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Rubicon, ground too hard! :(

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  • Rubicon, ground too hard! :(

    I walked the course today, the footing is cement 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.
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

  • #2
    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.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

    Comment


    • #3
      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...
      owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          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.

          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!)
          "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

          "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

          Comment


          • #6
            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!
            You can't fix stupid.

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            • #7
              My guy is going to Rubicon in OBN on Sunday. I won't make any decision until I am there.
              Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
              http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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              • #8
                Saturday update?

                Did they get rain overnight? And what kind of studs are you using for really hard ground?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  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!
                  "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                  "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.
                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by B Street Tango View Post
                        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?
                        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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....
                          owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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!
                              Equinox Equine Massage

                              In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                              -Albert Camus

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                              • #16
                                Disappointed to see that one rider made the time in the prelim and a couple were very close.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by cinnabar View Post
                                  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?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    Janet

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      The big man -- my lost prince

                                      The little brother, now my main man

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by coloredhorse View Post
                                        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 , 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!
                                        "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

                                        "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")

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