Monday, April 21, 2008

Volunteering at Fair Hill

I spent this past weekend volunteering at Fair Hill, one of my favorite events. Keebler is just back into walk work after his 10 days off for stitches in his front ankle. He is healing well and has been very sensible about having to stay in his stall and was surprisingly quiet when he came out and had a walk and a graze over the weekend. Friday, I was the dressage steward at the Foxcatcher area, where there are three rings running. It was a busy day, but everything stayed well on track. Kudos to riders, grooms, trainers and moms who were all polite, smiling, on time and on top of where they were supposed to be and when. It makes it nice for the volunteers! Saturday, I scribed for the advanced dressage. It was very interesting watching the tests at that level. Tips for those of you doing/thinking about that level (at least from this judge’s viewpoint); 1) keep your horse engaged and round as you push for the medium and extended trots; 2) the flying change is a forward movement and the horse must change behind first – there were many 4s given on this movement; 3) the extended walk does not involve a loose rein, a few riders seemed to do a hybrid with free walk, 4) work to get your horse to take clear steps in the rein back, 5) accuracy is sill important, but less often missed at this level. Meanwhile, cross country was going on. I heard that Boyd Martin missed a fence for a TE, comforting to know it happens to the best of us. Sunday, I scribed for stadium jumping and completed a stadium jumping apprenticeship with Marilyn Payne. It was very interesting. Boyd was very cute when he humbly asked permission to jump stadium (of course, there are legions who think Boyd is always very cute). It seemed that the Intermediate horses/riders looked better than the CIC**, perhaps the latter were more tired or fried from XC. We heard the report that the advanced XC went well, with no serious incidents. There were two falls, one unfortunately T, when Teddy tripped up the bank from the sunken road. The weather was glorious all weekend. Saturday and Sunday evenings ended with lovely seders, 1st night at Henry’s dad’s house and 2nd night at his brother’s and their neighbors place. Both were great food and fun. I’m looking forward to getting Keebler back in work. We are aiming at the May 3rd dressage schooling show and then June 7th at Plantation. Keep me posted on your riding plans.

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