Things are finally quieting down now that I’ve finished up my travel for the time being. I went down to Southern Pines two weeks ago to cover the Carolina International with a co-worker and had a great time. It’s one of my favorite venues and I really wished I had my horses with me since the courses looked so tempting!
USEF Network live streamed the event, which was really cool and I was happy with my photos.
Two weeks later, I went down to The Fork to cover it and had perfect weather again. I’ve really lucked out this year!
Before I went down to The Fork, I had a few really good lessons with both boys. Oh So had a good jump lesson and we went out on the hills of a local cross-country course and we did three five minute trot sets. The hills were pretty steep, but he came back the next day on the flat feeling great. That was a real test for him after a long winter of not being able to ride outside the ring much and after his hip injury last fall, so I’m feeling confident heading into our first show.
That’s right, I said show! My entry is in for a CT at Morningside next weekend and Loudoun Hunt Horse Trials the week after at novice. Don’t tell him though! I’m super excited to get out, but first we have to do a couple of cross-country schoolings.
I also had a great flat lesson before I left. We were working on collecting his canter and Nicky suggested I come down to a 10 meter circle in counter canter and do a flying change the other direction. I was not expecting to try something like that, but the timing was right in the moment and he had a nice, clean change. I’ve never attempted a change that way and it definitely benefitted him since he tries to anticipate.
Bear went to his first cross country schooling of the year at Morven Park’s schooling day before I left for The Fork and he was a star. It was super windy and the parking lot was full to the brim with people and horses, so a little overwhelming, but it was good to get him out in public again.
He neighed once or twice while tacking up, but he was very settled. Once we got on, there was a lot to look at with horses popping up over the hills and leaves swirling, but he jumped everything I asked very easily. He even went in the water on the first try and up and down the banks.
Now I feel confident taking him to do the beginner novice at Loudoun in a couple weeks. I think all the work we’ve done over the winter to teach him about lengthening and shortening and working on his form has paid off and I’m excited to test it out.
We’re doing a CT at Morningside on Saturday and will go for another school on their cross-country course after.
Here’s a short video of Oh So having a jump school at home.
And last but not least, I became an aunt right before I left for Carolina! Meet Ava Berreth! I finally got to hold her when I got back from The Fork and she came for an Easter visit.