Monday, July 31, 2017

Bye Felicia - Glenarden Horse Trials July 29 2017 Recap

  Let's just say....things didn't go exactly as planned.  The entire event ended up being a total gong show, and I doubt I will return to Glenarden ever again.  That being said, I am not blaming the event for what went down with my personal day.

  It started off good. Horses loaded and travelled well, we had lots of time to get ready, and get the horses corked before dressage.  It was a good thing we did cork, the entire dressage, showjumping, and warm up rings were deep, thick wet grass.  The kind that sucks you in.  They had tried to fill holes in the ring, but added white sand in patches.  From tests I was watching, horses were spooking and tripping and slipping left right and center.  The ring was in better shape than the warm up though, and I pretty much just walked on the fence line where it was OK for my warm up.  We did a few trot lines but not much.  Too risky in that footing.

 Indy was feeling incredible. Disappointing because in a good ring, he could have laid down an amazing test.  He did his best, but I was purposefully riding inside the track and around the holes, which cost us marks. We finished with a perfect final halt, and a 58.6 (61%).  That score is comparative to what we have been getting, so I was pretty happy. I think we could have broken low 50s or high 40s in decent footing.  We did get 7s on both our canters which is his weakest part of the test so I was happy about that!  Left us 8th of 10 in the Open division.

the handsomest

that neck tho

  Stadium was not much better.  We had some time before we rode and walked our cross country course.  It looked....big, and technical, and not at all inviting for our first entry.  There wasn't really a fence on the course that scared me, just the way it was put together left a bad taste in my mouth.   I was more concerned about the higher levels though, their courses looked just ridiculous.  I could go on about the level creep I saw there and how I hate the direction courses are going, but I have complained enough on CoTH for the day.  If you want to read it go check it out there.

  Again, with the footing we didn't get much warm up.  I jumped two fences and called it at that.  The ring was better than the warm up again, but not great. My goal was to get around the tracks and avoid the worked in spots.  Indy was amazing.   The footing didn't bother him one bit.  He was bold and listening well.  I asked him to wait, and not realizing that the mud was already shortening his stride he was too short and we got close to a few of the fences.  We had three rails but to be honest I was happy to get out of their alive!  

avoiding the swamp

getting better form!

love this shot

nice bascule! Look how much of his foot is in the ground- ankle deep

  After stadium my friend Katie and I were 7th and 6th place respectively out of 10.  I was pretty happy with how the day was going so far.  I was worried about the bank on XC, it was only fence 4, coming off another fence and facing the crowd.  I was hoping facing home would be an advantage but it turned out I didn't need to worry about the bank.  I never made it over the first fence.  Cue tears. (internal tears. Eventers don't cry outwardly LOL)


attempt 2
not gunna happen :(
  I wish I could tell you what happened and why he stopped not once, not twice, but three times at that first fence.  The start box is on almost a 90 degree turn from this fence.  You leave the box, take a hard immediate right, then again left to the fence. In total it's probably about ten strides from the box.  When I got back to the trailer with my mope face on, I noticed he corked himself behind.  The first jump was max height and width.  It had fake flowers in front and old shiny hay in the manger part.  It was isolated away from all the other horses.  It could have been any one of these factors that came into play, or it could have just been that he wasn't prepared enough.  I have no idea.  I have thought a lot about it.  I will admit I can't stop thinking about it actually.

  This horse has never quit.  He is honest as the day is long.  I even tried to trot it the final time.  He just wasn't going to go over.  He was about to jump at the first attempt but slammed on the brakes.  Admittedly the footing was terrible on this fence because a few other horses had also stopped at it. My friends horse almost stopped and jumped it from a quasi-stand still.  He might have corked himself and thus the pain scared him.  He went out of the start box guns blazing. I thought for sure we were going to have a crackin' ride.  I honestly think the line from the start box and the turns just threw him off.   He turned and then felt the footing and possibly corked himself and that was enough to turn him off.

 Like I said in my last blog post I am really competitive. But the feelings here were not sadness because I couldn't place.  I was sad because I felt like I let my horse down.  Did I ride the fence wrong? Did I over or under ride?  Was he not prepared well enough? Does he not want to event?  The questions that swirl in my mind were driving me a bit mental.  It's hard enough getting eliminated but I didn't even make it over the first fence.  Thankfully, the organizer was watching and she let me jump the starter fence before I walked off course.  He gave it a BIG look but went over.

 My friends have assured me it was not either of us, just a bad day on a tough course.  Don't take it to heart and don't give up.  I am so thankful for their listening and supportive ear.  They are right.  Indy was so great in 2 of 3 phases.  He always tries to hard.  He has only been under saddle for about 9 months, I can't fault myself or him.  We are both learning to trust each other and figure each other out.  I felt horrible like I let him down trying to tackle such a big course for his first entry but Glenarden was not the same course I remember.  A lot of changes since I was there last.

  Poor Indy was so confused walking back to the trailer.  He SO wanted to be out there, his brain just fried a little at the start.  I think if we could have gotten some flow and he could see the fence head on from the start we might have had a chance.  For now, it's back to the drawing board.  Lots of homework to do before we try and make our upgrade again.

  At days end I learned a horse had to be euthanized due to a fracture after a rotational fall at the Pre-Training level.  I honestly wasn't surprised after seeing the courses.  It made me feel dumb for being sad about our day when some kid lost the horse of her lifetime.  Sometimes I don't know how I feel about eventing these days.  One thing is certain, I love my horses to death.


  1. aw i'm so sorry that it didn't go to plan :( especially to have so many little nagging issues getting in the way all day long. that's such a hard feeling - when nothing quite works the way it ought or goes the way it should. your friends are right tho - sometimes it's just a bad day. when my guy got eliminated at one of our last events at the water, i tried to tell myself that 'he doesn't know what E means, he doesn't know what penalties are.' and to just keep showing him what it means to be a good boy and get the job done so that he can come back next time feeling like he better understands.

  2. I'm sorry about the E. Especially at the first jump since you didn't get to have fun doing XC. But it sounds like the footing was just not on your side. Next time!

    1. Such a strange feeling not making it over one jump LOL

  3. I totally understand your brain... That's me through and through. Part of why I said goodbye to hunter world for a few years. My brief stint eventing everyone seems amazingly supportive and Friendly.

    It sounds to me like Indy was communicating. Footing like that isn't something to risk with the easiest of courses. I am a big believer everything happens for a reason. He could have been saving both of you. Thank goodness you will never know, but that is also the crappy side. At least you got him out and saw the sights.

    I feel your mental pain. But we all know you got this!

    1. Honestly I thought this too a bit. I like to think I am clairvoyant, and all day I just had this "ugh" feeling. Indy was probably feeling it too. I did wonder if we had of gone, maybe I would have fallen and hurt my leg or something. It was not our day. We live to fight again.

  4. Awwww, hate that you didn't get to go XC. I totally overthink those kinds of things too, hard not to!

    1. So hard not to. Such a dissatisfying feeling not getting to go XC!

  5. womp womp. It's hard not to be frustrated and feel let down - but at the same time it sounds like maybe it was a blessing in disguise considering the course design and footing?

  6. It's so hard when stuff like that happens. Was it the footing, the location, the ride, a pain thing or just an off day? I have no idea but I'm confident you'll do everything in your power to sort it out and your boy is a lucky guy. :-)

  7. He's a smart old war horse. I kind of have the feeling, like you said, he felt something wasn't right. I bet next time out with the right conditions the two of you will be back on track. :-)


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