Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Beaumont Horse Trials - Day 2

On Sunday morning I was at the grounds super early to do a quick trial ride in a dressage saddle (Spoiler: I bought it!). I managed to watch a few Prelim rides before I had to go get ready.

By the time I was on, I was so nervous I was pretty sure I was going to vomit all over the timers at the startbox. Sandra told me that we had a solid plan, to stick to the plan and to talk out loud. She didn't want a repeat of Saturday's inability to breathe.

And then it was my favourite part of an event "5...4...3...2...1..Have a great ride!"

Fence 1 was a small inviting log
We got a crappy distance to fence 1 and Dee popped over it and I was loose in the tack so it sure wasn't pretty.

You can just see fence 3 in the background on the far right
Fence 2 rode pretty nice and then we had to gallop around the alternate startbox, by the finish line and turn towards fence 3.
A decent sized ramp.
Dee was distracted by everyone cooling out at the finish line and never really locked onto fence 3. I didn't do anything about it, I rode backwards to it and when Dee decided that "Nope, not doing it" I just sat there.

I took a deep breath, gave her a quick pat and turned to re-present. I utilized the confidence stick behind my leg and we sailed over it like it was no big deal.
4AB was a 6 stride bending line to the cabin
We jumped into 4AB really nice and the line and distance were just there for B. But Dee made me work for it. She wasn't going to babysit me like she did in SJ. I growled, tapped her with the confidence stick and she decided that jumping it was a good idea.

We planned for the right side as if we have a run out it's always to the left

The multi-functional airplane, the right wing is T, the left wing is P and the body is E/PT (or BN/N)

I've been working really hard to not pull as we come to fences, especially big galloping fences, like the airplane. I still pulled a little but we got over it without chipping.

6 was compulsory flags through the pothole water. The entrance and exit are quite steep
Dee launched herself into the first water. I landed a bit heap-like but thankfully we had a long gallop to get ourselves sorted out.

Pallisade bending to the bench on the left
About 2/3 of the way to 7AB I started asking Dee to come back. Our game plan was to do a circle out in the field if she didn't come back as 7A was super upright. It took a little longer than I'd like but Dee did come back to me and this rode really nice.
Photo by Crystal Hobbs

We even took B at a bit of a left to right angle (which is a big win considering last year a bench caused me to have major anxiety, and angles also stressed me out)
8 was this picnic table
Up and over the hill to the picnic table. We jumped this right out of stride and Dee was towing me to the water.

Off the bank, 3 strides to the log
We jumped off the bank perfectly! It walked as a 3 stride to the log, we planned that the water and the atmosphere here would back them off a little and it would require a bit of leg. Turns out the plan was solid for the rest of our group (one even got 4 strides). Dee did not slow down at all, so our 3 strides had us right at the very base of the log. Thankfully it was small and she's handy.

Too bad I can't seem to remember to look up
Big square train car 
Fence 10 was the fence I was most stressed over. It has no real ground line and it's super upright and quite wide. The original plan was to make sure I kept Dee's wither up and balance her but keep moving towards it. After stressing out over it and being so nervous Sandra and I modified the plan here. I picked a spot on the horizon, didn't take me eyes off of it, grabbed my neck strap and kicked on. Sandra figured I was better off staying out of Dee's way and letting her figure it out, rather than letting my nerves trick me into pulling the whole way there. 

And it worked! We jumped it like it was NBD.

Coffin in the grave yard (set as a 2 to a 2)
 I wasn't too worried about the coffin as we've schooled it a bunch and Dee is not ditchy at all. And true to form we popped through it handily.
This picture doesn't show that this a big bank to a small bank
Next up was the bank to bank. I'e never schooled it here and I've only ever done one with a small gap. Thankfully Dee doesn't care. We galloped up the ramp and then jumped down from the big bank to the small bank, and straight on to the chevron. Sandra stressed that we needed to ride this like the banks weren't there. Just get straight to the chevron and ride to it.

The space is almost 4' wide and the big bank is 3'3" the small is 2'6"
It was a good plan. Dee tried to duck out on the chevron but I was prepared and made sure that door was closed. We jumped it crooked, but we did jump it!

The big trakehner
Another good gallop to the trakehner. I didn't fuss with her at all, I just sat up, added leg and let her do her thing. She will always pat the ground in front of a trakehner. I've made my peace with it. It keeps us safe.

A frame, bending to the truck on the right.
 15AB was set up as a galloping combination. A first for me.A nice inviting A frame with a sharp (but long) bend to the truck. The truck was another fence I was worried about. It had a good ground line to make it a good galloping fence, but I've never schooled it and we all know I struggle with the galloping fences.

The dreaded truck
I didn't need to be worried. I committed to the gallop coming into the combo, sat up, looked and kicked on and Dee was foot perfect. I may or may not have actually shouted "Kick Harder, Think Less" coming at the truck :)

Big galloping oxer to finish
The final fence ended up being my favourite fence of the whole course.It's a big wide table and we actually jumped it out of a gallop stride, without any pulling, hesitation or even use of my neck strap.

We came in 13 seconds under Optimum Time even with the stop! I couldn't have been prouder of us! We got through my first Training without a panic attack, even with some intense nerves. I'm super excited for our next event (which isn't for 5 weeks).

The pro photos haven't been posted yet so I'm super happy that I had so many friends with cameras there. I'm super pumped that Suzi got a photo of us over 10, seeing as it was the reason I was shitting my pants over this move up.

Dee definitely retains her title of BestPony!


  1. Awesome job! I love that last picture.

  2. Awesome! Well done. :) Can't wait to hear about the new saddle.

  3. So many congratulations!! That is one hell of a beefy course - and sounds like you rode the snot out of it!!!!! :D

  4. Looking really good! Congrats on a successful first Training!

  5. Some of those jumps look huge. I like the jump design though: very cute cabins and trucks and unique things. Congrats on getting through. The pictures you got look great.

  6. Best pony is right! Those jumps scare the pants off me :O ! Well done :) And exciting about the new dressage saddle too!

  7. Congrats! Both you and Dee are very talented

  8. Awesome job! The bank to bank looks terrifying

  9. Awesome job! That airplane jump is the coolest thing ever!!