Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fandango Shines at his Second Event

Well it was a long, hot, but fabulous weekend! We headed down to my parents farm Saturday morning after I worked. The weather was perfect for driving - warm and over cast. Not too bright, and not too hot to need the AC. The horses all travelled well and arrived at the farm bright eyed and relaxed. We went for a short hack and did a small dressage school that afternoon before heading to the event location to walk the course.

This is one of my favorite events. I've been to it so many times from the time I was young, and schooling that I really feel comfortable on the course there. So we walked the stadium course first which looked really nice. Not too simple, but not asking anything crazy. This event is known for its difficult stadium but I have always loved their courses. The jumps were set at the appropriate height for the pre-entry as well. I find some places have them a bit large for such a small level. I was really happy with the stadium course.

After walking the stadium we walked the cross country course. I took pics of all the fences but my camera has been burried in the mess of my show stuff so I will have to post them later. There is a virtual tour on the hosting farms website so I will share those photos here. The course was beautiful, well groomed and nice footing. The fences were gorgeous. Very inviting and level appropriate. Nothing too scary but not just logs on the ground. The second fence was a very interesting question. It was just a little hill with a steep decline on the other side that was flagged. I thought that was a great question for pre-entry. Something different, but easy if ridden well. The second half of the course was all heading back towards the barn so I knew I would be lucky and not have to push too hard. Ian liked the look of his course too, and we were all really excited to get out on it the next day.

We got back to the farm, washed the horses, went for a swim, had a few drinks and hit the hay. Our earliest ride time was 11:45 for Ian so we didn't have to leave the farm until 9. We all got up early and braided, while Ian made us a delicious breakfast! We arrived on schedule and Ian was the first to do his dressage. After a tense warm-up John John put in a nice steady test which landed them in third after the dressage. The pre-entry dressage wasn't until after 1 so we had some time to get ready and visit with people I hadn't seen in awhile.

While we began to tack up for dressage, the skys opened up and the heavens poured down. A MASSIVE thunder and lightening storm hit! We quickley scurried the horses onto the trailer - thank god they all load like angels! We waited about 30 minutes and the storm slithered away. The sun showed its face again and it started to get HOT. There wasn't much delay since they were running early, so off to dressage we went. I had a great warm up, but Fandango died in the ring as soon as I lost my whip. He was really distracted and was drifting towards the other ring the entire test. I worked my butt off to keep him in the right place. Overall, it could have and should have been better. We were in third after dressage, not too shabby. Susan also had a ver nice flowing test, and was 4th after dressage in the Open pre-entry.

Ian had to head straight to cross-country from the trailer so I was sad to not see him go. When I finished my test he was hosing his horse off and told me they had gone clean! Whoo, I was so happy for him and John John. Susan and I had to head straight to stadium after dressage. I walked the course again and was confident the pony would be fine. The footing was a little slick so I wasn't too sure whether I could ride it as forward as I had hoped. Susan went two ahead of me and I watched from down the rail. Joy came into the first fence nicely but slid at the base, then oops! she deer hopped awkwardly over it sending Susan airborne. She had a spectacular fall, and thankfully, was not hurt. It could have been a lot worse than it was, but she survived with a bruised elbow. The worst part was she was eliminated. Maybe they would let her do the cross country still I hoped. So, into the stadium ring I went. Fandango gave some big looks around but after my salut picked up a nice bouncy canter and popped the first fence. He slid a bit down the hill the second and took a rail, but I kicked him on and he jumped the rest of the course beautifully. One rail, a huge improvement from the 3 rails at his first event. He was such a good pony I gave him a huge hug and a kiss. Time to prepare for cross!

I can confidently say that cross-country is my strong suit. I wasn't really nervous about the course, by now the pony has seen and jumped a lot of different things at that height. I was ready to have fun and see what this pony could do! The course really really nicely, and Fandango didn't bat an eye at anything. He was game over everything! His only thing - he called for Joy and drifted left towards the barn for the entire course. I spent the whole time booting him over. I was laughing though, it was fun, and he was such a good pony. When I got off the course I gave him a hose off and untacked him. Ian was going into stadium so I headed down there to watch. He jumped a beautiful round with an unfortunate stop at the second fence. I would like to say the footing was to blame. We got permission to take Joy cross country once all the divisions were finished, so I hoped on her for Susan and got to do the course a second time! How fun is that? She was great and jumped around everything easily.

All in all it was a great day. Ian finisehd 7th, and I was 2nd. Fandango won a leadrope, some treats, and a nice saddle cover. He is really turning into something. I can't wait until our next outing!

1 comment:

  1. VERY COOL!!! You rock sooo hard!
    Loved seeing you on the course~


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