Monday, March 26, 2018

2018 Opener @ MDHT: it takes a village!

Phew, ok guys - let's talk about yesterday's season opener at Loch Moy! Charlie's and my first horse trial of 2018. And our first return to competition since Fair Hill last September before Charlie did his splint. Also our third run at beginner novice.

so happy with this sweet gelding
So lots of fun boxes to check off on this particular day. And Charlie rose to the occasion, good boy! Obviously I'll have lots of detail to share over the next couple of days, with a complete play-by-play of each phase.

Included in this will be some thinking about environmental implications from the weather and ground conditions and whatnot (like how the footing was actually still frozen solid during our early morning dressage warm up and test, and how there was still snow in places on xc....).

charlie revels in the attention of everyone helping get him dressed for the running and jomping!
Mostly tho, from a high level, I've got a couple initial thoughts:

- Charlie was quiet, consistent and obedient in dressage, fully holding up his end of the bargain and accounting for an easy baseline of straight 6s.
- However it's my responsibility to ask him for more. I consciously chose not to on this particular day, and for reasons. Next time tho I'll do it differently.

he also revels in the party afterwards haha
- Stadium was Charlie's stand-out phase during this competition, just like at Tranquility last summer.
- It keeps surprising me when this test proves to be his strength, bc it's definitely not my strong suit. Go figure.
- It helped that this course was almost identical to the course we schooled in our lesson the day before haha. Details on that coming soon too.

i love this pic bc it captures the whole team: groom crew and photographers extraordinaire watching from the sidelines, plus you can just see Brita's pretty blue coat through the fence as she warms up for dressage
- Cross country was..... Hm. How to describe? It was sliiiiiightly out of control. Bordering on uncomfortable in places as Charlie rushed the fences and climbed all over them.
- My worries about running out of horse were unfounded. Lol.
- The jumps were definitely not a problem, and may have actually been too small in places.
- BN is almost too easy for Charlie and he has no respect for the fences. But we'll need a lot more finesse and schooling for us to be safe over bigger fences.

happy horses relaxing between rides, obvi with both charlie and bella fixated on whatever brita's reaching for in the truck lol
Biggest takeaway tho? Gosh I freakin love this horse haha.

I fully expected to break down into an emotional blubbering mess upon crossing the xc finish line too lol. But..... Well. It kinda took me a while to get the horse stopped, and my lungs were burning, and my arms felt two inches longer, and damn I was tired. So yea, no waterworks haha. Mostly just some heavy panting and slight profanity instead lol.

i swear charlie and bella love each other too, even if charlie lowkey drives bella girl crazy with his occasional invasions of personal space lol
But we were clear. No jumping penalties in either phase - a first for Charlie at BN (recall, we were eliminated at the water in our first BN and had a rail in our second). I knew our dressage score likely wouldn't be competitive (it wasn't) but the jumping phases proved influential enough to allow us to move up into the top 3. Yay!

Mostly bc it was (obvi) an early season outing and everyone was knocking the rust off. So there were lots of issues in the jumping. Plus a lot of people simply opted to withdraw from xc out of concerns about ground conditions. Obviously I would prefer to place well on the merits of our own scores vs doing well bc other people dropped off.... But I'll take what I can get haha.

oh charlie. you're kinda a big deal, buddy!
And ultimately the best aspect of this show was getting to hang out with friends while we were at it. Brita and Bella had a fantastic day too - also with clean and clear jumping phases that really highlighted just how much this partnership has grown over the past year.

Plus we had Rachael and Austen helping out too, which was very much appreciated and I'm immensely grateful to be able to call these ladies friends and be able to share these fun show days with them!

So yea. A very happy day. And I'm very tired today haha, and a little sore. My body may or may not be a palace of pain at the moment as it recovers from wrestling with Charlie on cross country lol. But I'm happy. And eager to keep chipping away. And excited to share all the nitty gritty details (and MEDIA!) with you over the next couple days. So stay tuned!! Hope you all had a good weekend too!

