Fair Hill 2017 Fall Starter Trial (Part 2 Cross Country)
When I ended my last blog, I hinted that we were heading to the start box for cross country. And it was funny as I got there and the starter said I had a minute, we slowly walked into the box and stood there (reins on the buckle and all, SUCH a hot QH not) and then as she counted down the last 10 secs we walked out of the box.
The first jump was not far off from the start box and I got a bit worried that I wasn’t going to get him moving enough to get over it. No worries, over it he went. I didn’t have a LOT OF horse under me (Duh) but even though he wasn’t dynamic, he was jumping well (He was bucking a bit still). It seemed to be the canter departures that triggered it so by the 3rd jump (btw this was the red table that scares me and Alli to death usually, neither one of us were bothered by it this year, #growth?). I had figured out to wait till he got closer to the jump and his tendency to canter right before it made him forget a bit about the bucking. A BIT. And after each jump he would canter with very little effort so it was an odd jump strategy for us but onward we went.
Fences 1-3 were no issues at all. As I said, the jumps were pretty low-key. I did not think I would have an issue with Remus spooking at any of them. My goals were: NOT to fall off, to get him moving more, and to not let him get sidetracked by jump judges etc. Two out of three ain’t bad!
Fence 4, I was a bit worried as there was a bit of a turn around the Novice combo to the log (bank it is not a bank) but except for Remus glancing at the jump judge there were no issues there.
The 5 fence was down the hill and was the hay feeder (not the spookier one but still lots of spookies to look at) also right after that one you go through the shady woods so it is always an eye opener. Um no eye opener here. Over it he went!
If you have a cool five minutes (ok, not that long) to kill start the video go get some coffee then come back and REMUS may be at the jump by then! (#nevergonnadothisfortime)!
Then we went through the woods to the ramp and then the train. I swear the train for intro has gotten smaller. Alli told me I was imagining things but this was not huge. But again not complaining!
I have to share this video so all can hear Emma’s sound effects (turn the volume up!) HA hilarious. What a brat. (Remus not Emma!) This was going to the ramp first.
We then went over the train and down to the logs and over to the boring water we went through. NO JUMPS IS BORING IN WATER REMUS SAYS. Then down to the ditch (which I got worried about but shouldn’t have) then up to the black box (on a hill) and the issue there was the jump judge had three or four kids there and they were doing cartwheels and handstands by the freaking jump. I KID YOU NOT. WTF. Remus was like what is that but then locked onto the black box. Thank goodness. Over that we went and we had two more jumps, the straw bales and then the last red coop thingy. We were clear. As I finished the last jump, I was relieved to be done but not as tired as I often am after these courses so knew it had not been that bad.
So, we know Remus is not fast. Not a shocker but like SLOW AS SH*T he was this time. He is usually more up at the Fall events but this day was not one of them (except in Dressage). The horse behind us almost lapped us we were that slow and we jumped all the jumps and had no problems to delay us. He was like 17 hands and yeah there is Remus with no stride, stocky Quarter Horse, 15 hands. Um yeah. See the video below for our grand slam finish (Ha lope, lope lope, jump).
Emma and Alli had stayed to watch, my friends Tanya, Jess, Kate, and Ashlee were, Megan was there, it was great!! I realized how many friends I have now that I do this and that is the real take home message!! It is only fun when you have people to share with you the excitement, the downs, the ups, and the bucks! Cause everyone was laughing at Remus’ attempts to buck (except me maybe).
Alli and me then had the long trek up to the barns again and Remus was very tender on the rocks so it took a while. It was great to talk and discuss the course with Alli (of course Dino tried to bite Remus once or twice maybe to reprimand him for all the bucking?)!
We got back up to the barn and Jess was already cleaning my stall (it looked like Remus had been locked in there for a week not 4 hours) so I went to the trailer and hopped off, as I began to untack I realized my freaking GIRTH was not completely attached so we had jumped all that with one billet undone. Um…what a mess I am (I guess when we fixed the saddle after Stadium I failed to check my side of the saddle. Oops?) Fail??
I stripped all the rest of the tack off and essentially loaded him in the trailer with Star so I could begin packing up. Got everything put away and looked up online and saw I was 10th even tho I had been double clear (yeah a 44 in dressage is hard to get over even when clear). Shrugged and was still thrilled we were clear! As I was packing, I found a shoe near my truck. Picked up and went nah it couldn’t be. Peeked in the trailer and yep! Remus was missing a shoe.
He had gone dressage, walked/trotted up the trail to the jumps with me, jumped the stadium, jumped cross country (bucked a thousand one times in each) and stepped out of his shoe as I was untacking him the end of the day. What a horse LOL right? I had to laugh as I tossed it in my truck (farrier comes this week so that works). I felt it was a fitting end to the day.
I went up and got my dressage sheet then went over to chat with Emma, Alli etc. and then had to head home to unload ponies. Remus got turnout without his muzzle as a reward for being clear! He was very happy to have his dinner and then go tell his friends in the field about his adventures. He is a brat but I guess he is my brat.
Next steps are to find a saddle that fits HIM and ME and also possible get a workup on him (he needs his fall shots soon anyway). I want to rule out any physical conditions for the bucking and lethargy etc. But otherwise we are on the wind down phase of the season. Not sure if I will do Harvestfest (first week in November) as the last event or not. I might skip it this year since the weather is so iffy by then.
But there are few combined training events coming up, I will ride with Sally as much as I can before she goes to Aiken (she emailed me the other day saying I should come to Aiken this year with Remus and that put a bug in my ear on how I might be able to do that, how fun would that be??), and get back to dressage lessons with Emily. We may not have finished out on top but I do think our jumping is getting better and we just need to polish and figure out our dressage. It was a great day!!