Maryland Horse Trials I

I competed Oh So at the MD HT I this weekend in Adamstown, Md. It ended up being a little cooler over the weekend, which helped me not pass out. That’s a change for July in Virginia and Maryland.

Our dressage warm up ended up being a little longer than needed. I picked him up from a walk break after 20 minutes of work, and he tensed up a little. Next time I’ll just go straight in after 20 minutes, and not take that extra break. The atmosphere at the C end of the ring was a bit chaotic, since the trade fair was located there. We had a few inaccuracies. He broke early to trot after left canter, and his free walk and stretchy circle needed to be better. But, we got a 7 and an 8 on our lengthened trots! So that was a definite improvement. We got a 34.1, which left us seventh.

Show jumping was pretty good, but we had two unlucky rails. He ticked the swedish oxer, and jumped in big to the two stride combination and had the second part down. I was jumping ahead a little, according to my photos. But overall, the rhythm and pace were good and he was over jumping a little. It’s just unfortunate that he only ever has rails down at shows. I can’t remember the last time he knocked a rail at home or in a jump lesson. Oh well…Someday we’ll have another clear round. We did it at Rubicon, so it can happen!

We had a little bit of rain on Saturday, and the ground was aerated, so the footing wasn’t too bad, especially for July. There was a nice new combination of two steps down. And he actually stepped down them this time! No launching!

There were two water jumps. One had a log in. He was a little crooked to it, but he went in. He did the ditch and wall well too. They filled in the ditch with brush, but it still rode like a real ditch and wall. We only flubbed n combination, where I landed, went two strides, and said ‘Crap! I’m about to get three strides in here, but I walked it in a bending four.’ So silly me held for the four, and the second jump was ugly! But he kept going and didn’t even notice. He even stepped off the bank/log into water out of canter, which was a huge step forward in his training. We finished under the time, and ended up in 11th. Nobody in our division had jumping faults, so I didn’t get a chance to move up at all. Oh well.

It was a successful weekend, not only because he answered all of the cross country questions, but because I let him gallop a bit more. As a result, we met the single fences better, and his form looks great in our photos. Even I look better in my cross country photos. I’m convinced it’s because I changed back to regular Fillis stirrup irons instead of the flexible ones I’ve been using for years. It makes my lower leg more stable.

Today, I took Oh So to Morningside, a new training facility outside of The Plains. We had a very good stadium lesson, and went out to their amazing gallop track to practice pace. We ended up at about prelim speed, which was fine. I think he really enjoyed himself, considering he used to do that for a living. I had a lot of fun too. I can’t wait until I can ask him to go faster.

I did a write-up for the event at Eventing Nation. I’m going to try to keep doing them to get some writing practice in. I’ll be up at Loch Moy again this weekend to work for GRC. It should be a long and hot weekend. What’s new?

In other news, I got a photo pass confirmation for Warped Tour next week. I really love covering the all-day music festival. But this year, there

is a severe lack of bands that I’m interested in. Oh well. I’ll find something to take photos of!

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