Thursday, August 11, 2011

Millbrook Wrap Up

I hope that I make a blanket statement for Blue Clover Eventing when I say that a good time was had by all last weekend at Millbrook. The Hudson Valley I think is one of the prettiest areas and this year we managed not to get the rig stuck on those bright green hills surrounding the stabling :) The weather was quite nice, the footing great for galloping, and we even had a little celebrating to get done as Richard's birthday fell on that Friday!
Our week started off with a little bit of excitement, after scratching Morris from the advanced I assumed that I would start on Friday. Surprise, when we got times, I had two dressage tests to do on Thursday! Kudos to Trisha and Marian for packing like lightning and not forgetting a single item. They continue to be great girls to have around and I know the ponies and Gunsmoke feel the same way. Although I am certainly much improved from my stupid fall at Stuart, I am still essentially useless around the barn, so they have been picking up my slack as well and I know I owe them!
It was Lucky's Big Top adventure...the baby's first time in tent stabling, no turn out, and 300 or so horses going every which direction. He was excellent! He stayed focused during warm up as well as during his actual performances. He didn't come home with a ribbon, although he felt like every bit of a big horse galloping around cross country. To say that the competition was tough is an understatement! Lucky and Smarty both fell victim to 4 faults, and with that they plummeted down the standings. Smarty's preliminary was extremely ridiculous....I was sitting 4th out of 30 or so on a 24, and 4 faults later I went down to 15th on a 29!!!!! Craziness I tell you. I am actually quite proud of Smarty and his 4 faults. I have been dreading Millbrook's world famous slide for oh say 3 maybe 4 weeks. Mind you, I've gone down it plenty of times; but never on Smarty. Much to my shock and relief he actually TROTTED! Like a sane, self-preserving animal! So when we got to the bottom I kept trotting, then slowly picked up a canter, then got him back up to cruising speed in time to take a lovely jump at the skinny 3 from home. It cost me about 10 seconds and I couldn't be happier!
Also getting some costly time faults were Morris and I, although again premeditated. He felt good in the dressage, although sneaking in a beautiful flying change in the Intermediate test doesn't get you bonus points, Morris. It kills you on your submission score lol. Anyway, he was feeling very good, and there were quite a few daunting things on the course. Everybody was talking about the water, and I of course was counting the number of ditches or ditch-type fences. Morris really was good, jumped great and had what must've been one of the best rides thru the water all day. Made it look like a gymnastic and was full of running at the end. Lots of fun to watch the video at the competitors party and I'm glad that I was a trip we were applauding :) I just never let him really get into flying between the fences, wanted to make sure that I had his brain and his undivided attention at each and every fence. Mission accomplished! He even showed up the next day for show jumping and really jumped up and around the combinations, something that we have really been working on and I'm glad that it paid off. You had to jump a big old triple bar and gallop down to the in and out in 4 strides; a year ago we would have gone bowling and this time at Millbrook there wasn't even a touch of paint on his toes!
What's next, you may ask? Well, what an excellent question. I am crossing my fingers and toes that I get at least Morris into Richland. It must be the first and only event in 3 years to fill before the closing date! We are waitlisted and that would be a terrible blow to my fall schedule. I will remain optimistic, however, aiming Morris for a trip to Michigan and the rest of the crew will be headed out to Seneca in a couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for the Waredaca results this coming weekend....Playtime is making his Intermediate debut and Trisha is going to give Preliminary a crack, it will be a first for both she and Bailey. Exciting stuff!

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