Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Feather Creek Farm HT

... Was a huge success!

I could not be more pleased with how the season kicked off! And my new trainer has done oodles for my confidence, and obviously my riding is showing! But you'll read more about that...

Phoenix and I went to our first USEA recognized event of the 2013 season last week in Oklahoma at the Feather Creek Farm horse trials. We left our house bright and early at 4 am! The drive up was uneventful, thank God considering when we did the drive in February to school cross country, we added two hours to our drive because of tire and truck issues. When we got there, I noticed Phoenix had twisted a shoe and the tab of his shoe had gone DIRECTLY into his white line and he was not baring any weight on that foot. I went to go find the farrier, but the show office told me he had gotten stuck and wouldn't be on the grounds that day. They told me just to wait until tomorrow.

Um... what?

I asked them if they knew of any other farrier in the area and literally none of the 5 people FROM Oklahoma knew of another farrier to call. So my weekend started off pretty crappy. I was slightly panicing that my horse would have to stand like that all night, and also that we wouldn't get a schooling in before my 8 am dressage ride the next day. I googled farriers in Oklahoma, found the number to a farrier supply store, and asked them for numbers of all the farriers in the Norman area. So thanks to ME and not the show office, everyone who's horses needed shoes that day got them! I finally got to school Phoenix around 6 pm and he was fabulously relaxed and put in a fabulous schooling. I was quite optimistic for dressage!

The next morning my sister and I were up bright and early at the show grounds to start our day! My morning leading up to dressage was quite uneventful.. more of just sitting around waiting until my test. In warmup, Phoenix was a bit tense at first but settled quickly. His dressage test was our best one at a recognized event to date. I'm finally learning how to ride him correctly! His pace was great and he was relaxed. On the right lead canter, he kind of stuck his haunches in and broke to canter half a circle early, but other than that it was great! Even though we scored a 4 on that movement, we scored a 29.6 on our test to put us in 4th place out of 18 people! But as everyone knows, eventing is by no means a dressage competition.

Next was stadium, which was also our best stadium round to date! He was forward and balanced, and I got him to his spots, except for the last jump on course when I kind of forgot to ride and got a sticky spot, but Phoenix is a trooper and he saved me over it. We went double clear to move up to 3rd place going into cross country.

Cross country was great! Despite Phoenix always trying to kill me in warmup. The course was a very fair novice course, with offset combinations and a half coffin, and Phoenix didn't bat an eye at anything. However, coming up to the offset two stride combination, I noticed that the horse ahead of me on course was having some troubles at the jump, and even though I called out heads up several times, they weren't taking their horse away from the front of the jump, even though they were already eliminated. I ended up having to STOP Phoenix and wait for them to move out of the way, before continuing on. When I crossed the finish flags, my watch ended up going about 10 seconds over optimum time, which is about how long I had to wait for the rider to get out of the way. So I told the person at the finish what had happened on course and they wrote it down.

When I went to check scores, I noticed I had received time penalties that they took away for the incident that occurred, meaning I went double clear to finish on my dressage score! :)

Oh yeah, and we also finished 2nd and qualified for AECs! :D
And on top of that, my recap video of the weekend got featured on Eventing Nation!!

We leave on Friday to go to Texas Rose Horse Park and hopefully this weekend goes as smoothly as Feather Creek was!

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