41 comments:

  1. Yay!! Go Charlie and Emma! Sounds like such a good first outing <3 Congrats!

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    1. thanks! it was definitely good! some things were a little worse than i expected, and others a little better. all in all good stuff tho!

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  2. i stalked you on the results and saw you did well! Congrats!! ALso i found a couple other people i know thru Sally lessons and was pleased to see they placed in other divisions too. YAY for a fun day. And yes wth we had SNOW yesterday am here. UGH. GO AWAY WINTER WE DONT YOU ROUND HERE NO MORE. :)

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    1. ugh yea we got the notifications that it was snowing in baltimore while we were at loch moy... crazy. at least it stayed sunny and nice for the show! glad to hear your other riding friends did well too - there were a lot of people there yesterday and most looked like they had a good time!!

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  3. YAY! That sounds so exciting!

    Now STAY SOUND Charlie! No more nails or odd things near your feet!

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    1. ha seriously, i hope he heeds your advice!! bc we really have so many fun things to do!

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  4. I can't wait to hear all about it! Seriously I need all details cause it is still winter here and a full month before my first event--this xc junky needs her fix!! :P

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    1. ha i promise details are coming!! tons of pictures and videos and all the good stuff!! if you really can't wait tho, the jumping videos are already on youtube haha ;)

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  5. So glad to see you competing!!! Last time I peeked at your blog poor Charlie was suffering abscesses.

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    1. thanks! yea he stepped on a nail in early february and struggled with abscesses throughout his recovery. it was... definitely a rough ~6 weeks for the big guy. luckily he seems to have come out on the other side in one piece!

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  6. Wooohoo! How awesome to place your first time out this year -- I think 2018 is gonna be a good year!!

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    1. thanks i really hope so! there's a lot of work to do haha but i feel good about things!

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  7. Yay! This makes me so ridiculously happy!! :D

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  8. YAY!!!! So happy for you to get back out there and enthusiastically kick that HT's butt. Maybe a bit too enthusiastic on Charlie's part, but man it must have felt great o be out there doing the thing once again on your main man.

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    1. ha thank you! charlie's enthusiasm was definitely palpable haha... but he did indeed kick some serious butt, so i'll forgive him the slightly wild-around-the-edges feel on xc lol ;)

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  9. Congratulations! Great result, especially after all the time off this winter!

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    1. thanks i'm super happy with how well he got back out there after going six months without seeing an atmosphere like this!

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  10. Ahaha I LOVE the explanation of your end-of-XC reaction! Good Job Charlie!

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    1. lol it definitely wasn't the feeling i was expecting, but it was a GOOD feeling all the same!

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  11. Congrats! I can't wait for the write up of each section!

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    1. thank you!! write ups are coming soon!!! there's so much media editing to do first! haha

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    1. thank you! it was very fun, a great way to kick off the year!

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  13. I've been thinking of you all weekend wondering how it went! I am so happy for you. I knew that if you made it to the show (soundness, trailer, truck etc) then you would have a blast. This post makes me so happy.

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    1. aw thanks!! i was so glad all the pieces finally clicked into place and we were able to make it out! and it WAS a blast too! lots of stuff still needs work but i'm excited ;)

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  14. Omg palace of pain! LOL! I gotta say, your arms definitely deserve some ibuprofen after that jumping round. Your abs, too. 😂 Twas a lovely day though! Man am I sunburnt, though!

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    1. oh man, i'm sunburnt too. like, my hands in particular lol. but also yes everything hurts. everything.

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  15. It looks like you guys had a blast! And a pretty ribbon to top it all off. What a great way to start your season.

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  16. You guys went and did the thing!! How exciting to be getting back at it :) Congratulations on the satin!

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  17. I love the picture of Charlie popping up behind Bella 😂 sounds like he was fully embodying his "big strong Thoroughbred" on cross country and wants more jumps! ;) congrats and hope your body is starting to forgive you haha!

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  18. Happy day indeed, so glad to see you and Charlie having fun together doing the thing (: Here's to a safe, sound, and successful 2018 season!

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