Monday, August 6, 2012

Millbrook 2012

All in all I'd have to declare Millbrook 2012 to be a big success even if we didn't come home with any blue ribbons. Millbrook is one of my favorite events of the year, and obviously I was just a little excited to get to ship up there with the new Fernhill Whatever entered in the Open Prelim. Felix Brew Trisha and Gunsmoke were all along for the ride as well. And I cannot forget to mention the Birthday Boy - Richard - who got to ? celebrate ? on Sunday by packing us up in a flash before the skies opened up! Not sure what we would have done without him, Trisha got her arm yanked out of the socket quite literally on Friday and even thru her stubborn denials it was clear that she was in pain. Luckily we had guest working student Catherine helping us out all weekend as well, although her main job was to try to keep Trisha under control and not working too hard! She did a great job, I am so lucky to be surrounded by such great people. And ponies. So more on that!

Millbrook continues to run a fantastic event, I was excited to see the new water complex and I will be more excited to see what they have in store for us next year now that they have the basic layout. The fence and rocks around the water in my area of tent stabling was fantastic, and we refrained from harming those few jerks who still tried to hose off their horses in the blatantly marked "BUCKET BATHING ONLY" area. I was impressed by the fact that the food tent carried a wide variety of tea - I live so constantly discriminated against as a non-coffee drinker ha ha ha - however my big complaint of the weekend is their thought that food and caffeine are not necessary before 730 at a competition!!! aaahhhh!!!!!

If this is my biggest complaint of the weekend, however, I'd say they are doing everything right. And they pretty much are. We had an interesting beginning to the competition, Felix put in a fantastic test and the judge was just a little stingy in the marks department for the entire division. It was still good enough to be his sales footage, so anyone in the market for a nice upper level prospect currently competing at training level, go ahead and check out the For Sale page on my website! Brew let his nerves get the better of him crossing the road to the big main arena. He was accurate and obedient; but obviously not super relaxed. We are still trying to name poor Fernhill Whatever, so you will just have to bear with me, Whatever was lovely in the dressage although unfortunately the judge did not reward him for his flying changes in the preliminary counter canter movements. Poor guy thought he was doing everything right and kept trying to change. His walk and trot were beautiful, not an ounce of tension, so we have some work to do there! I declare, however, the biggest victory of the weekend to be the fact that I walked all horses back unharmed without having to use the alternate route to stabling lol.

We don't think they had these little fellas back in Ireland for Fernhill Whatever!

Cross country was also a bit hit or miss, fact finding shall we say. Felix had an absolutely brilliant start, his personal best by far, and the tracks really flowed I believe on all levels. He got a little rattled by the loop around the new water complex; I slowed down a touch and we ended strong. I then went out on a mission on Brew knowing time was hard to make and ran my little Ferrari like an Intermediate horse. Poor Brew Brew. He had a fly by at 16, I honestly don't even think he knew he was presented to the fence even though I was trying to get him there off of a very tight turn trying to shave off seconds on the last part of the course. Completely idiot mistake and I hope he forgives me. Whatever and I also had a few mistakes. His fitness is so much better, finally getting over his trip and starting to adjust to the heat and humidity and so I went buzzing off out of the start box. He's such a light and sensitive horse in so many ways, that I could hardly believe my lack of detailed steering went I got to the combination at 5. I felt like a bit of a pony clubber pulling on a rein to make a turn and there he went straight ahead just staring at the ditch and flying over it without giving any consideration to the angles rails one stride later. Hmm. We will have a little schooling session involving me, Whatever, and my bit bucket early next week!

I was very proud of how all my boys handled the hustle and bustle of Millbrook show jumping. Felix was excellent, put in the quietest, most focused round yet. We had a cheap rail in the triple, he was trying to make sure he had enough room in the one stride that he came down just a touch too early. I will never fault him for trying to be too careful and jumping too big! Brew was back to his normal go go bunny self and it was a good thing. They were running behind and we grossly over-calculated my adjusted time. I got into warm up on deck! I picked up a canter and jumped the oxer a few times and Brew acted like this was completely normal, went in and jumped a beautiful clear round. Way to go Brew Brew! Whatever also had a beautiful round. Time was quite tight and you really had to go for it and I was slightly nervous that I was going to have a loss of steering; but I went with the same bit that I used on cross country and bigger spurs and had no issues. So that's good and bad :) I will get the pedals figured out soon enough in the jumping department, he has this giant stride this is so casual all at the same time, and he is so careful. I am a lucky girl to have the ride on such a lovely horse, so I've put quite a bit of pressure on myself to figure out this ride quickly. 

We are gearing up for a big end to the month, Waredaca and then Richland. Yay! Hope to see everyone there! Everyone knows that Kalamazoo is the place to be at the end of August.

No comments:

Post a Comment