Wednesday, September 13, 2017

OHTA Championships at Caledon Recap

  I don`t know why it feels like all I am doing is recapping shows, I haven`t really been doing that much but it just seems like it`s all I have time to write about lol.  I also just realized something today.  For the longest time everyone here compared Beginner Novice int the US to Entry level in Canada but actually Beginner Novice is comparable to Pre-Entry in Canada, as Entry level here is bigger at 2`9 and can be up to 3`in stadium. Learn something new every day I guess.

 Anyways, onto the Champs!  My friend Katie and I dropped back down to Pre-Entry to attend the Ontario Horse Trials Championships to be held at the Caledon Hunt Club.  I have never been to this event so that is always exciting to see a new venue and ride a new course.  I had a pretty relaxed feeling coming up to the event.  Coming off a great finish at Entry level at Glen Oro, and dropping down a level for the Champs, Katie and I were both thinking this would be a fun, confidence building event for both our horses.

  We didn`t escape the early wake up this time, and I was up and out of bed by 3:30am.  I braided Indy that morning and headed to Katies, where I park my trailer and she drives us up in her trailer with her dad as our driver.  They have a brand new cozy three horse and new truck complete with horse cam to watch them on the drive, you really can`t beat it.  It`s pretty sweet to watch them on the drive - Indy literally spends the entire time eating and it cracks me up.

  We walked the course upon arrival and got our packages. The course was very cute, only a few maxed fences, but lots to look at, hills and some galloping.  It looked easy and fun.  When we returned from our course walk and someone had parked right beside us, put up a tent complete with BBQ and had their horses right where we were going to tie ours.  I politely asked them if they could move their tent behind their trailer as we had no where to tie our horses.  The other side was already full of horses and since we were there first....blank stares.  Their tent was literally three feet from our tack room door....I`m all for a party people but come on, park where there is space.  We had to move our trailer a few feet to the other side and try not to squish those neighbors.  Eventing is usually full of cool people but these ones were not cool whatsoever.

so fancy

trying to push lazy horse forward

 Anywho, it was time for dressage.  We were all spiffied up and Indy felt great.  Until I got the warm up and he started blowing his nose and head shaking constantly.  I wiped his nose, dismounted, checked his bit, checked his nose. Checked his braids, checked everything. I have no idea what it was but something was irritating the hell out of him.  He was shaking his head up and down the entire warm up.  He was clearly very bothered.  I went for a bit of a canter to see if he could blow it out of his nose and he seemed to get a bit better but it was still mildly there.  Just what you want when you are preparing to go in for your Championship dressage test. Horses. LOL

  We watched Katies test which was beautiful.  We went into the ring and Indy was very well behaved but obviously bothered, as he was a bit lazy again.  That is apparently his go to thing when something is bugging him.  He wasn`t head shaking as bad as in the warm up, he was clearly trying to be good but we did have some here and there and didn`t score as well as we can. No worries though, we were 3 points behind Katie who was in first after dressage. We were 56 and 59 respectively. 37 and 39 for the Americans, and yes, the judge was tough! 

  This event was being run with Showjumping last, like my last event.  They had a catered lunch over looking the showjump ring for competitors too which was a nice treat. So cross country was next after lunch and Indy and I were ready for it.  He felt good in the warm up, maybe a little lazy.  His head shaking had diminished but was not gone entirely.  He was blowing his nose a lot which makes me think he had a piece of hay fly up there in the trailer or something.  Once we started jumping in warm up he forgot about it entirely so it put my mind at ease.

  We watched Katie leave the start box and Indy watched her horse Lilly canter into the next field.  It was soon our turn and we were off.  Indy just galloped the course like it was a freakin hunter derby.  He found all his distances, we galloped, we jumped, we did lead changes, we only had one moment of looking at a fence but it was the Training bank out of the water that he was spooling at beside his number 12.  I gave him a good smack and he turned his focus back to his fence and popped over.  It was after this fence I realized we were going wayyy too fast for Pre-Entry.  I was hoping to be about 45 seconds left at this time and I had 1:25.  I brought him back to a nice quiet canter for the remaining 2 fences on course but it wasn`t enough.  We finished clear but with 7 time faults for going too fast. Whoops.  That is something I definitely could have prevented but it really doesn`t bother me, I would rather him jump nicely out of stride and keep a good pace for when he moves up to higher levels. It was a really fun confidence building course.

