Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pipestave HT - Oct. 7, 2012

This past Sunday, Dreamy and I traveled to Pipestave Hill, a wonderful facility owned by the town of West Newbury, MA.  The equestrian events there are run by the West Newbury Riding and Driving Club.  I have heard good things about Pipestave Hill Horse Trials for many years, but I never actually looked at a map to see just how far away it was.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it was only two hours south of me and a straight shot down Interstate 95.  I did not get to their July event, as it was one of the only free weekends in my busy summer!  But I am very glad I rode in the October event, and we ended our 2012 season on a really great note!  We competed at Beginner Novice (BN) and there were nine riders in our Senior division.

I was lucky to have my friend and excellent show mommy, Tania, come along for the day.  She had originally planned to show her horse, but decided to scratch.  It was a good choice for her, as she felt she did not have enough time to prepare due to her recent work schedule.  As a rider new to eventing on a horse who is also new to eventing, she decided that lack of preparation would not give them the best experience.  

Besides the fact that I had to get up at 4AM, getting to Pipestave was super easy.  We had plenty of time to check in and walk cross country before I warmed up for dressage.  My only goal for the day was to not get eliminated and I really REALLY wanted to go clear on cross country.  

WARNING photo spam ahead!  That's what happens when I have my own personal photographer with me!  LOL!  Tania took excellent photos!


Headed to dressage warm up

Warming up...she is so clean!  


Entering at A for our Beginner Novice Test B test


Our first centerline was a 7


First change of rein = 7

Trot circle left = 8




Second change of rein = 7


Free walk = 7 (We had a little almost trot bobble because I overrode her a bit.  Whoops.  Probably would have earned our normal 8 had I just let her do her thing.  LOL!)

The trot before this canter was an 8!  Left lead canter = 7  WHOOO!!!!


Half circle trot = 7
Final halt at G = 7
We did quite well, scoring a 31 and sitting in second place for dressage!  Our scores were mostly all 7s, a 6 on the right lead canter, and a 5 (whoops) on our half circle at B onto the final centerline.  I totally poorly planned this turn and overshot centerline.  I hate doing 10 m half circles in the middle of the ring!  Yes, I use the rail as a crutch!  LOL!

Our collectives were all 7s and I earned an 8 for rider position!  YAY!  That is huge for me.  Back just a few years, when I took a hiatus from lessons for a few years, my equitation fell apart.  I was lucky to squeak out a 6 on rider, so earning so many 8s on it this year is very, very gratifying.  The judge (Judy Lawless, an "r" eventing judge) wrote: "Very well ridden!  Trot work is just lovely!  Canter needs to be more active for a clearer three beat (especially for better balance in downward transition).  Relaxed and accurate test!"

We were given a second place ribbon for dressage!  That was so cool!  I love being given more than one ribbon in an event!  Usually you only get one.  Only one other event has ever done that where I have shown (Applehurst Farm in NH, a long lost horse trial and hunter pace venue).  I felt so good after our dressage test!  But next it was time for...
Aww yeah....this is why we event!  Headed over to jump!!  We had stadium and then cross country just 15 minutes later.
Entering for our stadium round 
Fence #1
Fence #2 - I love this!  She might be a 21 year old Standardbred mare, but she can still jump!!

Jump #3

Jump #4 
Jump #6A
Jump #6B
Jump #7
Jump #8 - I love her happy ears and how she is looking to the next fence!

Final Jump #9 - We chipped in a little bit and ended up pulling the rail.  Bummer!  We moved down to third because of the rail.  Oh well, my fault.
Stadium went very well, besides that one rail on the last fence.  We cantered the entire course and got all our distances (again, except for the slight chip at the last fence).  We had to do a simple change, but that is fine with me.  Dreamy is never going to have automatic changes, but that is fine with me.  I was super happy with how she warmed up and jumped the course.  Overall, she did not look twice at anything and was very bold.  She felt great and we jumped well together!

We walked through a path down to cross country right after we jumped.  There were some big fences out on course and it was the longest course we have ever done together with 17 jumps total.  Many of the fences were set on hills, so they were sideways.  There was a huge stone wall, a series of three fences just a few strides apart, a bunch of galloping lanes, and a very steep drop.  I was nervous but knew we could do it.  I was determined to go clean.  


Headed into the big field after Fence #1 
This series of three fences came up quickly, but we nailed it!  This is the first of the series.  I love her ears and knees!
Our faces match!  LOL!  Second fence of the series... 
And the third in the series...wheee!!
Cantering up to the last fence... 
And we went clear!  YAY!!!!!  This is our fifth time trying BN (once at a two-phase and four times at horse trials) and our FIRST TIME CLEAR ON XC!  Finally!  I feel like we worked so hard for this moment all year!  I wish she was not in the down phase of her jump...her LF is hanging a bit.   
SO HAPPY!!!!  Cantering through the finish flags ahead!  We had a great course!  
Not the most flattering pic of me, but I was SO HAPPY!  LOL!!!
We ended up second in dressage with a 31 and third overall with a 35 out of nine riders!  GOOD MARE!!!  I love how I have helmet hair and she has unbraided hair decorated with her hay.  
What an awesome cross country course!  We rocked around it, Dreamy cantering and jumping like a machine!  She did not look at anything, just jumped and cruised around.  I rode her forward to every fence and never doubted anything.  She listened well, never got strong, never hesitated, galloped through the lanes like a boss, and hopped down the steep drop like she does it every day.  I was so happy with her!  We worked so hard this year, and at times I felt like maybe moving her up to Beginner Novice was a bad idea.  We had stupid run outs at events and I thought maybe I ought to give up.  She is not a young horse and I worried I might be asking too much of her.  But apparently it all came together and we "peaked" at Pipestave!  I am SO GLAD I made the trip down and we ended our 2012 eventing season in style.  I secretly would love to try a sanctioned horse trial at BN next year, but Dreamy will tell me what she can to do.  ;-)  For now, I am just happy and appreciative for all she has given me.  

1 comment:

LiveToFly said...

WOW! Congratulations!!! I love the photos! Dreamy looks so incredible in all of them! You definitely need to get some of them printed and framed. Looks like you guys had a great time and great rides!