Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Brita & Wick take BN by storm! a guest post

Many of you already know that Isabel and I have partners in crime in all our eventing adventures - Brita has been a barn mate and riding buddy for a couple years now, and officially hopped on the party bus with her new lease horse Wick last January. 

We do just about everything together and it's been so awesome to share these experiences. Barn buddies are pretty much the best for celebrating progress - even the most incremental steps forward - and also for dissecting and downloading when things don't go the way we hoped. 

Obviously now that I'm sidelined from the action, I plan on living vicariously through Brita as much as possible. As such, accompanying her to Olde Hope despite my busted leg was never even a question - obviously I would be there to cheer her on! 

And I thought you might like reading about her big move up to BN in her own words, rather than my outsider perspective. So Brita very graciously agreed to do this guest post. Hope you enjoy it! 

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Hi everyone!  My name is Brita.  Wick and I travel most places with and get to learn and experience the awesome horsey adventures with Emma!  I am guest blogging for Emma about my awesome first experience on the beginner novice course at Olde Hope Farm. 

decorations were on point at this show - look at that horse!!
Unfortunately the day before the event Emma made a wrong step out of the trailer and broke her leg.  It was a terrible fall but Emma toughed it out.  Although Emma wasn’t able to ride in the event, she was an amazing coach, cheerleader, and friend to have by my side while I moved up to BN.  I’m not sure if you all agree, or are lucky enough to have a great person to learn from and travel with from show to show but having Emma really makes a difference in my confidence when I’m facing new challenges with Wick.  Emma crutched around the show and really helped me through each phase.  Thank you Emma!!! :)

horses + crutches = not the best combo. still totally worth it tho!
When we got to Olde Hope, we were lucky enough to park next to one of the trainers from our farm where Isabel and Wick live.  We were able to talk to the five students and follow how they were doing throughout the day {editor's note: it was the first off-property horse show for most, if not all, of them! and they were great!!!}

Petal's tail has never looked so good!
Caballo is ready for some dressage action!
Once we parked I went right into the same routine of unloading the millions of things I needed and unloaded Wick.  I ended up tacking Wick up a little early so I could watch some of the student’s dressage tests which was great to see!  Then I warmed up for dressage.  I haven’t really gotten my dressage warm up routine, which would be beneficial but I am about as green to showing as Wick is.  Thank goodness Wick is a forgiving!  

I was pretty useless helping Brita get everything set up
Our dressage test was BN B.  So much trotting!! Our test was rather terrible {ed. note: not true - they had some really nice moments!}.  Dressage is definitely our weak point but we have progressed so much since we started less than a year ago so I can’t really dwell on this phase.  We scored a 41.5 and needed a lot more of a lot...if that makes any sense!  We’ll get there though!  After dressage was over, Wick and I were able to breathe.

but I can take pictures!! isn't Wick super classy in his dressage tack? 
Going into the event, I heard from most people that the course will be easier than most beginner novice courses and it would, more or less, be a step between intro and BN.  So, needless to say, I was going into the event confident that Wick and I would do fine in the stadium and XC rounds.  Our toughest phase is dressage so it was nice to think that we wouldn’t have to worry about the jumps being too much higher.  Later Wick and I found out that Olde Hope decided to raise the standards!  Wick was happy about that…I, on the other hand, was umm scared!

LOTS going on here! 
Emma attempted to walk the course with me but soon found out that there were too many horses running the course that it would be extremely difficult to dodge galloping horses as well as crutch through the tall grass {ed. note: FAIL}.  One of the trainers from our farm, R, was able to walk the course with me, which was very helpful.  The most XC jumps I have done, before this event, is 12.  This time I needed to remember to jump 18 of them. (insert eyes popping out of face)  I have the memory of a gnat so I was a little nervous that I was going to get on the course and have no idea where I was going.  After about every two jumps I would retrace which jumps I needed to jump and move on.  I didn’t miss a jump so I guess retracing worked!  

Each jump looked big while I was out there.  I’m still very new to jumping 2’7”, so on foot these jumps are scary.  When I’m on a 16hh horse they don’t look as bad.  Not only is Wick forgiving, he is very good at making sure he is always between me and the ground.  He definitely takes care of me out there!   So I’m lucky there! (insert unicorn with a halo).

not a unicorn, but c'mon - how awesome is this?!?
So after I walked XC, I tacked Wick up and went over to warm up for stadium.  There were only 8 jumps in stadium so I was confident about that….until…we warmed up.  We trotted over the cross rails a couple times and that was fine.  We went over the vertical 3 or 4 times and knocked it over about 3 or 4 times.  Emma was coaching me through everything and attempted to set the jump up but crutches are not very friendly for that particular activity {ed. note: ugh kill me}.  When are doctors going to realize that all medical equipment needs to benefit equestrians! Geez!  I had to call over to my dad to help set up the jumps.  He didn’t really know what his new job entailed but that’s ok! 