over the first

cute #2

  Katie was also clean on her mare and that gave her a bigger lead over me of 10 points.  We headed into stadium warm up and it was a bit of a zoo.  Indy was still headshaking every now and then, but when I started jumping once again he quit.  I only jumped a few times and then just sat and waited by the ring.  He was jumping nicely up and over, and hitting his distances so there wasn`t any point in drilling in the dusty warm up ring with like 100 other riders.  We were supposed to run in reverse order but the ring steward was not aware so Katie went in first.  The tack check had told me my open front boots had slipped but she fixed them for me, and showed me how to put them on differently so they don`t slip. Apparently sheepskin boots have tricks, I thanked her for her help and knowledge.  Such nice people running this event!

  We watched as Katie and Lilly rocked around the stadium course.  She had a few good rubs but luck was on her side and she jumped clear to finish on her dressage score.  A first for her and with that a huge accomplishment and clinched the win!  There wasn`t much pressure on me now, but I hate adding anything to my score so I really wanted to jump clean in there, and that we did.  Indy might be the most enjoyable showjumping horse I have ever ridden. He is steady, adjustable, and he always lifts his legs extra high when I ask him to.  He was a star.  We finished with those 7 time faults added to our dressage score in 2nd place.  I still count that as Indy finishing on his dressage because those time faults were all my fault LOL.

I love his expression :)

this jump is gorgeous!

locked on

  I gave Katie a high five when I left the ring.  So proud of us both for taking these green horses and doing all the work ourselves, to finish 1 and 2 in Ontario in the Open Pre Entry division. Our total cost of horses combined is $500 which just adds to how great these Thoroughbreds are.  We had to wait around a bit before getting ready for home because we had award presentations and....VICTORY GALLOP!!

  I haven`t been to an event with a Victory Gallop in about 15 years.  I was soooo pumped for this.  We got our ribbons and prizes, then back into the ring for the Victory Tour!  Guys, I don`t know why but this was just too fun.  The entire event was an absolute blast, and our horses were total stars.  Can`t wait to try again next year at Entry level.

Katie and Lilly

way too much fun

  Indy has earned himself a little holiday, his next event won`t be until mid October.  I will be focusing on Valley getting ready for the RRP and Penny who is going to do an event at the end of the month.  

 Have you ever done a victory gallop??

My heart


  1. A victory gallop is on my bucket list. Man you can't get any better than yourself and your friend totally cleaning up at an event! Congrats!

  2. Omg, congrats! You guys look amazing in all the pictures and that victory gallop looked like a blast! Go Thoroughbreds!

  3. Congrats! The event sounds like a lot of fun except for the a**holes parked next to you. I probably would have just tied my horse next to their tent and let them poop on it or something. Anyway: Victory gallop!

    1. lol olivia! but actually.... probably me too. like, 'well this is the space i have to tie my horse so i'm gonna tie him here and hopefully he doesn't mess with your shit but if he does... maybe move yo' shit!' haha

    2. LMAO - the funny thing is, they were still rather close, and Indy was kicking at flies and kicked his shit pile all over their barbeque LOLLLLL

  4. wow wait, i just fell out of my chair on the cost for your two horses. Indy alone looks like a 10k tbred. WOW! great job. Congrats on it all!

    PS i used to do victory gallops riding Morgans (Not that I won that much LOL) it was SO MUCH FUN! YAY You guys!! Great job. Indy jumps SO stinking cute and his dressage is adorable too. Love him!

    1. Thank you! Yes it's crazy, Indy was given to me free and Katies horse was $500....just insane.

      Morgans would be so fun, I really like the breed!

  5. Indy looks like a million bucks, and i LOVE all those pictures of stadium shot from above!! congrats on such a strong finish - and i'm totally with ya on not worrying about the time faults considering he's so comfortable at that faster pace and that's what he'll need as he moves up. sounds like a great day had by all!! :D

    1. ha our time faults would be the other way. :) I would much rather have too fast than too slow :) I still am marveling at how well rounded he is in all three stages of the event. Kudos again to you!!

