Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I'm beginning to think that I will never get to run the Intermediate at Pine Top. Our attempt was cut short last year, when we discovered a sore ligament on Willy's hind leg (the pony was never lame!) after an atypical show jumping round. This year, Mother Nature decided to have monsoon-type weather the weekend of Pine Top's Advanced Horse Trials. 

I was incredibly excited to run this event, for it was our first full phase intermediate (Willy ran the IP at Sporting Days in early February) and the course was absolutely breathtaking! Lots of good questions, but a great early test for intermediate. I arrived at Pine Top around 10 am... and it was POURING, and apparently had been for some time (it wasn't raining in Winston-Salem, NC!) Everything was flooded, and the event was put on hold several times for lightning. After mounting poor Willy 3 times (because of rain delays), I was finally able to quickly warm-up (or something like warming up) and completed the dressage test in the downpour. While I could hardly see the end of the arena, the rain did take the edge of Willy and encouraged him to be obediant and we managed to put in a solid test (with only one flying change.... that pony just wants to go Advanced!) 

I talked to three of my coaches about show jumping, wondering if it was safer to scratch and try another day. But all three encouraged me to jump, and they were right! The footing held up great, even despite being the very last intermediate horse to jump. Willy put in his best round to date, really listening to the aids and trying his heart out. It was truely an awe-inspriring moment, for this horse really LOVES his job. Unfortunately cross country was canceled, so I packed up all of Willy's gear and headed home early on Sunday morning. So while it was somewhat disappointing, it was a GREAT weekend. 

Deacon sat this weekend out, as he is not yet ready to move up to prelim (Pine Top only offered Prelim through Advanced). He was scheduled to compete in SP 1 but b/c of the rain, I decided it was better to play another day, as we are looking for positive, confidence building runs.

Look for the team at SP II this coming weekend!
And then its off to Poplar Place HT, where Willy will attempt his first CIC** !!!!!!!