Blue Rock Classic 2019

 

Apologies for the week delay on this post! In a nutshell – I got home from the show Sunday evening, left first thing on Monday morning for a staff retreat in Maryland, got back home from that Wednesday evening, spent Thursday after work finishing all my schoolwork for this term, then promptly got sick with a killer cold on Friday and spent 90% of my long weekend either in bed or on the couch.

It’s been a busy week.

But I can’t leave you hanging forever, because I seriously had SO MUCH FUN at this show! If you’re connected with me on Facebook or Insta then you’ve already seen some of the adorable pictures that came out of it.

The high-level recap: we ended up doing the hunter derby and Adult Medals, Francis was mildly bemused at first that it wasn’t time for zoomies, but by the end was absolutely delighting in his new job.

We just did a short lesson on Thursday in one of the hunter rings to let Frankie know he could open up his step. We kept it fairly short and sweet since he was jumping so well and flowing so nicely. We’ve worked so so hard to tell him to collect and fire more up-and-down, and I think it was refreshing for him to be told to move more across the ground like that. It was definitely useful to play with his stride to figure out where to place him. In the jumper ring I always have to shorten him up since we’re galloping, but his natural stride length was actually spot on in the lines for the hunter ring. I just needed to keep my leg on to help him balance, rate him a bit towards home, and encourage him to keep a steady pace and he took care of the rest.

Then Friday was derby day!! We did go in to do a 2’6″ schooling round first thing in the morning, just so he could get a chance to see the ring. I’m never worried about him spooking, but I figured with a big class like the derby with a lot of commotion, I’d rather do everything I can to set him up for success.

As you can imagine, he was downright adorable in the 2’6″. I don’t think he’s ever actually shown that low, and he was probably thinking that his blessed retirement was upon him.

img_1252
“HELLO RETIREMENT THIS IS THE LIFE FOR ME”

Unfortunately for him, he’s still young and healthy and while I’m happy to step down to the 3′ for now, I’m not quite ready to step all the way back down. Sorry dude. Because it was time to get braided and primped and shiny and shad-ed up for the derby!!

img_1216
Notice the two ammies that have no shame and the two juniors that are beet red and would really rather not be seen with us. They will learn in time to give zero effs.
img_1179
We decided to do a quick high fashion photoshoot. The hairnets. The stock ties. The bright blue sports bra extremely visible through my shirt. The height of luxury.
img_1180
All jokes aside, these young ladies are wonderful riders, even better horsewomen, and just stupendous teammates. Couldn’t ask for a more supportive and encouraging crew.

As an extra special treat, I actually have video from the derby! So I’ll keep my comments brief.

And thanks to my favoritest barn mom/photographer/bestie/wine sharer/snarkfest, we have some pictures to share from derby day too!!

img_3270
Does Francis go in a martingale ever? No. Did we put one on him to visually break up his brontosaurus neck? Yes. Yes we did.
img_1217
“Quick, look dramatic and oddly butt-high”
img_1255
Jumps 1-4 were in the main ring, then you crossed over into the neighboring ring for jumps 5-6, then made your way back to the main ring for jumps 7-12. It was super cool.
img_1256
This wasn’t even the jump we had the rail on. I know 3′ is easy for you dude, but maybe try just a leeeeettle bit harder?!
ed6b060f-5a69-4263-8d18-d3acb37cbb41
There it is. My hunterific prince.
862c75e8-97eb-4fd3-9c1c-c489db6f2088
Basically my new favorite picture.Β 

Brief comments: first jump was a little sticky as I figured out my striding, and definite wobbles here and there while I figured out what horse I had underneath me and Frankie figured out that there was not actually a time to beat. An unlucky rail where he simply didn’t bother to pick his feet up all the way so our score was appropriately low, but overall I’m tickled with our first attempt. I learned a ton about how to adjust my ride and I think next time we’ll do even better!

The next day, we were up bright and early to do our two adult equitation medals (I think it was the Dover and the MHSA if I remember correctly?). Sadly no media from those two trips, but I was very very happy with both of them. In the first we got called back in to test on the flat, and were able to move up from fourth to third! We got a shmancy medal for that one. The second trip was overall more balanced and a better showing, but we did have a little weak spot into the two-stride that bumped us down to fifth. Entirely fair, we were up against some strong competition! We were able to do some really cool inside turns with our track that I think showed us both off to best effect.

img_1193
No video or pics of our rounds, but we do have a nice sweaty pic with our ribbons!

I had originally planned on doing the Low Adults over in the jumper ring that afternoon, but I definitely had a tired horse under me. Neither of us are in the best physical condition, the temperature was quickly rising, and so I opted to scratch our jumper class (knowing that it meant we would not be eligible for the classic the next day). While a bummer to miss the classic, it definitely felt like the right choice to make sure Frankie wasn’t getting overworked.