Brita & Wick warming up. Wick is unimpressed by these dinky fences haha
We ended up having an interesting yet clear stadium round.  If you can picture a round of race horse, mixed with allergic to jumps, mixed with a rider forgetting where to go, that would be our round.  My dad, who is not very familiar with riding said “So Brita…..Wick…..he jumps so much……wider…..than the rest of the horses.”  Wick was overly clearing everything.  But anyway! We were ready to move onto the next phase.

but he gave all these gorgeous flowers plenty of room!
wheeeeee flying!!!!!
how gorgeous is this scenery?!? also Brita's bright colors make her easy to spot from a distance :)
Now onto XC….. I decided not to do a lot for the warm up. Wick has his winter coat and I really didn’t think it was necessary to make him any warmer.  Going into XC two horses before me couldn’t make it over the first jump so they were disqualified and the horse right before me refused the keyhole jump 3 times.  It was a warm welcome to the course...  The judges flagged me on and it was go time.  

they *nailed* this bending line!
Wick was on a roll.  A race horse roll.  We cleared the first 4 jumps with no problem.  He tested me at the 5th jump, the keyhole.  I gave him a little swing of the crop and he was over it!  {ed. note: Brita rode the *SNOT* out of that fence!!!} Woohoo!  


We then rode through the woods and the next jump that attempted to trump us was the ditch.  The ditch was about a foot wide in my eyes {ed. note: nope, it was definitely wider than that!} but it was about 9 feet wide by 20 feet deep for Wick.  I definitely almost came off but yet again Wick saved me and kept himself between me and the ground. 

not deep, but verrrrrry wiiiiiiide! (pics from last time I was there)
Then we jumped a couple roll tops and jump 12 had a water option.  I decided by the speed we were going and the result of the ditch, I opted out of the water and jumped the jump beside the water.  Jump 14 was a bank going down with a jump option to the side.  I chose the jump.  

another old pic - but shows pretty clearly how spooky the bank is compared to the stile option fence. 
We then finished the last couple jumps and when we were done I asked the judge if I missed any and they said they didn’t think so.  That was refreshing!


final fence options! Brita and Wick chose the big coop
Before my jumping rounds, I was in 7th place and then at the end of the show was 4th so it was a great outing for us!  I am really glad that we moved up and glad that we were ready to take on the challenge, mistakes and all!  Thanks so much for reading about my experience!  I wish you all the best in your horsey adventures and look forward to hearing about them!  Thanks again!  

good boy with his lovely ribbon!

-Brita and Wicked Thunder

36 comments:

  1. Wooo congrats Brita! Also I'm totally digging the orange part of the ribbon. It looks awesome.

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    1. olde hope always has the prettiest ribbons - and they're different for every show

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    2. Thanks so much! The ribbons were all really pretty fall colors! :)

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  2. It sounds like it was an awesome weekend (minus the broken leg)! Congrats to B and Wick!

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  3. WOOHOO GO BRITA!! What an awesome move-up! And I LOVE Wick's show name - Wicked Thunder - how great!

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    1. lol that's actually his racing name!

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    2. Thank you!! Wick's name screams race horse and i love it! :)

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  4. I loooooove Wick. If he ever needs a new home, I know of a certain other redheaded racehorse he can keep company. 😜

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  5. Yay B and Wick! Great job guys! Wick is a super cute jumper and B's dad's comment made me crack up. Also love the orange in the ribbon too!

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    1. lol Wick is pretty adorable over fences - but he also still has SUPER green moments where it's a 'get over at all costs' type deal, so yea watching him can be entertaining sometimes

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    2. i couldn't stop laughing when my dad said that....he was so confused! Thanks for the encouragement!!

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  6. Woohoo! Go Brita! Go Wick! Sounds like you nailed that BN! Good on ya. Hope to hear more from you

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    1. they totally nailed it - did SUCH a good job! maybe brita will be willing to do more guest posts over the next couple weeks?

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    2. thank you!! we nailed it as best as we could! :)

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  7. Woohoo! Go Brita! Go Wick! Sounds like you nailed that BN! Good on ya. Hope to hear more from you

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  8. That's awesome! Congrats to Brita and Wick!

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    1. they were so great out there - wick is a natural!

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  9. Wick is such a cutie, and he did an awesome job!

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    1. omg he LOVES it out there! brita was worried about the long course, but i secretly knew it would be perfect bc wick is always reaching the finish line like "wait, what, we're already done?!? i want MOAR!!!" haha

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    2. haha i think he's a cutie too! he definitely has a personality!

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  10. so happy to read this!!! Brita, I really loved reading more about it :) you both have done so awesome this year and come so far!

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    1. haven't they done an incredible job? it's crazy to think about where wick started off this year, and now he's completely transformed into a bona fide event horse!

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    2. thank you!! its been fun!! now onto next weekend!!

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  11. So awesome!! Congrats to Brita and Wick, I love that ribbon!

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    1. the streamers were SO LONG - like i've never seen ribbons that long, let alone from a schooling show. very cool!

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    2. all the ribbons were so pretty and all fall colors!

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  12. Thank you for that guest post! I'm planning on moving to BN early next year and also think BN jumps look terribly high from on foot!

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    1. yay glad you liked the post!! and fwiw - BN fences still look big to me (both on foot and on my hony), and i don't even get anywhere CLOSE to novice fences while walking my courses... but somehow we make it over them anyway, just like Pilgrim will too! :)

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    2. you can do it! I was nervous too but you got it!

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