Two For Two! But Third Time Is Not The Charm.

It finally cooled down enough for us to survive eventing this fall, but things are a bit up in the air right now as far as where we’ll go next.

Let’s get to the good news first.

We headed up to Seneca on Labor Day weekend to compete with my friend Meghan in tow as groom. It was fairly warm and humid, but our times were pretty quick, so at least we got it done. We’d had a lot of rain in August, but not widespread, just lots of heavy pop-up storms in places, and apparently Seneca got the brunt of it, because when we got there, trucks were towing trailers in! Yikes. The footing for dressage was horrendous even though they shifted the rings to dry to find better ground. Just very sucky. I’m surprised we didn’t lose a shoe. But we ended up doing OK despite me cantering in the wrong place (ugh, I hate test B) and him just generally moving less fluid than he could because of the footing.

We won the dressage, which was great, but I was so nervous for show jumping for whatever reason. Maybe because our round at Loch Moy in July was so inconsistent, maybe because we hadn’t been out in awhile, maybe because Meghan was there, maybe because it was hot. Who knows?

The round felt OK though, and the ground miraculously dried up enough to be acceptable. The whole day, Lisa and I had the attitude of, take it one phase at a time, which also made me nervous. If the footing was too deep, we’d scratch.

Luckily, we deemed cross-country OK. It was a bit churned up on some takeoffs and landings, but not enough to be dangerous. The place is fairly flat too, so that helped.

Everything went well, and he was full of running to take the win and the TIP award for novice!

We had three weeks until Middleburg, so we went cross-country schooling at CDCTA, which was very good. Everything felt nice and out of stride, and we even accidentally jumped a training fence!

Being able to watch Meghan school for the first time in two years on her borrowed horse was really fun too. He’s a prelim schoolmaster, so he and Oh So were totally cool about traveling together and getting their game faces on when it mattered. Otherwise they were napping, haha!

Middleburg is now held at Great Meadow, so it was exciting to do a new course with Oh So. I’d done the old CDCTA event there for many years with Sam and Palais, but this was held on the backside with the nice arenas. Unfortunately we ended up having to do dressage on the grass by the highway and a polo field, but he was OK with the distractions. The footing was a bit deep in spots because they’d had some rain earlier in the week.

Show jumping felt OK. I had one little pick to a vertical, which stayed up, but otherwise it definitely wasn’t the worst round we’ve ever had, so that was a positive.

Cross-country I was a little inconsistent to some things, and I had to think a lot about my track when I walked because there were some holes, rocks, dips, etc. to dodge. He was pretty chill in the startbox, but his blood got up once we started off. We ended up winning our division!

It was also the weekend of our 13th anniversary together, so it was nice to think back on what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve been though together over the years.

Now for the bad news. We went schooling at Morven Park last Tuesday, and he felt awesome. He loved the cool weather and was really jumping well. We had a nice flat day on Wednesday, then he had a day off on Thursday. Lisa and I had a jump lesson planned for Friday, and he felt a bit funky from behind in trot. We cantered a bit and it felt OK, then jumped a couple of things and stopped to talk. When I picked him up, he was way off on his left hind. OK. So we’re thinking he may have done something in the field. It felt pretty high up, so maybe a pulled muscle.

Unfortunately he felt the same on Saturday, so the Area 2 Championships at Loch Moy on Sunday was out. I’m pretty devastated not only because it was a $300 entry, but because I really thought we had a chance to do well this year. Now I’m just not sure what to do next. I’m giving him a few days off and will see how he feels.

I panic every time I feel something with him because at age 20, retirement could be tomorrow, you just never know. But at least it’s not a front leg, and at least we know it wasn’t caused by the schooling at Morven. So now it’s a wait and see. There are two events left we could do this year, so I’m just crossing my fingers he’ll feel better soon.

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