Thursday, November 12, 2015

Finishing the season strong at MDHT: a guest post!!

Hello again!  It’s Wick and Brita here to tell you about our great event at Loch Moy.  We first started off by getting our times.  Dressage was shouting at me…..7:42 AM!  And we are over an hour away from the event, so I ended up getting to GE at 4:30 AM to get Mr. Wickerson together and to load everything in the truck.  Wick must have known he was showing because I called his name out into the pitch black field and he came right up to the gate.  I guess he can write “knows his name” of his resume now! 

goofy horse :P
We got to the farm a little after 7 which was kind of cutting it close.  A barn mate, Kaitlyn and her horse Tillie rode with us. Kaitlyn was awesome and helped me tack up for dressage while I changed and got myself together.  Emma was awesomely cheering us on while we got our butts into gear.  Thank you Kaitlyn and Emma!  

Wick was extremely calm during the warm-up.  I thought with our time being so early there wouldn’t be that many people warming up but I was wrong.  Wick handled himself very well though.  

finding his inner fancy
THEN….we get to our ring.  There was a fire pit going on next to it, it was near the entrance to the warm-up ring and so many other things.  Needless to say, Wick became a little lively: head up, eyes wide, and choppy.  My goal going into stressage….sorry, excuse me, dressage…..was to beat our last score of 41.5 (riding BN B).  Even if we got a 41, I would be happy.

not impressed by the crazy warm up or mountains of gravel
Wick worked really hard last week practicing the test so I was really hoping for positive results.  Walking out of the ring I knew we didn’t have the greatest test ever, but I knew it was an improvement.  I was pleased.  We ended up with a 37.  I couldn’t have been happier!  Dressage is our struggle and I am very aware of that.  In the off-season we are going to take many more dressage lessons but to end the season with a 37, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic.

heading to the ring
Moving along we got to have a break on a gator ride around the XC field!  It was so much fun!  Loch Moy allowed Emma to take a cart because of her broken leg.  It was a great way to quickly go over the course!  Emma was driving me and Kaitlyn, with Austen and her two dogs catching a ride in the back.  So we went though the 16 jumps (4 adults and 2 dogs….we fit great!), and Emma made sure not to drive too close to the larger jumps…. as she later told us.  After our fun ride, Kaitlyn had to tack up for dressage so we headed back to the trailer.

After watching Kaitlyn’s test, which was really nice, I had to tack up for jumping.  Thank goodness Austen was there because she tacked Wick up while I got all the millions of things on that you need to wear.  Thank you Austen!!

wheeeeee jump 1!
We went over to the jumping warm-up and began trotting over the cross rail. Wick was way behind my leg and was not really into it.  We moved up to the vertical and he still was not feeling the jumping.  This is usually when Wick wakes up and becomes alive.  Not the case for this show.  Anyway we went over the oxer a couple times and there was nothing.  I think we might have even knocked it down.  So they called my number.  I had a little pep talk with Wick while we were waiting.  (Who knows if that worked but I talk to Wick a lot so at this point he might have developed selective hearing) 

how happy does he look?!?
Anyway it was go time.  I knew I was going to have to really ride the course.  Nothing was particularly hard but rails come down very easily so that was the last thing that I wanted to happen.  We ended up having a clear round and Wick decided to wake up!  Thank goodness! {Editor's note: Brita rode the SNOT out of this course - gutsy bold and FORWARD into all the lines, really going for it! And Wick ate it up like candy!!}

they meant BUSINESS down this line! #takingnoprisoners
Moving along to XC…. Wick’s favorite phase.  He loves galloping and if you throw jumps in there, even better!  For some reason Wick tested me a little bit on the first jump, just to see if I was sure that’s what I wanted him to do.  I gave him a little tap and he was ON at that point.  

Jump #3 was large. We had the right speed and balance so I wasn’t worried about it but looking at it, I was a little nervous.  It didn’t even affect Wick.  He was on a roll.  

photo does not do the large ark justice. Wick clearly couldn't care less tho, good boy!
The next tricky part was the water #7. Apparently Wick is a water baby now.  He didn’t have a care in the world.  Because the water went so well I decided to go for the ditch option at jump # 9, instead of the log option.  He didn’t even think about it.  Last event I almost said 'hey' to the ground and this time it was far from scary.  Progress!! 

Wick loves water!
#11 was a rather large bank up a hill into the woods.  We haven’t spent a lot of time on banks but it was an up bank so those are more preferred over down banks.  All the other jumps were a ton of fun!  Here’s some cool pictures of other jumps and Wick’s happy face. 

looooonnng spot to the garden gate :D
Overall it was a great experience and it was such a confidence booster for me and Wick.  We placed 10th in our division {Ed note: TOP TEN woo hoo!!!}.  The most important thing is that I am so lucky that I get the opportunity to ride a horse who is so eager to learn and tries so hard.  He makes sure I’m always on his back and makes every ride fun.  

wheeeeeee pheasant feeder! 
Less than a year ago we knew nothing about each other… Now we really trust each other and work together as a team.  We have definitely had our bad days when we frustrate each other... but also those days where he goes through a line of jumps and then proudly shakes his head because he knows he jumped it perfectly.  The ups and downs make it all worth it.  

left: February 2015 - good honest baby trying hard
right: November 2015 - confident and experienced event horse loving his life!
It’s been a great season and I’ve had such great support from everyone.  A huge thank you to Emma for pushing me to this point!  The Wicked Thunder team couldn’t have done it without you!  I also couldn’t have done it without my family, friends, and especially my husband Dan who always supports me.  Can’t wait for 2016! Thanks for reading! 

–Brita and Wicked Thunder 

13 comments:

  1. Awesome job guys! Wick is so freaking cute! You guys look awesome!!

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    1. isn't he adorable?!? it's like he doesn't even really think about it either, he just goes and does it

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  2. Congrats on a great end to your season! Thanks for sharing your experience with us! :)

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    1. i'm so glad brita was willing to write haha - they had such a great season!

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    2. Thank you! It was so much fun!! Can't wait for next season!!

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  3. Yay Brita! I loved watching Wick's expression change between fence one and fence two. It was something like "wtf are we even doing?" to "omg! Squee!"

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    1. haha yea he definitely had to click into gear... but once he's there he is THERE lol. such a cool horse!!

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    2. haha yep! It took a couple jumps to get going! Thank you much for helping! You were very needed!! Can't wait to hang again!

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  4. Replies
    1. he is SO game!! i'm pretty sure he thinks he's the luckiest horse ever lol

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