This meant that the next day we just had our Ariat Adult Medal first thing in the morning! Lucky us – one of our barnmates woke up early too so they could come video and cheer us on. And also lucky us – Austen was there too!!

And lucky us, they got to witness me LOSE MY MIND ENTIRELY OH MY LANTA.

OK so you know how I go to horse shows pretty regularly? Like, not as often as some, but more often than many. I’ve done this before. I know the drill. I can get myself and my horse to the ring looking good and on time. No big deal.

EXCEPT APPARENTLY IT IS A BIG DEAL AND I CAN DO NONE OF THESE THINGS BECAUSE I LITERALLY FORGOT TO PUT MY NUMBER ON. AND THEN WHEN THEY SAID WHATEVER JUST GO IN THE RING AND TELL US YOUR NUMBER, I TOLD THEM THE WRONG ONE.

89068f1b-00ca-4c1e-ba56-fdc67908c0bd
1. Realization 2. Resignation 3. PANIC

This was caught on video that will certainly be turned into a reaction gif sometime soon. Just wow. Why am I like this.

Anyways, we did go in and put in a pretty decent trip actually.

Again, not perfect, but I think it showed steady improvement day over day. They had everyone back in to flat (AT WHICH POINT I DID HAVE A NUMBER ON) and I pulled a sixth here. I do think our flatwork should have bumped us up a place or two (there was a decent amount of crowhopping and swapped leads among our competitors), but I’m just happy they let me continue despite my absolute ammy potato brain!

I’ll close out by saying that I think it worked out for the best that we stuck in the eq ring instead of going back and forth to the jumpers. Frankie is a great learner with repetition, and maintaining the same expectations for his pace and rhythm over the course of the weekend 100% helped it *click* for him. By the last day, he very noticeably understood the game much better and I was able to sit and equitate instead of having to manage him.

I’ll also add that I think the equitation/medals is a really bright spot for Frankie and I. The courses are interesting enough to keep him focused and attentive, the jumps are low enough that he doesn’t have to work too hard, and the striding is very suited to his natural way of going.

We have Loudoun Benefit coming up in a few weeks, and I’m excited to go do a similar mishmash with him! Love love love my happy, sweet, game, wonderful steed.

img_1200
And don’t you worry. He got plenty of naps.

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Blue Rock Classic 2019

  1. Austen 05/28/2019 / 9:05 am

    Yep. 110% gonna need that reaction gif, because just the memory of it has me giggling!! I’m actually ALWAYS forgetting my number, so this is basically just normal show stuff for me. 🀣

    Like

    • hellomylivia 05/29/2019 / 9:33 am

      I’m so glad you were there for my finest horse show moment yet. In hindsight, shrieking PLEASE DON’T DISOWN ME to my trainer wasn’t the best move…

      Like

  2. Emily 05/28/2019 / 11:37 am

    Your horse is a total unicorn hahaha I just love him. I am sure he would love to get his dad-bod on and do the hunters πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • hellomylivia 05/29/2019 / 9:34 am

      Hahaha he thinks the hunters are exactly his speed – we just have to make sure we never trot where the judge can see hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emily 05/29/2019 / 9:59 am

        Wait until he learns that sometimes – there are trot JUMPS! πŸ˜‰

        Like

      • hellomylivia 05/30/2019 / 2:15 pm

        Oh he’s totally cool with the trot jumps, he just has the ugliest trot known to man hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz 05/28/2019 / 12:48 pm

    Oh gosh, I’m so glad that last photo was in there! I was legit concerned for Sir Naps-A-Lot!

    He’s pretty much the cutest derby pony ever! I love that shot of you guys spreading your “wings” where the juniors are deeply embarrassed. 🀣

    Like

    • hellomylivia 05/29/2019 / 9:34 am

      Those poor juniors just wanted to sink into a hole, the rest of us were enjoying our pre-round wine and enjoying the beautiful ridiculousness of shadbellies hahaha

      Like

  4. Stacie Seidman 05/28/2019 / 9:59 pm

    I was really worried he didn’t get to have his naps. Thank goodness you clarified!
    Lol… kidding aside, sounds like a really fun weekend. It’s really special to have a horse that can be competitive in all three rings.

    Like

    • hellomylivia 05/29/2019 / 9:35 am

      He definitely got plenty of naps!!! And competitive may be a strong word, but I’ll settle for “not embarrassing ourselves completely” hahaha. He’s a good sport!

      Like

  5. Britt 05/29/2019 / 2:18 pm

    Love this! The photo of you guys embarrassing the juniors had me LOLing

    Like

    • hellomylivia 05/30/2019 / 2:15 pm

      They’ll grow and learn that horse shows are not a place to have dignity πŸ˜‰

      Like

Leave a Reply to eventerinprogress Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s