Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun, Fun Fun!!!

Went schooling yesterday afternoon. Quite a group, ranging from Amanda on her pony (one elementary level event under their belt/girth) to Tatiana (getting ready to move up to intermediate). I took Keebler, Lesley rode Rosie, Betsy and Maripeg were there on Dave and Trevor preparing for Stuart and Hannah was there with her mare Jewels. It was a perfect day (well maybe on the hot side of perfect) and we got to jump a bunch of fun stuff in good company. Keebler continued his, "yes, I am an eventer" attitude, though we finally found a fence he didn't like - a table made of shiny new wood, with the sun shining on it. I just assumed he would jump, which he did on the 2nd presentation - oops! Gotta remember to ride, even the really good boy. All horses were quite good and Susie and T both kept busy coming up with exercises appropriate to the various members of the group. Little better than XC schooling.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maui Jim Rocks

I hopped on a plane after teaching on Friday and headed to Chicagoland. Made reasonable time on the Chicagoland highways - big surprise - and reached Lamplight around 5:00 in the evening. Due to major storms the prior day, training show jumping had already gone (so much for that part of the apprenticing experience). I was luck enough to spend the evening setting the show jump courses with Ana Schravesande. There were two, one for the preliminary and one for the CIC*, CIC**, CIC***, Int and Advanced. Had to find enough safety cups, ended the evening still missing the number 12 (leading to the Sesame Street adventure, finding the number 12 on Saturday morning). Headed to the hotel (many thanks to Lynn Cronin for sharing). Had some confusion as neither my GPS nor Sprint directory information realized that a Days Inn existed in St. Charles, but got there and crashed after hearing from Lynn about Katie Lindsay's mouse (an inside joke occassioned by concerns about the cheese wedge jump at Red Hills). Also got to see the smurf jump (related inside joke). Saturday (after finding and posting the number 12 on the appropriate jump), I did a short apprenticing stint with Roger Haller in the preliminary show jumping arena. It was a fairly soft course, and almost everyone did well, including Kaiti Saunders doing her first prelim on her new(ish) horse Truman. He looked to be having a grand time and the pair looked great together. Headed over to XC after SJ and spent the afternoon as crossing guard for the galloping lane. Got to see the tough bending line early on the course and the Maui Jim water from my post, so excellent volunteering opportunity and fabulous weather. I saved Dorothy Crowell's life (or at least alerted her to oncoming fast galloping horse where she was about to be). The two CIC*** horses that looked fantastic to me on the part of the course I could see were Sara Dierks' Somerset and Allison Springer's Arthur who finished 1 and 2. Leslie Law and Eric Dierks got to share the Dumbs**t award (given by Katie L) for jumping the final fence of the intermediate rather than of the CIC* while on CIC* horses (good to know even a gold medalist can make this mistake and while in first place). Sunday, no apprenticing to be had, so I gofered for the judges and got to observe Karen Winn and Jo Young judging the SJ for the upper levels which was fun and educational. Approximately 4 stopwatches died over the course of the day, but they were the only casualties. Erica Peterson from Michigan (Lynn's trainer) finished 4th in the CIC**. Leslie Law won it (perhaps compensating for the prior day's goof). There were a couple rider falls, but without injury. Lisa Riedel and her young horse, Springer had several rails, but completed the Intermediate. Out on training and preliminary XC, things seemed to go well. Kaiti had a clean round with only time as the last ride of the day. Headed back to the airport and avoided the I-90 traffic jam, making it back to ORD easily and getting home about an hour later than planned due to flight delays. Dreamt of stadium jumping courses.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two weeks of unrecognized eventing

Last weekend of July, had the honor and fun of TDing the unrecognized event at Waredaca The weather generally cooperated and there was both very good and kinda scary riding to be seen. No smoothie lady, but yes ice cream!!! Excellent job by volunteer coordinators, volunteer hospitality and awards committee. Prizes for all, including some really nice ones. Also, money raised for Windchase.

This past weekend, in addition to celebrating Henry's birthday (he is a 4th of July boy), Keebler and I did our first post big-ouch event, the Open Novice at Fair Hill. We finished on our (crappy) dressage score - wait, why does that sound so familiar. I warmed him up wearing a running martingale and he was very good. As soon as I took it off and we went in the ring, things deteriorated. Judge wrote, "very capable pair, but too fast today" Also, "he needs to respond to half halts" The whole dressage thing is just a work in progress. I count myself lucky that he really likes to jump, so no struggles there.

Betsy and Preston were third. Sarah and Hannah had a little xc trouble, but generally successful outings. We all had a long day, loading at 6:45 for my 9:26 dressage time and then xc times around 4:30 for Sarah and Hannah. Hannah was scheduled for 5:30, but I volunteered for 2 hours so she could move up. I heard there was a brief period of self-stewarding down in the dressage arenas as Courtney and I switched over at noon, but everyone was great about being there, checking in and getting down to their arenas on time.

Volunteering and apprenticing at Maui Jim next week.