Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MDHT: course walks

Omg so many pictures haha... and so much editting/prep to get them all ready to post. So we'll just start off with a photo dump of the cross country and stadium walks, and my thoughts and observations thereof. Nice way to ease back into the work week after a long weekend, right?

I walked my course after walking the intro course with B (it was her and Wick's first ever event and they were awesome!!!) and, well, I kinda wanted to cry. The course was BIG - and asked almost every question BN can ask (notable exceptions include up or down banks). There were 15 total efforts - just five of which I could step over: the mound, water, and ditch, and two actual fences (#s 10 and 12 - so already pretty far into the course).
jump one got us started off with a maxed out roll top.  my impression was that this jump would likely set the tone for our course
jump 2 was only small in comparison to 1... which i guess is the benefit of starting out at max height?

same goes for fence 3. if we made it over 1 ok i figured this would follow suit. we've jumped smaller fences that look like this before (at Tranquility's hunter trials last fall) so i wasn't too worried about it being spooky
aaaand fence 4 was another biggie. plus the terrain here was kinda odd - sloping down to the left towards a small pond - tho at least the ground seemed quite dry. i expected to need to ride this fence with committment. 

fence 5 was kinda strange looking, potentially even spooky. combined with the invitation to jump the lower ends, i expected this to be another fence that required a strong and deliberate ride. that impression was reinforced when i saw another rider have a stop here



fence 6 (lol @ 'fence') was the first let up. it was just a mound - tho i guess it looked kinda strange, and fence 7 was hot on its heels


this is looking straight down at the ground on the backside of the mound. kinda hard to tell the height, except that you can see where the bank complex starts on the left. not sure why they didn't give BN a bank instead - but i'm certainly not arguing.
fence 7 came up fast after the mound and was another big-to-me fence. tho oddly, by this point in the course walk i guess my eye had adjusted a little bit to the height, so it felt more doable. like, 'if i make it this far it will be bc the height is no problem'
the entry to the water served as fence 8. you can see the flags are set wayyyyyyy far apart - with the white all the way at the edge of the photo, and the red right at the steepest part of the bank. by this point i had already spied my yellow fence number right smack on the other side of the water and immediately broke into a cold sweat. shit. 
yea.... this looked pretty challenging to me. and spoiler - it was pretty challenging. at least the entry to the water looked expansive and friendly - and there was plenty of room to sorta wiggle sideways (Isabel's fave) while trying to get into the water. hopefully i'd be able to get her in with enough sideways motion to avoid any actual backward steps.
but even if we managed that (probably from a halt / walk) - getting back up to pace for fence 9 seemed like a tall order (esp considering my heels were in the water when i took this pic...). we've jumped out of water quite a few times at OF and Isabel was fine - but that's also like her home turf. she's not quite so confident at new water complexes. and of course the size of this fence didn't inspire a ton of confidence. it's not as big as some earlier fences, but the question was harder imo.
moving away from the water (our favorite direction!) - we get to the first true let up fence. it was moderately awkward to step over this thing on my course walk, but i made myself anyway as an attempt to cling to any remaining confidence haha
this picture doesn't really show the ditch inthe way i had hoped - but it was so sunny i had a hard time seeing the camera screen to check. anyways this was a true ditch - not the faux type that we've jumped quite successfully in the past. i wasn't super worried but expected to ride carefully just in case.
and another let up fence. i didn't make myself scramble over this one - but as you can see it's definitely more inviting. i took note of the carvings just bc Izzy looked at the carved log last week, but expected no problems here.
then we turned into a very pretty wooded section for jump 13. this jump was right where the shadows started and the white lattice looked a little spooky in the changeable light. another strong ride expected here.
our first pheasant feeder! and honestly if i hadn't seen the first few fences on course this would have worried me. but again - the prevailing sentiment was that if we got it this far, it would be ok. i worried about it being a little spooky with the light coming through the bottom - so again, planned to ride with confidence. tho we're heading back towards the trailer at this point - which would no doubt help.
final fence! and another max height fence... you can see at the ends the log is actually the same size as the novice fence next to it. so... yea my plan here was to ride aggressively and finish the damn course. there is NO WAY i wanted any problems this close to the finish line (again haha)
i really really hoped i'd be riding past this flag. but honestly - at this point in the walk my confidence was pretty low. i felt like we were as ready as we'd ever be for the course (except maybe the water complex) - but that it would 100% challenge us. and it felt like i had chosen our first BN venue poorly... but thems the breaks, i guess. 


the stadium ring was on the way back from my cross country walk, so i popped in for a quick lookie loo. 

the course looked pretty reasonable: right lead turn to fence 1 on a diagonal, left turn down the single 2 on the outside, left turn over 3 on the diagonal, right turn down the 4-5 diagonal line, left turn over the single 6 on the short end, left turn up the single 7 on the diagonal, right turn down 9-10 line on the other outside, right turn up the single 10 to finish. great course for a horse that loves their left lead! (hint - Isabel is not that horse lol)


the fences looked big to me - but doable. especially after that xc couse walk!!! i figured we might have a rail or two - but that we'd mostly survive this course.

