Sunday, February 8, 2009
What a way to start the competition season! We made the 3.5 hour trek to Aiken, SC hoping to find the warmer weather... and oh boy did we! Finally I could pull off heavy blankets and give the horses a decent bath. I love competing at Sporting Days, not only is it a wonderful farm, but the courses are always fair, beautiful, and maintain the 'traditional' eventing questions.... its not so much a technical or big course, but asks the necessary questions in a safe and confidence building manner... perfect for a first time out. A huge thank you to Carol Kozlowski who acted as both my trainer and groom for dressage and Jessica Miller who was the most wonderful groom! It was so nice having two knowledgeable sets of hands, especially since my times were so close!
Thanks to Carol and Jessica, the weekend was a huge success. Willy started off being quite a little handful in the dressage... unfortunately all of the hard work done on this phase did not quite show through his lovely 'pony moments.' But what Willy lacked in dressage, he most certainly made up for in the jumping phases. Running the IP means Willy performs an intermediate dressage and show jumping tests, and a preliminary cross-country course. The show jumping was a piece of cake for the pony, completing it very cleanly.. oftentimes jumping me out of the tack ( I think he was just so happy to jump). Cross country was perfect. He was so forward and eager, pulling me to every fence ... which for him is great! We even managed to make time (something we were not trying for... i didn't even wear a watch!). Willy finished on his dressage score of 41... landing him in 2nd place! Very exciting for his first time out!
Deacon also earned a gold star this weekend, minus jumping out of the trailer AGAIN! His dressage was very obedient... though he reached the end of his limit half way through the test and became rather unhappy about the work he was supposed to be doing. Jumping was really great... warming up with Carol was incredibly helpful! Deacon jumped around the show jumping course, not his most brilliant phase, beautifully AND cleanly. Cross country was extremely educational for this young horse. He started off somewhat hesitant, then by fence 3 extremely cocky, then after a near miss at fence 5 (apparently Deacon did not feel it was neccessary to listen to any of my aids) he decided to be a good boy and was an angel for the rest of the course. Like Willy, Deacon was full of running, showing his level of fitness. Deacon finished cross county double clean, ending in 5th! .... So finishing 2nd and 5th... not too shabby for the boys... hopefully everything goes just as smoothly at Paradise in two weeks!