with are wonderful, my coach has been very supportive, and my horsey friends are great.
Plus, this weekend, I went to a Clear Rounds schooling opportunity, had a good time, AND won a door prize - I never, ever, ever win door prizes. So I hope my luck is turning around!
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng