Monday, September 11, 2017

First of Fall: Fair Hill Preview

Happy Monday, y'all! We had a super long weekend here - and one in which you can definitely tell that fall is coming. I had the privilege (?) of driving all around Maryland over the weekend and can report first hand that colors are changing.

early morning capture
In an effort to avoid sounding tone deaf to the huge swaths of the US currently experiencing decidedly not idyllic weather right now (whether from hurricane, raging fire or anything in between), I won't dwell on our honestly quite mild conditions this weekend. Other than to say that I feel grateful and hope that those elsewhere are safe and get a respite from mother nature soon!

got there at sunrise and somehow wasn't the first trailer in line!
This weekend marked yet another set of 'firsts' for me and Charlie. Specifically, it was our first time gearing up for a competition since moving to the new farm. Meaning a new routine for packing the trailer and handling all the morning-of preparations.

And the first time in a year where Brita and I are both at the same property! Tho we're actually in different barns on site so there's still some logistics to sort out there.

charlie, in all his tall glory lol. there was some sort of track meet type event at fair hill alllll dayyyy lonnngg and every time clusters of joggers would pass by on the track, charlie had to stop and stare. they were apparently fascinating.
All told, it worked out quiiiite well. There are definitely advantages to the new barn when it comes to getting our show day in order!!

Plus Fair Hill is definitely one of our favorite venues and we've been looking forward to this event since early July. I was happy to go back! It would prove to be a ridiculously busy day tho - with something around a dozen friends and friends-of-friends competing throughout the day.

taking walkies while our friends rode
Brita and former barn mate Rachael were the first of the day to go in our group so we were there bright and early! Got to watch them go through their full dressage and jumping phases before it was even time to begin preparations for my own rides.

double halters ftw. i'm still a little mortified by shots of charlie running me over that the pro photographer nabbed last time we were at fair hill haha, so this time i dressed le pony accordingly haha
Then it was our turn! I'll write more about the details tomorrow and the day after (still gotta get that media in order), but for now let's cover the high level details: I had a couple big goals for this event, and a fairly concrete set of expectations. Some of these were met, and some were not.

#bloggersstalkinbloggers
(hard to see but there's an Alli + Dino pixel in between me and Megan!)
One of my biggest hopes and dreams leading up to this show was to put in a good dressage test. To do Charlie justice in that phase. He's not a fancy horse. He's not particularly well built for dressage. And I'm not necessarily the most gifted or experienced dressage rider myself. But this was what I really wanted.

truck drivin' with Megan!!
And Charlie delivered <3

Michele and Remus!!
Full details coming tomorrow (complete with video and photographic evidence per usual), but it was easily Charlie's best test to date. He gave everything that he's currently able to give during that ride. And while it was definitely not anything amazing or ground breaking (bc let's be real, haha), it was enough to bring actual literal tears to my eyes. This horse, guys <3

Dino got to hang out with his internet friends too!
The judge found some pretty important areas in our ride that need fixing, but also rewarded the steady consistent test with a second place score. Damn but that felt good!

Dino + Alli!!
The jumping phases were also pretty good in the grand scheme of things. This particular venue (with the mile walk between stabling and the jump fields) is pretty quick to expose issues with fitness in the horse - and Charlie is nothing if not unfit right now.

Homeboy was tired for jumping. Poor guy. He did well tho and jumped around stadium with one rail, then clear (but omg so green wow) on cross country too.

Dino reeeeeeally wanted what brita had haha
This really reaffirmed my lingering concerns about all the time off we've had over the past six weeks. Charlie might be a thoroughbred but he still needs a reasonable baseline of fitness in order to be successful and happy in this job. Noted, sir. I'll work on it!

then on sunday we had another VERY fun blogger show day with Liz and Grif at loch moy! another blogger who will hopefully have MUCH more to share about her own recent event. i'm SO PROUD of these two - getting to groom for them on sunday was a real highlight of the weekend!
Once our rides were done tho - it was time for the best part of show day: Relaxing and cheering on all your friends while they take their turns!!

And even better? That meant getting to watch Allison from Pony'tude and Michele from Fat Buckskin go out and do their thang too!! Plus Megan from Go Big or Go Home came to spectate and take pictures and hang out and drive us around in her new {giant} truck too!!

ah yes, but there's my favorite bay star!
Getting to hang out with such great friends (made possible from this amazing equestrian blogging community) was definitely the icing on my Fair Hill cake - thanks guys, you're all awesome!!! I'm sure Alli and Michele will have much more to report on their rides soon too, but suffice it to say both of those ladies are badass eventers with such cool horses!

he done good <3
and in case you're keeping score at home, we're three for three on 4th place finishes at Fair Hill lol
It's a lot for one day tho - phew! Among my wish list of things I'm grateful for was not having to haul another 40min back to the barn after dropping Brita and Bella off. That's a serious advantage of the barn move lol.

