Surprisingly I’m surviving August pretty well… where every day in August is a Thursday. I got through week one okay but couldn’t wait until the horse trial at Orchard Hill. I focused on giving Brantley enough arena time and trail time to get set. We had a really great gallop session and then worked on softening and his responsiveness to my leg and seat. Then we went through our jump school on Friday where I set up a short combination and another vertical. I also encorporated it into a bending line/figure-8 in and out of the arena into the mini cross country course we have.
Let me tell you. Brantley felt amazing. We cantered everything. I was so impressed and he was so willing, I knew Sunday was going to be amazing. He got a bath Saturday night but I skipped the tack cleaning because… sometimes you just have to be lazy. Everything was washed, packed, and ready to go. Just had to get through work the next morning.
Brantley looked ready to roll! Unfortunately… the morning didn’t go as planned and we rolled into the venue 15 minutes before my dressage time… Not really the way I had planned to start the show day but shit happens and we survived. I felt horrible about rushing Brantley like that and he was an absolute mess, but held himself together for me with only mini tantrums here and there. He jumped everything but we missed our short combination in stadium and just couldn’t sync up.
We did have a few glorious moments (Photo credit to E. Schultz!)… but the guilt ate away at me all day so I was pretty miserable. We got through cross country with one refusal… well… there was an incident at the first log where B decided to stop at the base and take a giant dump… but then willingly popped right over it so the judge gave it to us.
We nailed his favorite jump though! I don’t know what it is about this log but B was all, “Lions, and Tigers, and bears! Fuck yeah!” And then didn’t have an issue with the water this time but a refusal at the stone wall he so willingly hit last time without a blink.
We pinned so in most eyes, why the disappointment? And I don’t want anyone to think I was disappointed in Brantley at all because he did as well as he could for me under the circumstances. No warm up. No time to settle. No chance to follow our routine… I was disappointed in myself for not having him prepared enough for a situation like this and I rushed him. One thing I hate doing with B-man… and he didn’t deserve it. What sucks was that though whole thing was out of my control. Luckily, it gave me the push to say fuck it, I’m not waiting any longer and I ordered the wiring to redo my truck so I can haul again and not have to wait for a ride.
I went home after getting him settled and cried to these two… the offered me lots of cookies and even some ice cream which I was super thankful for ♡ Love them.
I decided we would do two more trials and then call it for the year. Azrael Acres and then one more shot at Groton House with our new found confidence. I just want to give him a couple more really good experiences before he decides to resent it. It was just so disheartening… especially when he kicked out at a innocent bystander while refusing to go into the warm up ring for stadium… so not like him. Speaking of that, I was pretty impressed with myself when you have time to jump 2-3 jumps in warm up and learn the course by watching the girl who happens to be the rider before you. Know your course, trust your horse!
We’re taking it slow the next few weeks. We have a hunter pace on the 20th and then the next trial isn’t until the 17th so we’ve got time to regroup and hit it right this time.
I got to enjoy some adult time last night with Deb last night in Newport. It was nice to step outside the work world for a night and I was very thankful. Plus the drinks were amazing!
Guess I should head back off to work. A slow couple of weeks coming up, then the shit show begins again! Wish me luck!