My pony is the coolest mare in the entire world. Just putting it out there :)
So we've finally gotten back into a bit more a routine the last couple weeks. Buck has still been gone at some clinics (at his last one he had 30 people a day and 19 on the wait list... definitely not going under-appreciated!) but is back and around a bit more permanently now. He had one of his big training camps out at Phillip Dutton's the other day and Bobby and Reggie got put on permanent Legend and Adequon - things are slowly starting to heat up for WEG!!
We were stuck in a huge heat wave for about a week so kept the horses in all day for about 4 days, which lead to a bit of cabin fever for both us and the horses. We took all the horses over to Bucks County Horse Park for long trot sets one day, which was really fun. It's funny trotting around, especially when we're not with Buck, and none of the other trail riders we see really know that they're passing some of the fanciest horses in the country!!! That was fun, though, and one day we jumped in the heat, which was crazy but we definitely kept ourselves entertained...
We started jumping at 6am to try and beat a bit of the heat, and I got to set jumps while Buck jumped Bobby, Reggie, Titanium, Ben, and everyone else. It's fun just to hear his little side comments and have him explain a bit about how he jumps the horses. He says that each horse only has so many jumps in their legs and so each jump needs to be used to better the horse. Once they've gotten better than where they started, they're allowed to be done for that day. He's not cocky or arrogant, but knows that what he's saying is right and makes both his horses and workers very confident!
We had a lesson of babies about halfway through the day. Andrea (Buck's girlfriend) rode Cosmo, a client's horse; Caroline (whose parents own the barn) rode her pony Icy; Emma rode Baby Jay (a 4 year old she's about to buy); Susan rode Archie (a 4 year old); and I rode Simon (Buck's OTTB 4-year old). We jumped around a bit and since it was so hot we had a sprinkler going the whole time in the middle of the ring trying to keep the dust down. At the end of our lesson Buck decided we should have a competition to see who could have the prettiest round. I was on one of the greenest horses but made Katie Schaaf proud, put my equitation to work, and won $5 out of Buck! Woo! This was managed while he chased us around with the sprinkler to add an element of fun and excitement to our rounds... gotta keep ourselves entertained somehow!
Yesterday was another really cool day. We went galloping at Michael Davidson's place. He's retired now, but was one of the top racehorse trainers... ever. He got sponsored by someone or other to have all the money he needed and go off around the world for a year and develop the best footing in the world. So he has a mile and a half long track up a hill of this incredible footing. AMAZING! It was also on an absolutely gorgeous property - perfectly manicured and upkept even though it's now retired, too! We took 8 horses and I got to gallop Libby, a cute little Intermediate mare. We do the track twice and the first time I got to gallop next to Buck and Bobby, which was really cool. Buck was helping me through the gallop - making sure I was standing up enough and explaining why you gallop horses side by side (when they do it like that they feel like they're racing, so work almost twice as hard while still going the same speed for their legs). Pretty awesome. When we got back to the barn later I had to poultice and standing wrap Bobby, Reggie, Ty, and Ben. I have never been so paranoid about my standing wraps!!! Luckily everyone trotted up sound and great this morning so I'm off the hook :)
This past weekend was Maryland Horse Trials 1, and I feel like it's almost getting old but Charm won!!! Again!!! I headed out late Friday night with Andrea (Buck was in Kentucky at a clinic) to the show. We dropped off Bruce Sr.'s rig and one of his horses, and stayed there overnight. Charm has now officially stayed at Bruce's place! Fancy pony :) We left at 4 in the morning for the show and I helped Andrea get all tacked up/untacked/course walked/bathed/all those other necessary things in the morning, and then she did the same for me in the afternoon. Our dressage was pretty good - a very solid Novice test. I still get nervous in the actual ring and don't put her up and together enough, but we still managed to get into a 3 way tie for first after dressage. Kelli Temple (Olympic rider for Canada) was on a fancy little baby gray, which Charm ended up beating. GO PONY!
Anyways, since it was a one day we had show jumping next, which went really well. I still don't get her quite in front of my leg enough, but she has a lot of pony preservation and takes care of me. The first 8 jumps were great, and then there was a two-stride line bending to a very upright vertical away from home. I shortened a lot coming into the two-stride (even though I knew it was long and my pony has a short stride...) so Charm patted the ground and added an extra stride, but she made it work!
So I knew at this point that I was tied for first and needed to be closest to optimum time on cross country to break the tie. As Novice is only 350 meters per minute, and I've always come in almost a minute under time, this was going to be difficult! The course rode great, and even though I didn't quite have her in front of my leg at the beginning, she took care of me and didn't even look at anything. Optimum time was 5:16 and we got to the second to last fence at 4 minute... oops... so we trotted for about 30 seconds, then did 2 huge canter circles and galloped home! There isn't a whole lot of space at this horse trials, but they have gorgeous jumps and make it work very well. SO FUN!
So we are moving right on up to Training level this weekend at Maryland Horse Trails 2, so might not bring back another blue ribbon but we will have an amazing time for sure!!!
I'm ordering pictures from the show so will post those when I get them :)
galloping (wrapping), sprinkler, maryland,