Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In which we have derby fun

So here we are waiting for the next round of snow. I just beat the last round, heading down to Florida before it really started on Friday and returning after it ended on Sunday, so a shorter weekend. Friday, I had lessons on both horses and then yoga at Full Circle, very fun "happy hour" practice. Saturday, off to Rocking Horse for the Derby and "Ride a Test" We were running a bit late again, so Finn didn't get to lunge before I got on and when we went over to warm up, there were kids bashing bushes with sticks, which provoked some jumping about even from Finn. It was once again cold and windy and this time it seemed to affect him (more later) as I couldn't really get him to stretch down and go forward. I went into the dressage arena, where things improved to some extent and then had a little lesson with Gretchen Butts, where things improved some more, but he never really stretched down or moved forward. Next came the Derby on Isabelle, a nice novice course. On our first round, we had a stop at the Chevron (yes, the same one she jumped last week). But our second round was spot on. In fact, it was so spot on that we ended up winning both the blue ribbon and the prize money!! Go Isabelle. Next out for the derby with Finn. He warmed up fairly well, though still seemed more distracted than usual. First round eliminated for refusing to jump the second fence (same as fence 7 from the schooling event). Hilda came out and put a pole beside it. After doing that a few times, he then jumped it and finished the course. Second round, perfect, though not good enough to win. Hilda rode Sioux, who was lovely, but too fast at BN to win. Then Grace and Justin Carpenter rode, first time xc (other than schooling for both of them). Grace got jumped loose on the second last fence, unlucky, as it had looked great until them. Finglebridge Fearless (or little Finn as we must call him to distinguish from big Finn) wasn't sure about the whole thing. Hilda ended up keeping him company around the course the first time, then Justin went out on his own and all the way around by himself the second time. We finished up the day with some footage of team Finn and the Monteverde coach and trainer, Jennifer on Tribute. Sunday morning, I had a dressage lesson on Isabelle, working on transitions. Eventually, I will figure out this whole dressage thing. Then I got on Finn, but it quickly became apparent that he was not quite right. All that tightness Saturday, not the wind and greeness, but left hind soreness. Hilda and I were both feeling pretty badly that we had kept pushing him Saturday, but as always, he seemed happy enough to keep trying so hard to tell given the conditions that there was something wrong. We think it is the stifle as he has just had another growth spurt. New shoes yesterday and a couple days off are helping. We will see if he feels ready to compete on the weekend. Meanwhile, I'm missing the nice hills in PA, not that they are usable at present, but rather a dearth of hill work opportunities in Florida, so will have to figure out other approaches to loading the hind end for fitness work. Hoping I will not be prevented from returning this week by the approaching storm.

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