Monday, June 21

Charm's a winner - 2 for 2!!!

So - my pony's kinda a super star. Just a little bit. She may or may not have won the first two recognized events she's been in, and both with scores of 25!!!

Buck's been gone a lot for clinics the last two weeks, trying to cram in as many as possible so that he can be home for a solid 2 or 3 months before WEG (fingers crossed!). He was in Michigan for half a week, then home for a day, then off to California for a couple days, then home for a day to give us a good cross country school. Charm jumped SO great! Andrea (Buck's girlfriend) had been really nice about helping us earlier in the week while Buck was gone, but Charm and I definitely crashed around the jump course a few days earlier. It was not pretty. Charm took care of me and managed to keep every single 3'6" jump up even when I totally shoved her underneath them, she's pretty awesome! But anyways, it was nice to have a real school with Buck for the day when he was home. We jumped a trakhener (big one!), a single chevron skinny (prelim height), a prelim corner to corner 6-stride combination, and an intermediate table into the water that Charm cleared with more than a foot!!! Buck was really happy with her and said, again, that she could run Advanced, and was totally serious. My pony's pretty cool. Buck left again that afternoon, so we got all ready for the show - big bath, and I learned how to braid for real! No more rubber bands for this chick :)

So Buck's County horse trials was yesterday was the real excitement. Brandon and Emma had the day off so we did all the barn chores in the morning, then headed off to the show at a little after 7. The horse park is literally around the corner, which was really nice, too. So we headed straight over and Andrea and Susan had their dressage tests a little after 8. Andrea and Emmy did great and were in 2nd after dressage and Susan had a little bit of a tense test, but for only having done a month of serious dressage training they were very happy with a solid 35! Caroline (whose parents own the barn) had 2 pretty solid dressage tests on Nacho and Icy, which didn't earn great scores but were much better than her schools the day before so I think she was happy. Then Charm and I went and she was FABULOUS! They kept pushing back our time, so we ended up warming up for over half an hour, which was a little ridiculous, and it was super hot, but she was great. Got a little downhill and behind my leg, but still got a 25.7 and was in 2nd after dressage!

Our cross country was soo fun. It was super hot by the middle of the day, and once again people kept getting to go before us so our time got pushed back by like 15 minutes, but Charm just hung out and then got fired up again to go round! The first three jumps were a little sticky, but then she really got into it and was fabulous all around the roller coaster, up over some big tables, through the water, into the woods, a little sticky at a set of off-set pallisaides but went over them, loped up through the outside of the woods to waste some time (novice time is still pretty slow!) , then galloped out over the last two jumps. CHARM IS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!

She lost a shoe somewhere out there, so we got one just tacked back on and then got ready for stadium. They were running about 20 minutes late (seemed to be the theme of the day...) so we hacked down there and watched Caroline's round on her Novice mare, Icy (which was awesome!), then Andrea helped us warm up real quick and we were ready :) I still shoved Charm under a couple of the jumps on our round, but she totally took care of me and the last combination was a 2 stride that was a little long, so I kicked her through that and she finished up GREAT! I really have the most amazing pony in the entire world. :) :)

And apparently the person who had been winning pulled a rail, so Charm and I got to keep up our winning streak! Got a nice black and gold pad to boot! Team BDJ did great all around. Charm and I won Novice Amateur with our 25.7, Susan and Luke won Training Rider with a 41.1, Andrea and Emmy came 5th in Prelim/Training and would've won if they had been going for time :), and then Caroline came 5th on Nacho and 13th on Icy. GO TEAM BDJ!!!!!!!!!!!!

It should be another pretty chill week with Buck and Andrea gone visiting Reggie down in Florida, but after this weekend Buck'll be back (at least for a bit!) and we can start getting ready for both Maryland horse trials. Charm and I move up to Training at the second one!!! Ahhh!!!

It was awesome having my parents out for the whole weekend, too - love you guys, thanks for all your help!

Monday, June 7

Charm the Wonder Pony!!!

