Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The show that wasn't

I was super excited to go cross country schooling to put Mia over some larger fences and to make the final decision on whether I could put her in her first ever Training level horse trial, or if I should bump down to Novice for the first HT of the season. Decisions, decisions. On one hand, I KNOW we could do it. Mia's dressage is really good (when her rider does the crap that needs done) right now. Our jumping is very good too, I have successfully fixed my brain (I think anyway) and I don't have anxiety when looking at a 3'3" jump. Our fitness is just about where it needs to be, and we were ready to go. The concern? Why did I want this litmus test? Because we haven't done a horse trial in a long while. Last year's show season was basically non-existent due to the weather and schedule, I never went XC schooling at all last year. Would it really be FAIR to put Mia out so...unprepared?

On Saturday we started with the farrier. App was not helpful, as discussed in the last post. Thanks to him, I was about 25 mins later getting out than I wanted but it worked out well enough. I was SO lucky to have the daughter of one of the boarders be willing to come and be a ground person. SO was out of town and I could find no one else who wanted to haul down. The fact she was willing to just come and walk around? I was so extremely grateful.

We made it in about 2 hours and the ground was oh so wet. Not as wet as when I was there a few weeks ago for the CT show, but pretty damn close. In addition to being extremely wet, there were no large jumps set up at all. The cross country fences were still stacked in storage and the only jumps set out were some starter/BN jumps. I was annoyed because I had emailed the facility before I came to ensure they were open, advising I wanted to school Training fences to prep for the show. When they responded, they didn't say a word about there not being any Training fences up for me to practice over. Grrr.

We jumped everything set out. We also found the 3 biggest, permanent fences in the entire park and jumped them too. She is such a good mare. The biggest, which I suspect may be a Prelim fence, she was hesitant going up to it, but after jumping, she was every eager and forward. She just needed that confidence builder, apparently, and I threw it at her towards the beginning of our ride lol. She was such a good mare, she only biffed a fence once because she wasn't listening. She tapped the log and it rolled off of its stand. It was also water logged and had NO chance of going back up, even with the 2 of us trying to lift it. Oops...

I came away from the schooling confident we could probably do Training level, but now I had a bigger concern. The footing was horrible, really horrible. I wasn't able to gallop a single time because the entire grounds were swampy/in standing water. I really don't want to chance going at speed towards Training level fences if I don't have to. And then it rained for 2 days straight, plus off an on again during the week up to the show. The last time I rode in super crappy weather at a show, spring 2014, while it rained the ENTIRE DAY, the footing was actually fairly solid. And we won first place! There was no solid footing here, everything was squishy and waterlogged.

In the end, I couldn't do it. I really, REALLY wanted last weekend to be our first ever Training Horse Trial. There was only one other horse entered in Training and while they went double clear, they had a 38 in dressage. I think I could have beaten the score. I could have won our first ever Training Hose Trail. But the more I debated it, I realized if I am struggling this much, it is obvious I KNOW the footing is dangerous and it isn't worth it. So I didn't enter.

I need to try to find another show, I am traveling in June which eliminates the next Horse Trial. There is a jumper show in mid-June I may try because it is close. I am super disappointed that I didn't go, but I know it was the right choice. And that's all that really matters, right?

1 comment:

  1. If it would just STOP raining, right? Everything is like a swamp around here. I hope it dries up enough for you to get out to a training event soon.