So for now I'm going to catch up on some rest while trying to get all the relevant videos and photos and whatnot organized. Stay tuned for more soon!

31 comments:

  1. what a day. SO Much fun. SO TIRED STILL LOL I cant even think about media gathering yet :) HA I need more coffee.

    You rocked it Emma and Charlie. So proud to be your friend!! It was a perfect day (besides my back is killing me from all the bucking HA more on that later). Great job and I cant wait to see how Liz did on Sunday. :) SO MUCH FUN. I honestly think the best part is seeing how much your circle can expand meeting more friends. it is like seven degrees of separation. I met Megan now so am so excited to put a face to her!! And Alli and Dino (I am going to steal that pony one day). HA i had the chance to steal Charlie...more on my blog! Great job! cant wait to see the rest of your media!

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    1. ha omg Remus was so sassy with all the bucking too! you guys looked great tho! can't wait to read your recaps! it was so good seeing you and getting to hang out - tho yea, i'm SO TIRED too lolol

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  2. Sounds like an EPIC weekend!!! I can't wait to read recaps from everybody about their various experiences <3 I love not only the bloggers meeting up, but the horses, haha. The pics of Dino hanging out with his "internet friends" cracked me up a bit. Yay! :)

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    1. ha yea it's like this really weird alternate universe type thing to introduce these horses to each other after seeing them all separately on the internet for so long lol. it's cool tho! blogger (and blogger pony!) meet ups are the best!!

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  3. I LOVE that Fair Hill has become such a big social event for us Mid-Atlantic area eventers! What fun to spend the day with great friends and great horses doing what we love! You dressage test was so, so lovely and I'm still excited about it; can't wait to read your full recap!

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    1. thanks girl! can't wait to read your recaps too - definitely a good day had by all! and i was super sorry to miss your dressage, darn spread out venue! i love that we can always meet up there too tho, and hope to have many more future opportunities to do so!

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  4. fair hill is the best. i cant wait to see your dressage test since I missed that - i love the picture of us stalking alli.

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    1. lol stalking is basically my favorite thing ever ;) thanks so much for coming, it's always great seeing you! love the new truck too!!! can't wait until next time when hopefully Indy comes with you!

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  5. Sounds like fun for everyone! I'm tired just thinking about it. #situationmonday

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  6. Yay for bloggy horse friends and successful events! The world just seems to get smaller and smaller. Had I not already committed to something on Sunday, I really wanted to ride up with Liz and watch all this fun in person. So glad everyone had such a great weekend, though.

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    1. it's definitely how amazingly small and interconnected the horse world can be! you should definitely come up north with Liz next time!! it should be a good time!

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  7. I already creeped on everyone, so I know how this ends. :P

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    1. god isn't live scoring the absolute best? i'm almost ashamed of my stalkerish tendencies. almost. lol.

      it's safe to say tho - while the end may be a forgone conclusion, there are some fairly fun (and uh, *funny*) details to fill in the gaps.

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  8. Congrats!!!! I can't wait for the full report and media. Charlie looks so shiny and healthy in those pictures.

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    1. aw thanks! he's doing pretty well as far as physical condition goes at the moment, such a relief! needs wayyyy more top line, but is otherwise nice and healthy!

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  9. Congrats! Looks like a ton of fun, especially with such a great support team :)

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    1. definitely fun! and everything is better with lots of friends to share the excitement with!

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  10. Yayyyy! Sounds like you guys had an awesome outing. Can't wait to see action pics and hear more about how it all went. Congrats!

    <3 Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

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    1. thanks! and omg i have SOMUCH action media!! still sorting through it all - and haven't even seen all the good hq shots that friends caught either!! hopefully will be able to share them all soon!

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    1. it was busy busy!! sounds like you had a super similar weekend too!!! in more ways than one, actually!! :D

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  12. Congrats! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  13. Congratulations and I can't wait to hear more!!

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  14. I am so happy that you and Charlie got to do the event and had a such a good dressage test. Way to go!

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    1. thanks i'm so relieved he made it too! definitely needs more fitness but it'll come eventually!

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  15. It's so cool so many bloggers can be at the same event!

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