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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Show and 2010 Recap

And so the Season ended as it began....

In endurance, the season began with a successful 100 and ended with a successful 100.

In dressage, the season began with me ignoring my reader, and ended with me being a complete space cadet and ignoring my reader AGAIN!

The show was fun. It was a combined show with a dressage portion and a stadium jump portion.

I decided to do the Intro B Walk/Trot dressage, which was paired with a cross bar (18") jump course - something I thought we were capable of doing! In dressage, Farley was wonderfully forward and stretching down to the bit. In fact, I was so absorbed by how good she felt I just sort of got confused between left and right.....My reader looked at me in disbelief as I merrily trotted down center line and turned....right. A bell to signal that I was off course, a sigh, and then a few laughs.

Even with the error, I was still in first place after the dressage portion! All I had to do was jump clean.....

I entered the poles class to give Farley and I a look at the course prior to our "real" class. Farley was very good - nary a buck! We were READY.

Farley and I have had 3 or 4 jump lessons....over the course of a year. One of those was Wednesday when I jumped a course for the first time. She alternated the entire lesson between:
  • Trying to buck me off
  • Refusing and ducking out
  • Grabbing the bit and galloping around like an idiot
As a result, I didn't expect great things and had even promised the audience an entertaining run!

Ready-set-WHISTLE and we were off.

Fence 1 went well, then fence 2 - hey we were cantering! Fence 3 came and went and I made a deep corner for fence 4 with my eye already on fence 5. And then....she stopped at fence 5. I kicked and made encouraging noises and we got over it from a standstill. The rest of the course (9 fences altogether) went well enough to not be an embarrassment to my trainer. I was so proud of my girl!

My trainer came up to me afterwards and explained that the stop would have to be counted as a refusal because she took a tiny step sideways and broke "the plane of her body". There went our first place! Oh well - Some of the fault was mine (I let my eye linger on the fence, probably didn't correct her fast enough when she got behind my leg coming up the fence), and some of it was just that she's a really green jumper. We had a good run nevertheless and I think we'll jump more in the next year!

And that's it folks! The last show or ride of the 2011 season....which means it's time for the yearly recap!

Original 2011 goal post can be found here.

Let's start with the "realistic" goals
  • Complete first 100 mile ride - Whoo hoo! I did THREE!!!!!!
  • Start competing training level at recognized shows - did so twice, with disappointing results. The judges I drew had a LOT to do with it, but I'm taking it as a lesson in humility: I'm sure there will be times I get higher scores than I deserve!
  • Earn my 750 mile patch - completed, received, and in the pic album
  • Farley to 500 Endurance AERC miles - yep, there and beyond
  • Complete a 3 day 155 mile ride - yep, no problems there!
  • Compete at a recognized show - yep....
  • Don't go off course - Well....I had this one in the bag...and then did a silly right turn in a recent schooling show. Maybe I need to wear two colors of gloves? Red for the right, white for the left? :)
  • Don't get lost on a ride - due to a not so cool competing event, me and my friend Kathy actually got lost/on the wrong trail at TEVIS. So technically I did get lost!
  • Mark trail or take down ribbons - this didn't happen.
Unrealistic goals!
  • 1000 mile patch - did it by the skin of my chinny-chin-chin. Patriots was 1000 miles!
  • Regional amature champs - ummm...not even close.
  • Schooling first level dressage - I started my lateral work this summer so I'm counting this as completed!
  • Barefoot all year - success, Success, SUCCESS
  • Finish Tevis - Whoo hoo!
  • Farley to the Bronze level in the 100 mile AERC incentive program - Oh Yeah! 3 completions in the 100's this year!
So in conclusion - a really really really good year. In fact, a better year than I have a right to deserve ever again.

Thank you Farley! Thank you blog readers and endurance e-mail list people. Thank you to my friends, family, and boyfriend that have been so tolerant this past year! Last but not least, I would like to thank God for keeping me and Farley safe this year. Horse riding is so dangerous - let's not ever kid ourselves. Every ride we dismount whole and healthy is a good ride. The fact I've ridden thousands of miles without a serious injury just means that sooner or later it will happen - just not this season.

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