Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Beaumont Horse Trials- Day 1

Alternate Title: Breathe Dammit

The plan was to move up to Training at Beaumont HT as it's generally soft (it's the first Alberta event of the year) and it's our home course.

Despite having a good plan, a great horse and a positive prep run two weeks prior at the Chase Creek back-to-back HT (I still need to post about that trip) I was really, really nervous. Like, I may vomit on my way to the startbox nervous. I don't think I've ever been so nervous for a show.

Our dressage was more relaxed than both of our tests at Chase Creek , which was my only goal. Our scores did not reflect any improvement but I was pleased with it. It was tense and Dee wasn't super consistent but at least I wasn't riding a runaway. So I refuse to dwell on the fact that we were 25th out of 26 going into show jumping.

My SJ warm up was really good. Dee was forward and hunting the fences. A long as I kept my body back, rather than letting her pull me forward, things went really well.

Then I went into the ring. And I've never been more grateful to be sitting on the Best Pony. The course wasn't giant but there were some challenging questions. I had a game plan, but it turns out it's really hard to execute a plan when you aren't breathing.

My lack of breathing resulted in stiffness and pulling. Dee toted me around but we did jump around by Braille (I think there were only 4 out of 12 fences we didn't rub). Miraculously we only had one rail come down.

Fence 1 was a ramped oxer heading away from the gate to a fairly long stretch to another oxer. Fence 3 was set off a left turn that invited drift due to the terrain, I actually did a god job of making sure we got a good line here. Next was a hard left turn to 4AB (a one stride heading towards the bushes). We jumped in from a crawl and I just sat there. It rode like she was going to put in one and half strides, and then at the last moment she took the long. I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. But I really do have the most tolerant pony.

Not my finest moment.
 Fence 5 was a big square oxer jumping towards the in gate and 6 was a tall vertical that required you to hug the rail by the gate to get the right line to it. It came down a lot over the course of the day, but Dee gamely launched over it. It was then a forward bending 7 to a 2 stride combination. My plan was to bend out for a forward 8 to give us a little more wiggle room. I didn't get a good line (and I can't remember how many strides I got) so we ended up jumping from the base of the first fence. Then I didn't add enough any leg, so we put in a tight 3. Somehow Dee got us through it.

The jumps look bigger than I remember them.

Before fence 8 I felt like I was going to fall off. My thought process sounded a little like this: I'm going to fall off. Why do I feel like I'm going to fall off. OH SHIT. BREATHE YOU IDIOT.

The last 3 fences (including the super spooky zebra vertical) rode much better when I actually was breathing, who knew?
Game faces

I was super pumped that Dee had babysat me through our first Training stadium course. This spring we've had a few stops or run outs if I'm not really on it so I couldn't be more proud of her stepping up to the plate when it was important. Now I need to get my shit together and make some hefty deposits into the trust bank.


  1. I love that last picture! Dee looks like she is having a blast.

  2. Woooo!!! It wouldn't be a true stadium course without a few "oh shit!" Moments right?!? Seriously I can't believe you call those fences 'not giant' lol. Congrats on making it through wel enough and knowing how to make it even better next time!! Can't wait to read about XC!!!!!

  3. Seriously impressed over here! Nice work :)

  4. One of my very favorite qualities about you is how honest you are. Not justifications, no excuses, just honest, this was me in this moment. It's all about the adventure and what a fantastic journey it's been!