Monday, October 10, 2011

Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy

Z laying down a 27.30 in dressage
 It was time for some Eventing after a month of dressage shows, and the Maryland Horse Trials did not disappoint!  Beautiful weather and fall beauty abounded with gorgeous horses galloping cross country over the exquisite course, outlined by the changing colors of the hills in the background. 

The weekend began and ended with excitement, starting with Rose locking me out of my friend Mary's truck as I attempted to pick up Mary's horse Vinny and make it to White North for my first lesson of the day at 9am.  Realizing that the keys AND my cell phone were in the truck with Rose, I resorted to stupid human tricks trying to get Rose to jump on the unlock button located on the arm rest.  While she can do lots of tricks, this apparently wasn't one of them, and she looked at me licking the window, saying, "Open the door dummy!"  After a few minutes, I decided to go into Mary's house and locate a phone (of course there was no LAND line) and instead woke/scared to death her sleeping college daughter Hilary.  Hilary had a phone, but unluckily for me no spare truck keys.  SO, the Kirtland Police were on the job and an officer was dispatched to unlock the truck.  This was no small feat as the handle does not open the door when locked and the only way to open it was to press the button.  Half an hour or so later, he finally got it, saving me from having to go to Mary's husband's work to get the extra keys.  An hour and a half later, I finally made it to work, and thank you to all my wonderful ladies who understood and went for a trail ride in my absence.
The morning continued to be harry scary with an unexpected delivery of 300 chairs and 20 tables for an event at the farm this weekend, horses to ride before leaving, lessons, and a sundry of other tasks that required my attention.  Mary (my friend, not my sister cuz she's in Chile with her new hubby)  arrived and helped me finish packing, and by 1:30 we loaded the horses and were on our way!  We arrived at Loch Moy about 7:30, and were greeted by Rex, the stable manager, who kindly showed us to our stalls, and commandeered us a prime trailer parking spot right next to the stable, and directly behind Buck Davidson!  Finally, with the horses settled in, some yummy food and a beer, we checked into the hotel, and I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Z double clear stadium
The jump into the water
Saturday dawned crisp and bright, and I walked cross country before getting ready to do dressage.  Z warmed up great and we laid down a pretty good test.  There wasn't a whole lot of time, so we headed back to stabling where I put his studs in, took braids out, and got suited up for stadium and cross country which ran consecutively.   The stadium course looked nicely flowing, but was catching people with lots of rails.  I went in and buzzed him around the outer track, making sure he got a look at the liverpool and culvert fences.  He had a great forward rhythm throughout and jumped double clear so off we went to XC.

 After catching the roll top in the XC warm up a few times it was our turn in the start box.  I love this part, because Z always gets that "look of eagles" thing going on, and you can just feel him ramp himself up as we wait for the 10 second mark.  He lifts his neck and grows about 5 inches during the count down and off we go.  He ran around the course great with one sticky moment at the first water, incurring no jump or time penalties.  There is really nothing better than getting off cross country with a happy, blowing horse, and a double clear run. After arriving back at the stalls, Mary said to me, "Do you know where you are in the standings?" I said no, that I hadn't had time to look, and she said, "Well, I think YOU JUST WON!"  The beauty of LIVE SCORING!  I had been in first after dressage and with clear rounds stadium and cross country, we just waited for the official results.  Besting a field that included the likes of Sharon White, Stephen Bradley, and Phillip Dutton was crazy (it is only Training of course) and made for some fun phone calls.
Tiffany and Cisco in dressage
Tiffany and Cisco Cross Country
Tiffany arrived with Cisco later that afternoon, and we helped her get settled and I gave her a dressage lesson.  She had some light bulb moments so we were pretty pumped for Sunday.  Mary was first to go and after some wild moments in the warm-up (Vinny thought he should race the Prelim horses from their gallop lane that was located next to the dressage show ring) she kept him together and put in a great test all things considered.  Tiffany was next and rode a brilliant test putting her in sixth out of 17. Mary jumped clear stadium and cross country, moving her up to second in her division!  Tiffany had an unlucky draw being the second last ride of the day, but cruised around the stadium leaving all the rails in the cups, and staying within the time.  She caught a couple fences in the xc warm-up, and went out and had an awesome XC round, jumping all the jumps right out of stride.  I was so proud of her and Cisco because they have been working very hard in all aspects and its great to see the results pay off with a move up to third place.  They also got their last qualifying score for the AEC's NEXT YEAR, and I am sure we will see them topping the leader board at Novice next year! 
Mary and Vintage Stadium
Mary and Vintage XC

By 6:30 we were packed up and headed home, arriving at the farm by 1am.  I gave "Z" a kiss goodnight, and was home by 2, finishing the weekend the same way it started...with a sigh and a smile.