Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunset Farm 2-phase - Oct. 15, 2011

This past Saturday, Dreamy and I competed in a two phase at Sunset Farm in Waterford, Maine.  After many successful events at Elementary, I figured we might as well try to move up to Beginner Novice and see what happened.  I entered both the Elementary and Beginner Novice divisions, figuring that two dressage tests and two stadium jump courses would not be that taxing.  

My first ride time was not until around 2:30, so I did not have to leave until noon time!  It is so bizarre to leave for a horse show that late!  LOL!  I cleaned the house and barn, went grocery shopping, bought grain, and still had time to bathe Dreamy and pack the trailer!  :-P  My friend Amber came along to help and take pics!  My camera died during the first jumping round (of course!) so there are not many pics.  


Dreamy was super good, as usual.  Sunset Farm is small and there is a lot of stuff close to the ring, but she was fine.  One poor young rider fell off her pony when it tripped right before our test, and was sitting directly outside the ring at A being taken care of, but Dreamy never noticed and was focused the entire ride.  She did decide in our second test that she might as well do some trot lengthenings during our three trot changes of rein.  Silly mare!  This is not First level!  LOL!!!  Apparently, Dreamy has decided that all dressage tests are now First level tests, seeing as we did F1 and F2 this year.  :-p  But other than wanting to lengthen her trot, I was really happy with how we did.  There was even a HUGE puddle at M that she trotted and cantered through....not happily, but without a fuss.  She is pretty convinced that puddles do NOT belong in dressage rings!!  LOL!


I always make the decisions about what tests to ride when I am weeks away from the show, in order to mail in my entry on the opening date.  Things that sound good while sitting at my desk are not always smart choices when actually at the show!  LOL!  I had planned to memorize the jump courses when I first arrived at 1PM before I rode my dressage.  Sadly, the courses were not yet set up!  Ugggg!  So I had to change my game plan.


I warmed up for BN Test A and felt pretty confident.  The warm up is small, but I knew that ahead of time and tried to coordinate my cantering when it was not as full.  I have ridden this test a few times in the last two years.  As long as I did not completely mess up and HALT on the first center line, I knew I would be OK.  (See story HERE!)  LOL!)  We ended up tied for first with a 33.5 in our Elementary division.  Good marks, a few 6s, seven 7s, three 8s and a few 5s on canter circles.  The judge wrote, "Super reach in walk! Canter needs to improve suppleness."





Dreamy does NOT want to get her hooves wet!  LOL!  I love my face!

Trot, trot, trot.......whoops!  She does a slow motion trot into the puddle!



Look Mom!  I do very BIG trot on the diagonals, right??
I had about an hour between dressage tests and had planned to return to the trailer and let Dreamy relax.  Thankfully it was a cooler day, so I did not feel bad that I instead had to walk over to the jump field to memorize both my courses.  There was a hand drawn map of the courses on a poster sized paper, but it was completely not to scale and made me confused.  So I had Amber hold Dreamy (thank goodness she was there to help!) and I went in and scurried about to figure out the course.  I had hoped the Elementary and Beginner Novice courses would be the same, just with different heights.  NOPE!!!!  :-(  They were different courses!  Oh crap!  So I did my best to figure them out, which took forever.  I had to run all over the place, checking fence numbers, and then try to differentiate between the two courses.  I had forgotten to have Amber bring a pen and paper from the trailer (which was parked waaay down the road), which would have helped tremendously as I am a visual learner.  Oh well.  Just suck it up and just do it was all I could tell myself. 


