Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stanton Farm Horse Trials

Traveler - my breeding stallion, and I headed off to the Stanton Farm Horse Trials this last weekend to compete in their USEA Recognized 3 Day Event (at the Novice level) against what we call the "big dogs". Standing at 15'2 he is dwarfed by the bigger TBs and Warmbloods, but he has springs in his hind end and sails over every jump.

Linda V. came out to meet us and cheer us on and take some fantastic photos of Traveler. So thank you very much Linda for your support, time and effort to come and join us for this fun weekend. It was great to meet you and discuss the wonderful world of Curly horses with a fellow Curly owner, breeder and expert at showing Curly horses. I am relatively new to the world of Curly show horses and competitions.

The first day was dressage - we did it, it was passable and we got some pretty good scores on several of the different movements. It seems that Traveler is really good at coming down the centerline and halting. The rest we are working on - but there is always something to work on. The journey never ends - hopefully it just keeps getting a little bit better at a time. We scored better on this test than our last, so that was improvement!

And then on to Cross-Country. This is by far the most fun, fast and furious part of Eventing. Traveler rocks at Cross-Country. We were double clear - on time and obstacles and it was a blast.

Jump number 3 was at a slight angle and I was a little concerned about a run-out - but as you can see there was no hesitation and we sailed over it.

This jump was the house after the water jump. We had to trot into the water - and then pick up a canter in the water and jump the house right after it. No problem for Traveler.

Away from the view of the spectators, Traveler and I galloped up the hill in the trees and had to take 3 jumps on the downhill. I really don't like downhill jumps - but we did them great and raced out of the woods and over the half coffin.

I have been told before that Traveler would not be able to make time on the Cross-Country course because of his shorter body / legs / stride compared to the 17 hands TBs, etc. So let me tell you - when someone tells me that Traveler and I can't do something - I have to set out to prove that I can. Knowing we have to make time, at the last part of the course I kicked him up into a fast gallop, "throw" my hands / reins forward and perch on him like a jockey. HA HA! We did it - with 13 seconds to spare.

What a great boy - whew, we are done.

And now for Stadium jumping - the last day. We made one "mistake" which costs us some penalties, but we recovered, held our own for the rest of the course and finished in 6th place! Complete with a ribbon and a lap in the Victory Gallop. Way to go Traveler!

Traveler - proudly displaying his ribbon! Time to go home and get ready for the next one. Until then.......