SO I know it's been a little while since I wrote on here, but I haven't gotten home before 10:30pm for the entire last week!!! It's been pretty crazy but a whole lot of fun. And the highlight is - Charm won her first recognized event on Saturday!! She's got a pretty Plantation Fields halter and big blue ribbon to go along with it. We'll get to that in a minute tho...

This past week has been pretty much jam packed with getting ready for Bromont. We spent two full days packing the trailer, a gallop set for the big horses as well as lots of trot sets. Buck is riding 5 horses, which is pretty insane and might possibly be against USEF rules - haha! One horse, Haifa, was supposed to be doing the 2 star but 6 horses was way too much so he ended up not going. Today was lots of washing the horses, packing all the trunks, finding mismatched pairs of boots, and the like. I got to wash Cruise Lion who has to have a chain permanently in his mouth, which should tell you something about him... he's actually a really cool horse, though and even though he snorts like a dragon he listens really well. It's sad he'll be going back to Bruce's after this show! The barn is actually cleared out a lot, between horses going back to Bruce's after Plantation, Reggie going down to Phillip Dutton's place for awhile, and the big horses going to Bromont - the place is going to feel so empty!

So Saturday was Plantation Field - a one day event that ran up through Prelim. Buck had a ridiculous number of horses, I think 7, and so was running around and switching horses all day long. We took the big rig (a 9 horse!) as well as the 4 horse little rig so there was lots of space, which was greatly appreciated. Charm was fairly well behaved. She rubbed her braids out in the trailer (of course) and got a little bored standing in the trailer all day, but really wasn't too bad at all. Our dressage wasn't til 1:10 so we waited around all morning and I helped Brandon get all the horses ready for Buck. Before the show Buck took each of us out on the back of the dirt bike to whiz around our course once with him offering tips and advice. He offered to move me up to novice because the beginner novice wasn't going to be enough for Charm! At the end of the day decided one beginner novice would probably be enough!!!

Our dressage apparently went a lot better than I had expected. I think I was still thinking in a Training level mentality, but for beginner novice all you need is to be forward and even thinking about a bend and you get scored pretty highly. So Charm got a 25.5!!! One 9 and lots of comments about how cute my pony is, which is true :) We hung out for a little while and watched Buck ride a couple of the babies, and then everyone else was finished and I still had 2 hours before my jump times, so everyone else left in the big rig and I was left standing in the middle of a field with my tack trunk and pony at the end of a leadrope. A little sad, but there was plenty of grass so Charm really wasn't going anywhere!

Because it was a one day, we threw on her cross country tack and headed over to show jumping. One of Buck's owners was around and helped me out, as well as Buck's mom who is the cutest lady EVER. So sweet. So we popped over a few warm up jumps with Boyd Martin in the ring (who was in my division). He was on a little thoroughbred that had only been off hte track 6 weeks but already looked super cute. Boyd was very chatty and was saying he liked my pony, I love that everyone loves her! Buck and Andrea showed up right before I went in the ring to watch too, which was awesome. She overjumped a lot in the warm up, but was great in the ring and I practiced my defensive position that Buck has been working on non-stop. She felt AWESOME. Rubbed one rail pretty hard because I got her in too deep, but it stayed up, which was nice as we were winning!

So after stadium you go straight to XC, so basically just use it as your warm up, which is awesome. We hung out for a couple minutes, and then were off! Charm was a SUPER STAR. Didn't look at anything, and had a nice big flowing gallop the whole time. As this was beginner novice this meant we had to waste an entire minute in the back field to stop from getting speed faults, but it was totally worth it :)

Came off the course and Buck gave me a high five and rubbed my pony on the nose, both of which were pretty cool. I then had to quickly shove everything in the trailer and drive the gooseneck home - something I've never done! I managed not to hit anything and Charm got back safe and sounds, which was the important part.

All in all a very successful week - hopefully Buck will do great at Bromont and I can report back on that!!!

Charm has her eyes closed in this picture... but she's still adorable and a winner!!