Stay tuned for the rest of the media and accompanying details - hopefully forthcoming over the next two days as I get it all together!

22 comments:

  1. #1 - I didn't get to comment on your other post, but OMG IN THE RIBBONS AT YOUR FIRST BN I AM SO PROUD!!!!!
    #2 - this XC is mildly terrifying, and has solidified my choice to stay at elementary for now. YIKES!
    #3 - that stadium course looks so nice and friendly!

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    1. thanks!! the xc definitely gave me pause. like, i knew in my mind that we *could* do it... but definitely thought it wouldn't be the easy peasy cruise control ride of past events... at least stadium was friendly too! if i hadn't already seen xc i would have thought stadium was big too, funny how that works lol

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  2. Looks like a pretty fair BN, which is good. It's always funny to me how tiny the stadium jumps look in comparison to the XC fences.

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    1. definitely fair - tho i suspect it was closer to 'more challenging' on the scale vs 'more inviting.' there were a LOT of penalties on XC for all BN splits, and in my split only five riders made it through without issue

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  3. Love to see all the familiar fences! The mound 'jump' was interesting. When I ran BN at Loch Moy we had an up bank down a mound to a jump so it was a bit more complicated. Looks like they toned it down. We also ran through the woods and it looks like you got to stay out in the open :). I love that venue though. Way to go!

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    1. we did go through the woods briefly for 13 and 14. and i heard from another competitor that the banks vs. mound combo had been eased up a bit. there was still a jump right after (and right before, actually) but the mound was easier i guess. tho honestly after riding it i maybe prefer banks haha

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  4. Yep, I'll stay away from eventing thanks, lol. The solid fences just look so scary!

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    1. to be 100% perfectly honest - i actually didn't get close enough to any of them to see where they hit on my hips. purposefully. lol. i felt like i did not need to know - and just repeated over and over in my head that my trainers told me i could do it so therefore i could probably do it...

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  5. The jumps there look very fancy! (and scary!). I cannot believe Is didn't have a fit. Good mare!

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    1. they were SUPER fancy - tho i guess it makes sense since the venue hosts a lot of recognized events. Isabel is actually super professional about this stuff too - she definitely goes into show mode and is all business. no fits for her!

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  6. Yeesss MD themed jumps. We need those at hunter shows. The variety of the cross country fences is pretty cool to see. There's no consistent style, and you guys have more freedom with the jump heights, which I like. I need to school cross country some day, just for the heck of it, but every place that has a course is far away.

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    1. aren't they so pretty?? i just kinda love the MD flag lol. i think hunter jumps are pretty too - but they get a little monotonous. but seriously tho - if you ever find yourself heading toward this side of the bay (or even north to like Fair Hill or something) for xc schooling definitely lmk and i will totally come!!!

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  7. grrr the internets ate my comment. But congrats!!! All those stadium jumps look mighty familiar ;) Can't wait to see all your awesome pics, I'll bet Izzy was in total BossMare mode.

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    1. haha i felt like i had a sneak peek after reading your jumper show recap - and definitely saw what you meant about there being no shade, tho it was much cooler for us this weekend. and yes - izzy pretty much beasted (almost) everything :)

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  8. Holy crap that seems like some serious BN!!!!!!! GO YOU!!!

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    1. yea.... i was kinda maybe hoping they wouldn't all be so big lol... but then again izzy didn't really seem to care so i guess it worked out !

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  9. I am impressed, and totally and fully 100% agree that the x-country looks "challenging" to put it mildly. I probably would have packed up and gone home. Lol - case in point why I am not an eventer!!

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    1. yea 'challenging' is my nice word for it - other descriptors included 'terrifying' or 'tear-inducing' (seriously i was kinda glad i was wearing sunglasses so passers by wouldn't see just how worried/scared i looked!)...

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  10. I don't know a lot about eventing, but those do look fairly on the high end for a BN course to me! Congrats on the satin! Looking forward to reading the full recap. Also, that is a fantastic deal on the pics!

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    1. thanks - the xc recap should be up tomorrow hopefully! and yea my impression was that this course approached the complexity i'd expect at a recognized event. parts of it were super inviting - but you had to survive some tougher questions first

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  11. I'm catching up in order of posts. Wow this BN looks very challenging! Starting off with a max height? And only in May?! Sheesh, venue!!

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    1. haha right?? i guess in fairness to them, this was *their* 3rd event of the year, even if it might be everyone else's first or second. still tho - seemed big to me

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