Monday, May 9, 2011

Twin Stadium & XC

I know I am SUPER last posting this but real life has gotten in the way of blog posting lately. I do still want to get this down so I have something to look back to though.

The schedule at Twin has the lower levels riding stadium on Saturday and XC on Sunday. We walked our course on Friday after dressage and I was feeling pretty confident as we were walking around. The course was super twisty which is exactly what I like for Gatsby, lots of turns to make him think and help get him back to me. My only real concern was that most of the turns were to the left and he just loooooves to pop that right shoulder, I knew though that as long as I paid attention and really used my outside aides we would be fine. The course was as follows: Oxer, rollback to a vertical, bending line to a wall vertical, right turn to another vertical, rollback to an oxer, left turn to a looky vertical, right turn to another vertical, bending line to a square oxer, left turn to what I thought would be reset to an in and out. Oh no, I was wrong, as we approached the end of our course walk Alexis commented that he was "surprised they would put a triple combo on the Training course." WTF?!?!? At this point, I was scared out of my pants but hoping that they would at least lower the first fence of the triple, a huge oxer. Again, oh no.I practically had a mental breakdown in warm up on Saturday and Alexis commented on my round that he was surprised I was able to hold it together so well in the ring. Ugh. The first 8 fences were beautiful, according to Alexis it looked like a hunter round, despite the fact that I almost threw up before fence 5 LOL. And then, as we approached fence 8 I started to realize what a great round we had and that we were almost done. It only took about 3 seconds for me to realize that my nemesis, the triple (oxer-1 stride-vertical-1 stride-vertical) was all that stood between us and a double clear round. Unfortunately this was going through my head during the time where I actually should have been kicking him on and setting him up for the line. Oops.
We kind of crashed through the first fence and Gatsby legitimately did not have enough room for a stride before the vertical so he stopped. The rang the bell, I regrouped, told myself I had better ride it perfectly this time and not let it become an issue, and started through again. The second time was great, he did hit the middle rail but I am chalking that up to him being a bit shaken up from our first go through. Those 12 penalties would ultimately cost us the 8th place ribbon. Definitely a disappointment but at least I know what I need to fix for next time.
This is where I started to feel sick...


I was surprisingly not nervous at all in XC warm up on Sunday. I was super excited to get out there and just hoped that Gatsby felt the same. He warmed up great and before I knew it we were heading over to the start box. We took it slow to the first few fences, fence 2 was super looky and I really didn't want a stop early one. After fence 3 my first minute marker went off a bit early and I kicked him forward into a gallop, there was no turning back after that. I got a little nervous to the u-log on the hill (our previous nemesis) but I rode it just like Alexis told me to, picked his nose up and away we went. At this point, I was remembering that this horse really does LOVE cross-country. My half-halts were pretty much ignored and I had no option but to really trust Gatsby that he could gallop this fences without killing me.

Clearly having the time of his life
I could tell he was really enjoying himself and everyone said afterwards that he looked amazing. And despite the fact that he was mostly ignoring my attempts to slow down (he took the angled houses in 2 strides where everyone else was doing 3 or 4), he did come back to me when he knew it was necessary. The drop into water sharp turn to the corner, down banks to the skinny house, coffin, and twisty turns through the second water were non-issues for him. I'm pretty sure I galloped through the finish flags with a GIGANTIC smile on my face. I could not be more proud of my horse.
Don't think Training height will be an issue for him:)


  1. my my he looks happy! what a lovely uphill gallop!

  2. OMG! Check him out! Clearing those fences by a mile!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I know, right?! I don't think he'll have an issue with height when we move up to preliminary:)