As soon as I felt somewhat comfortable with the courses, I had to memorize BN test B!  I had never ridden it or even looked at it before that moment.  LOL!  I love that all my tests are right on my iPhone, so it was simple enough to look at the diagrams, remount Dreamy, and give it a try!  I spent some time walking and trotting her around, with a few small 15 m. canter circles.  This is when Dreamy decided she ought to do her trot lengthenings on each diagonal  and I know I made some awful faces as I struggled to remember the test!  LOL!  But I remembered it all just fine, despite a few moments of panic about where to go next and at which gait.  We were in second place with a 39 for our Beginner Novice division.  This time we scored two 5s, six 6s, eight 7s, and four 8s!  We did well on much of our trot work and of course the stretchy walk in both tests for those 8s!  Judge wrote, "Elegant horse!  Appears to need more strength over topline to help support a more pure canter rhythm."  Or maybe she's just a pacer.....  ;-D  In all serious though, her canter has really improved and I think it is just what it is.  There are time we have gotten 6s on our canter circles which was exciting and when the canter depart is a single score, we have even gotten 7s.  But the canter is what it is.  And I am OK with that.  :-)


I had a short amount of time to return to the trailer to change tack and clothing in order to jump.  It was starting to get later in the day and the clouds were rolling in.  It had sprinkled here and there, but I really did not think it would rain.  I made the bad choice to only wear my short sleeved dressage shirt under my jumping vest.  I was hot at the time I was changing everything around to jump, not thinking about how it might cool off more as the sun went down.  Dreamy warmed up well over a few fences and then it began to rain.  And rain, rain, rain.  It poured while the sun was out, causing a pretty rainbow to appear!  That was cool....but I was FROZEN!!!  My teeth were chattering, my hands felt like ice cubes, and I was just miserably cold!  


Our first jumping round was just 2' in the Elementary, and I knew the course pretty well.  There were just nine jumps (or maybe 10...) but despite the rain and footing, I knew we would be OK.  Many horses had trouble at one of the fences, a blue, pink, and white gate.  Dreamy just sailed over it!  :-D  We ended up going clean, tied for first, but the collective marks on our dressage test were just a bit lower, so we ended up second.  Yay Dreamy!


Our second jumping round was raised up to 2'6" for Beginner Novice.  We also had twelve jumps and a one stride combination.  I was a bit nervous, as I knew the footing was getting slippery and the jumps were higher than anything we have done at a show before.  I had Amber hold Dreamy again while I walked the course, as I wanted to make double sure I knew it.  It took a minute for them to raise the jumps, so I had plenty of time.  It started to DOWNPOUR, but I just memorized it quickly, hopped on, and went first!


Dreamy was perfect!!!  She never hesitated and jumped everything without any problems.  I am sure I got in her way and my position was not the best, but I am so proud of her for doing so well our first time out at Beginner Novice!!  She was the only horse who went clean, so we easily moved up to first place!  Yay!!!  All I wanted to do was have fun and go clean our first time out at BN, so to win was just amazing.  We even ended up winning the overall high point senior rider award!  That is so cool!  We won a pretty autumn themed basket with lots of Halloween candy!  Our ribbon were cute, as they were all purple with just the placing written on them.  I have never won a purple ribbon before!  LOL!  I think the farm was trying to get rid of old ribbons, and must have had a ton of purple ones so they just restapled the middle part on them with the placing listed, but it was still kind of fun.  Who cares about the ribbons!!  We won our first ever Beginner Novice 2-phase!  Yay Dreamy!  Hopefully next year we can try a Beginner Novice event at Hilltop or Green Acres and maybe even try the USEA rated Snowfields next August!  I know that is a lofty dream, but who knows??


Gotta love my camera on the wrong setting.  LOL!

Whee!  Love her tail!



Despite the fact that I was frozen, soaked, and got home long after dark, I would say Dreamy and I had a very successful last show of 2011!  :-)  Professional pics are here!

4 comments:

  1. I love the pictures of her going through the water. Such a good girl! Congratulations on another great show!

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  2. ..."elegant mare"...or perhaps she's just a pacer!

    Congrats to both of you, what a great day.

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  3. Sounds like an eventful day! I don't think my horse would have gone through that puddle! Well done on the over all result!

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  4. Wow! Great job!!! Dreamy looks so good in your photos!

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