Sunday, October 18, 2015

maryland horse trials today

It's show day today! The show I've been buzzing about all week like a crazed maniac. The Maryland Horse Trials Fall Starter #2 at Loch Moy. And we are entered in the novice division. 

bn brush fence ftw
This is technically not our novice debut -- we rode the novice course at Olde Hope last month. But.... well, Olde Hope was wonderful but it was very much novice-lite. The course was peppered with appropriate questions, but in miniature (if that makes sense). And maybe had 3-4 full height fences of 16. I'm expecting today's course at Loch Moy to be a truer test for the level.

so much paperwork
Which is perhaps fitting, since Loch Moy was the site of our BN debut at their Spring Starter #3. At the time, it felt like a poor choice for a move up venue, as the course was fairly stout (and was somewhat reaffirmed in that assessment when a refusal on xc wasn't enough to knock me out of the ribbons, and every BN division was littered with xc penalties, eliminations, or falls).

mare was super handy through this course even when i bobbled
So I've been a bit more diligent in doing my homework this time around. My understanding (which could be mistaken) is that Loch Moy does two yearly starter series - Spring and Fall - each with three events. And the events grow in complexity from one to the next. So the #3 should be more challenging than the #1.

As such, I pored over the novice cross country courses (conveniently available online) from this year's Spring Starter #3 and Fall Starter #1 to get an idea of what to expect. Both of those courses include questions that will undoubtedly challenge us. And both include fences that look big even in pictures (god knows how many more will feel more impressive in person...).

But generally, I feel ready to give it a shot. Gulp. 

this ride still holds the record for our personal best dressage test

True to form, I have a few goals for the day:
  • Have fun. It's supposed to be fun.
  • Finish with a number.
  • Do Isabel justice in the dressage court.
  • Do Isabel justice in the stadium arena.
  • Ride smart out on cross country. Explore alternative tracks for every question - and be prepared to get creative if things go south. 
  • SQUEEZE AND HOLD!!!! Jam that mare up into the bridle and keep her there. 

Wish us luck!


  1. Good luck! Have a great day and remember to smile!

  2. You've got this! You guys are both prepared and your expectations and goals are perfectly on point. Big deep breath and get it done together!

  3. Best of luck! (Not that you'll need it, you're going to do great!)

  4. Can't wait to hear how it turns out! B and I are cheering for you guys!


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