Monday, June 9, 2014

TWH's second ever Novice horse trial Part 2

I watched the Training level riders before handing TWH over to RB4 to do a quick course walk during the break.  The course was big, at least double the size of our last stadium course, there wasn't any tight jumps here!  The only real question was jumps 3/4/5, after 3 there was a 90 degree turn to 4 which was a sharp 90 degree turn to 5ab which was set as a 3 stride.  Eh, nothing we haven't done before!

We watched horse after horse and almost everyone took a rail.  Several took 2-3 rails.  It was odd since it wasn't that technical of a course, but it started to make me feel better about my chances!  When our time came, we hopped in the arena and went around the course.  TWH still isn't meeting the fences where I would like him so we didn't have may "pretty" jumps but they were all solidly functional.  We went  very well through 3/4/5ab, went to 6 through a bending line to 7 and came to 8.  I set him up and he knocked a pole down.  I gave him a very aggressive kick as we made it to 9 and completed the course.  I have NO idea why the heck he took it down.  I set him up, I was off of his face, I stayed off of him over the jump, he was a little forward but not enough I would have expected a rail.  I still don't know why he took it down, I was a little disappointed.  My TWH always goes double clear when the chips are on the table.  This is the first time he has taken a rail down in stadium, I guess we need to work on stadium more!

We meandered down to the start of XC and stood around until we were next, I didn't want to get him too tired!  At fence one TWH needed a good solid kick to remind him that we were NOT going to jump these dang jumps at a standstill AGAIN and then he went pretty nicely into cruise control.  Jumps 2 and 3 sailed by, jump 4 he was sticky at but made it over.  5 was into a new water obstacle, he sucked behind my leg but went in (YAY!!!  Water doesn't seem to be an issue anymore) but he didn't have much impulsion over jump 6 which was a jump out of the water so I don't have a good picture of it.  At least he did it!  7 was easy, 8/9 was a bending 2 stride, 10 sailed by.  11 was a ditch, you know how much he "loves" ditches right?  Thankfully we had schooled it over Memorial day weekend so I didn't expect any issues.  We went right up to it before he came to a dead stop and leaped over it.  I totally wasn't expecting it and got left WAY behind, grabbed mane and clung to his neck, I came really close to coming off!  Damn horse and his damn ditches.  I think I fix the issue and it pops back up again!  At least I didn't hurt my finger again so at least I had that little win.  After getting myself back together I checked my time and was doing well so I kicked him back into a canter and went over 12.

At fence 13 I was on autopilot and a stride away from the jump I realized I was jumping the wrong jump.  O. M. G!!!!!!  We ended up jumping the beginner novice jump instead of the novice jump!!  I circled around the jump judge and said "We never presented at the fence, did I incur a refusal?"  "She said no so I jumped the novice fence and went to 14/15.  16 was a drop to a 2 stride, I had him trot down the drop and he was fine, 17 and 18 were easy peasy.  I was SO happy that I had been working on our conditioning, we made the course in 5:20 vs the optimum of 5:55 but he actually had some gas left in the tank and I wasn't ready to die.  WIN!

Walking back, I couldn't BELIEVE I jumped the wrong jump.  What a stupid mistake, I was pretty sure we could jump a lower level fence but wasn't 100% sure.  We made it back to the trailer and hung out for our results.  And hung out.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally 1.5 hours after cross country they posted the results for review, I excitedly went over to see where we were at.  After stadium we had moved up to 9th!!  But it showed we were eliminated during cross country!!  What??? NOO!!!!  I found the Technical Delegate and asked why, they said they had it marked down that I had jumped the novice jump twice.  I explained that I had jumped the BN jump and then the Novice jump so asked to appeal the decision.  It took forever before they came back and said they would award it to me, the jump judge said the story made sense with how my reaction was, the jump judge wasn't 100% certain which jump I had jumped first.  Yay!!  A half hour later they finally posted the results, after a paltry 11th place we moved up to 5th!!!  Not only that, if TWH HAD NOT pulled the rail in stadium?  We would have gotten 2nd.  SECOND!!

I am very proud of our accomplishment, I think this show was a pretty good test of what we learned at our last show and I think we passed.  Other than TWH's opps in stadium and my opps at fence 13, the entire show went very well.  I am very glad that TWH is willingly going into strange water without hesitation and am a little bummed that he still thinks he needs to stop before he goes over a ditch.  I am glad that our conditioning allowed us to finish cross country with a little gas in a tank for both of us.  Our next show may not be until August, however Mia may be going to her first show at the end of June.  Nothing like a little rest and relaxation!


  1. Always helps to know the rules! Congrats on your finish!

  2. Yikes!! I'm glad they fixed the cross country thing. I would have been upset if they eliminated you. Congrats on moving up to fifth! I'm glad you didn't give up after the strange dressage score. I'm wondering if the rails down had something to do with the footing since so many people were dropping them. Was the one he knocked down the same one that other people were knocking?