Thursday, August 30, 2012

Richland Recap

Well, I have to say I'm very pleased with my little girl. Unfortunately our final score can not tell you how good and brave she was!! Richland was very big, with lots of "atmoshpere" and stuff to spook at, but Zahra soldiered on. She got a little sick of the show grounds by Sunday (read: breaking everything she could drag into her stall), but was absolutely the happiest horse alive rocking around the cross country! I went back to watch our helmet cam, and her ears were pricked forward the entire round... even locking onto a few Training, Intermediate, and Advanced jumps!! She definitely feels like she has what it takes. Of course, I did say "our score can't tell you how good she was" so it was no rose garden... ;-)

Zahra's still very green, so we had plenty of "green moments" such as:
-leaving the dressage ring twice during the Young Event Horse Test (this was my fault... I warmed her up too long)
-leaving the show jumping ring twice during the Young Event Horse Test (that was her fault)
She scored REALLY WELL in confirmation--basically the only phase she couldn't be naughty in!! And the comments from the other phases I think accurately represented where she's at in her training-- a bit downhill in her balance, and a bit naughty! She has a bit more growing to do, both physically and emotionally.

So, learning from what happened during the YEH, during the actual show I 
-cut off the last third of the dressage ring to make sure she stayed in. The judge was either kind or didn't really notice. She gave me a 6 for "falling in."
-bought a bit burr to use in show jumping. It kept her in the ring, but backed her off of the jumps, so she had one rail, and I decided I wouldn't use it for cross country.
-so she started to do her mad dash to the left about 8 strides before the second water complex. It wasn't ACTUALLY fence related, and I think she *might* have made it between the flags, albeit on her face (there was a tiny step down into the water that I don't think she would have seen if we went full tilt)... but regardless, I circled, and it was so close that they gave me a stop. 

Moving forward, we need to practice some more with the bit burr so she gets used to it and we can move on with our training (without it!). I see it as only a temporary tool to fix a very temporary problem. 

Onwards and upwards, can't wait for Otter Creek! Photos coming soon!

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