Hope everyone’s August has gone well! I for one, know that mine has been quite busy!
On July 18th I headed to Norway for a backpacking and kayaking expedition trip! It wasn’t too shabby for a little break from the horses; but I will say I was missing Benny big time. By August third, my day of return, I was ready to get back into the swing of things. I definitely think my legs were ready to trade Norway’s steep rocks for the back of a horse! A missing passport, two hours in customs, and a nine hour plane flight were enough to convince me that the country lifestyle suits me well.
It was fair to say I hopped right back into my regular competing schedule! Benny went to boot camp while I was gone and I found that when riding him when I returned that he had a new sense of respect for his rider! But maybe that was just a result of his treat intake coming to a screeching halt… Benny’s new buttons did not mean that his rider knew how to push them right away! It was a tough week of riding, and I’d be lying if there weren’t any frustration tears, but we put that behind us and headed to Great Meadow’s Twilight Jumpers. Benny and I rocked around the 1.10 in a B I G atmosphere and made it into the jump off, just adding a cheap rail, to finish right outside the placings! It made a week of sweat and tears quite worth it.
That following day Benny and I got back on the grind and headed to a clinic with 5***** event rider and Pan-American gold medalist, Boyd Martin. It was really interesting to get some new perspective on our training! Benny was yet again a perfect boy and definitely helped me out when I needed it. It felt great to hear some compliments from such an accomplished rider, as well as come back with some A+ tips that have certainly been helpful in our trainings. After such an amazing weekend I made the executive decision to retire my lucky, but ultimately destroyed, gloves. They served me well!
Following that exciting weekend Benny and I had a bit of down time to crack on with our training and prepare for our next event, Waredaca Summer Horse Trials in the Training (BE100) Division. Not going to lie, it seems that the Waredaca show ground is out to get me! Our dressage is getting better and better! The dreadful lessons are finally coming around. We had a nice, short, warmup and then headed down the centerline. Benny really handled himself well, and definitely knew to keep his lid shut. I will say that I was quite proud of my riding but a whistle in the next ring grabbed my attention, leaving Benny with some free will, and produced a sloppy canter transition. Besides this and a bit of a tense walk, things were looking good! Our score left us in the top placings. We then walked Waredaca’s challenging cross country, watched some showjump rounds, and in the sweltering heat headed back to the trailer to get ready for showjump and cross country. We put in a class showjump round to leave all the rails in their cups and headed to cross country with smiles and excitement! After riding some of the hardest combinations on course Benny and I came to the coffin, a combo that had been catching horses and riders off guard all day. It got the best of Benny and I, without a completely committed ride it left us with an E. Disappointed would be an understatement, but I couldn’t let a mere minute of the day affect the amazing moments we had before. Even though we didn’t come home with a ribbon or trophy, we came back with a learning experience.
We truly ended August well, and headed back to Great Meadow for the Great Meadow International Bareback Puissance. Benny’s withers sure weren’t the greatest, but he truly had his jumping shoes on and we finished at 4’6” and tied for second place with a successful 4**** rider! It seemed that every time the fence got higher Benny locked on that much more! Although that seemed to be our downfall, and ultimately my lack of balance left us with the rail. After a terrifying speedy, and spooky, victory lap we headed back to our barn with happy hearts. I don’t think there will be another night quite like it!
The next day I started my first day of highschool. It was great to spend my last night of Summer with my favorite boy, but perhaps it would’ve been helpful if I had spent that time packing.