Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seein' Blue

So for starters, do I have any readers? I've never gotten a comment on any of posts, so if I have any readers I'd love for people to comment!!... Please? :(

Anyways, this weekend was a great weekend for the super horse and I. Phoenix has been absolutely foot perfect since he came back from AEC's. I have absolutely no complaints with him. I was struggling with getting along with him because our personalities are sooo different and we were clashing for a while, and in turn I was getting so frustrated with him, and not riding. Phoenix is a difficult horse to ride and needs to be ridden every single day to be at his absolute best. He is a well oiled machine, by no means is he a children's backyard pony. He is an athlete in every sense of the word, he knows he's an athlete, and he is to be treated like an athlete. Well I have ridden almost every single day since he came back from AEC's and he is just so on cue. He's quick to my leg and really coming off my aids. He knows what he's supposed to be doing and for the most part, besides his few hissy fits, he's been fabulous.

On Saturday, we had a cross country schooling at Heritage Horse Park, where we will be competing at Area 4 Championships in late October. It was my first time jumping since probably August, so I was a little rusty. But Phoenix was a good boy. We jumped around a few novices and figured he was bored with that, and decided to bump it up to training. We did some combinations, one of them being an off-set two stride downhill, which he jumped like a dream. I actually got a good gallop out of him, and worked on bringing him back before the jump. Jumping downhill for Phoenix is hard because he likes to pull me to the base of the jump and get on the forehand, so I really have to work my muscles over them. He was perfect! We even jumped our first prelim jump together:) I've jumped prelim on Millennium a lot, but I've never felt Phoenix was on spot enough to jump that high safely yet, but he is finally coming together.

On Sunday, we competed at Heritage Park at the one day event. There were about 60 or side rides scheduled and it was hectic! For the first time at any show I've ever taken Phoenix to, he was relaxed. I was feeling good. We got there at 9 and my first ride was scheduled for 9:30 so I had a very minimal warmup, but somehow we ended up scoring a 23 on beginner novice test b!!! Needless to say, I was ecstatic :) I had just entered in riding a dressage test to warm him up to the atmosphere. We had the actual test for the horse trial portion an hour later, and my trainer wasn't there to warm me up because she was warming up a different student who's first show it was, so I didn't score as well as I had hoped. We got a 28 and were sitting pretty in first place after dressage with I think 10 people in our division. :) I don't feel like getting into detail with the jumping. It was easy and we finished the show with two pretty blue ribbons and more points towards horse of the year, which he is dominating the leader board currently :) We have a novice combined test this weekend, a hunter/jumper show next weekend, the american royal (a big rated hunter/jumper show) the weekend after that, and then area 4 championships two weeks after that! It's going to be a great fall!!!!!

P.S. My internet is being cranky so I will upload pictures tomorrow!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The AEC's that almost weren't...

Here I am again posting after a 3 month break. A lot has happened in our riding since end of May, but it has been too long to try and rehash it now. And that is not what I'm here to post about. I'm here to talk about the American Eventing Championships.

When August 1st rolled around, and the AEC's entries opened, I ran to my parents hoping this year would finally be my year. Unfortunately my sister didn't get qualified, and my mom doesn't like going to events unless both of us are doing it, so she said no. And I was pissed. It's really hard to get better when I can't even show.

Enter facebook.
I posted on my facebook, in more of a vent than an actual plea, saying I wish someone would take my horse to AEC's. I really wanted him to get his shining moment because I really truly believed he could place well or at least top ten.

Enter Carrie Meehan.
Aka my hero. Or life saver. Or superhuman. Or whatever you want to call her. Seriously, she's a freaking amazing rider. She has won the AEC's the past two years in a row in the prelim division, and is basically the bee's knees. She commented on my status saying she had an extra spot in her trailer and didn't get one of her horses qualified so she really wanted to take another horse. She was taking one of her horses in the BN division already and didn't want to drive 20 hours for one horse in beginner novice. So I said come over and ride Phoenix and see what you think about him. If you want to pay your entry for him, you can surely take him and reap any rewards he could potentially win you.

That was two weeks before AEC's so I was really curious how well they could actually place.

So they didn't win :(

That's right. MY horse is the Reserve Champion for the 2012 American Eventing Championships. Really. It's a dream come true. And I didn't even ride. I owe it all to Carrie who piloted Phoenix from 4T to SECOND place after only riding him for two weeks!!! Maybe if she only rode him for one week they would have gotten 1st? ;) On top of that, she got 5th place on her four year old after only eventing him for like 6 months. She's a bad ass.

I have to admit, it is disappointing that I qualified him and didn't even get to take him. But if we're being completely honest and realistic here, no way in Hell would he have finished as well with me riding him. Now I have another year to try and qualify and go to Texas and hopefully I can place well there! Phoenix comes home this week and it's time for us to kick our asses in gear and prepare for the Area 4 Championships!

Thank you Carrie for giving my horse this incredible experience.