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.
|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)
|not gunna happen :(|
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.