Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sporting Days Horse Trials

I'm a day behind updating this as things got crazy getting ready for the Sporting Days horse trials.  On Friday I worked on flat work with both horses, did tons of barn chores, including mucking paddocks and prepared everything for the event.  I also went over and checked out the stadium and XC courses on Friday afternoon.  What is cool about this venue is that it is literally only a 1/2 mile from the farm where my horses are staying.  This was the Training level XC.

Saturday was an early start as I had dressage at 8:12am.  I was not too pleased that the temps were in the low 30's as I was getting ready, but if I kept moving it wasn't too bad.  I actually tacked Catty up before heading to the event, and after the long 1/2 mile journey, I unloaded and got on.  She warmed up well for dressage, staying fairly relaxed.  She put in what I thought was a nice, workmanlike, accurate test, with just a bit of tension.  However, the judge felt we had lots to work on, oh well.  An hour after dressage I was scheduled for Show Jumping, so I did a quick tack change and headed over.

Catty had been quiet and relaxed up until this point, but once we got to the jumping area she really perked up.  She warmed up well, though was quite strong and was showing her usual tendency to be trailer bound.  Going in the direction of the trailer parking she tries to takeover, and going away from them she is nice and rideable.  In the ring she jumped well, especially at one jump where I completely rode to a terrible distance.  I was thrilled to finish with a clear round and headed to XC.

The course had a couple questions on it, but everything looked very doable.  I had a great time out on course, and Catty was incredibly bold. She was very forward, especially in the direction of the trailers, but was ratable when I needed her to be.  She jumped through the water and coffin especially well.  We came home well under the time, and I think we both had big smiles on our faces.  The jumping phases felt easy for her, and hopefully our next outing will be at Prelim.  Overall it was a great day, and I really didn't feel like we had rust to knock off even though our last event was almost 4 months ago.  I'm happy to bring home a brown ribbon to remember my first time competing in Aiken.

Since I was done competing before 10am I managed to get in a nice jump school on Ianto.  He was jumping out of his skin, and being very bold.  I'm really looking forward to continuing working with him back in Virginia.  After riding him, I went back to the event in the afternoon to help my trainer with his two horses.  It was exciting to be in the warm-up and seeing so many International event riders, this is definitely an eventing mecca.

My time in Aiken is now coming to a close, and my fingers are crossed that the long journey home goes smoothly.  I will miss this eventing haven, but I'm ready to get back to my normal routine.


  1. Truly hope you enjoyed your time in Aiken & working with your trainer.

    Totally understand "Mucking Paddocks", literally, been there , done that and only had the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quietof The setting!! Not talented as you and your trainer, or having the guts to ride as the two of you so skillful,y do!!!

  2. Great job Carolyn, you and Catty did yourselves proud. Glad that the trip back was uneventful and that you can return to "normal" and look back on a great and productive adventure! I am so happy for you that Ianto did well too. Time for him to really start to event too.