  6. Are you sure you didn't paint on that butt muscle tone like the stars do in movies? (The Faux pack) LOL. What a hunka hunka. You also look lovely lol

  7. Totally random, but I LOVE that blue jacket....

  8. Too bad about those uncool people that almost ruined your day. It was nice though that they moved their trailer as far as possible despite being asked to park closer to you by the show organizers, did then offer to move their tent which you declined, did then check with you several times that you had enough room, and did agree to keep an eye on your two horses tied to your trailer while you all went for lunch for 1/2 an hour (and kept your horses from breaking free when they spooked). Perhaps the stress of the day has affected your memory but congratulations again on finishing first and second in your class of two horses.

    1. Pretty sure this comment says it all.

      We had enough room after we moved our trailer, there was no needing to move things AFTER we went ahead and did that. But I, don't really feel like getting into a pissing match over it. It was really nice of whomever to watch the horses while we grabbed water at the tent so thanks for that.

      But It's pretty sad you have to try and belittle the accomplishments of myself and my friend when you have no idea the struggles we have both faced. It is pretty uncool, and can't even sign your name. I'll be sure to smile and wave when I see you at the events, and thanks for taking the time to not only read, but comment on my blog!

  9. As an eventer myself, I often read fellow eventers’ social media posts about their adventures as a way to feel a sense of camaraderie in experiencing the sport’s challenges, victories and read fun and/or encouraging stories. To be honest, I can’t help but feel discouraged in how this particular post has played out.

    With this being admittedly your first time at this venue, you may not be aware that parking space (or lack thereof, as the case may be) is a known issue. The organizers dictate and monitor where the competitors must park, meaning that where they park is beyond their control. Your comments here regarding your neighbours sound presumptuous and harsh and I’m certain that they would have happily been able to choose a parking spot that afforded both trailers more space if they’d been able.

    It’s ironic that you are quick to say that the challenges you’ve faced to get where you are weren’t taken into consideration – no one in this sport that I know hasn’t faced challenges and perhaps those folks are no different. I’m disheartened that this is an uncharacteristic display of what the eventing community has always been, which in my experience has been one that is supportive - in times of victory as well as challenge.

    It seems that the issue central to your concern was the lack of space on the property. I would hope that you put serious thought into providing this feedback to the OHTA via their online Event Evaluation form so that the concern can truly be addressed and that in the future, no one is put in a position where they are forced to be ‘uncool’.

    Best of luck with the rest of your season.

    1. Hi there, thanks for stopping by. I am a bit confused over the reaction to this post. It was a few sentences about the people parked beside us...I re read the lines several times. They weren't mean or rude, I simply shared my opinion on the situation and their reaction as uncool. I don't know why anyone cares what I think is cool anyways. Our issue wasn't so much the trailer, but the second truck, the tent, chairs, BBQ and everything that left it next to impossible for us to have our horses tied off the trailer. Personally, if I was parking at such a situation and I knew parking was tight and there was no room, I might pass on setting up the tent, or set it up behind the trailer out of the way. Or park in the back field where there was plenty of room. That's what I usually do, because I try to be considerate of other peoples space and make things work as best as possible. It is a fact when we asked if you could move your tent we were met with blank stares and basically encouraged to just park elsewhere. That was pretty uncool to me. It was not the lack of space at Caledon that was the issue, it was the lack of consideration. Did it ruin my day? Not at all. Was I even still thinking about it after this post? Not at all. I really think this post has been blown way out of proportion. I can see I clearly hurt someone's feelings and for that I am truly sorry. Of course I never want to do that, and I feel bad that is the case. But for someone to come onto MY blog, and belittle our results in order to insult us, make a condescending comment under a fake name - I think that is too far, and yes, VERY uncool.

      Perhaps your comments about eventing camaraderie need to be pointed to the poster who posted that. Because at the end of the day, I would never put someone down who is out there competing. I always support and encourage riders. As this is my blog, my life, my writing, my outlet, things that annoy me are going to make it onto here. I encourage you both to contact me via e-mail if you want to discuss things further. Although it may show as Anonymous poster, we have access to the information of who comments, so it is pretty easy to figure out who you both are.

      Once again thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Hope to you both out at events soon, and congrats on your finishes at the champs.


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