Monday, June 14, 2010

MayDaze, Beech Grove and maybe even The Horse-show-that-wasn't. Part 1: Beechgrove

Okay, this post is pushing ridiculousness in length, so I'm going to post it in parts...

All photos on this page are courtesy of Carissa Ramsdell, 2010. Her photos can be found on They are used with her permission, of course. She is available for portrait or event photography, please see her contact information on the website.

I think I'll work backwards, since I don't remember much about anything that happened before yesterday. At any rate, I'm getting my wish as far as career goals go. I've lost a handful of training horses for various reasons and picked up a ton of lessons, so I'm teaching more and riding less. Its a change, but I'm okay with it. The best part is that I have some seriously awesome students right now that I wouldn't trade for the world.

So, on that note: Beechgrove.

Every year the Beechgrove Hunt sponsors a cross country show- they have an 18" course, a 2'4" course, a BN and N course. I did the BN course with Ari one year and refuse to do it anymore. It's not something I would want to take a horse of any value around anymore. I guess overall it wasn't so bad, but the terrain was iffy and some of the questions edging on unfair as far as shadows and stuff. I rode a couple horses around the 2'4" course and it is reasonable, and I love their 18" course for the greenies- it's pretty inviting without being "log, log, log, log."

So this year I was lucky enough to have six riders! Amanda, Anna, Ansleigh, Nancy Taryn and Tori. We had a fairly uneventful morning getting loaded (we're getting good at this whole horseshow thing!) and on the road. I'm also loving that we have ample amounts of truck and trailer combos so I don't have to wrangle Anita into trailering duties anymore. I'm sure she doesn't REALLY mind not coming along, but I'm also pretty sure she misses coming with us. We were on the road on time and would have even gotten there a little ahead of schedule until I got the phone call from Laura, one of the moms who was bringing kid Ansleigh and horse Ronnie down from their home barn in Joelton- "we're about three miles from the exit and traffic is at a standstill..."

REALLY?! It's 8:00 in the morning on a SATURDAY!!!

Not much we could do about it, so we trucked on hoping it would clear by the time we got there. Ha. Not.

So, we waited... and waited... and waited... and waited... and about 45 minutes later (which was 15 minutes after we would have liked to be there) we started moving. And when we got to where the traffic was backed up?! There was NOTHING. Of COURSE there was nothing. *sigh*

The good news is that this is the least traumatizing bad-thing-that-happened at any of the three above shows.

The other good news is that it really didn't effect our day in the least, aside from the fact that we were all antsy in the cars and needed to pee pretty badly. The horses didn't even really got hot in the trailers.

Anyway, we got to the show, got checked in, introduced the SPF crew to the new members of our crew and went to walk the course. Everything seemed do-able, so we headed back to the trailers to tack up, get dressed and head to warm up!

The gang headed to warmup!

Everything went well, of course, until we made it to warm up... pretty much the SECOND we made it to the horrible warm-up on the hill, Jazz, Ronnie and Vanna all spooked at who-knows-what... a man eating leaf, most likely. Nancy and Ansleigh managed to stick to the tops of their horses... unfortunately Amanda took a tumble- the second time at Beechgrove! UGH! After that, everyone's confidence took a hit and we barely any managed warmup before I said "You know what? Lets just go show."

So, Anna was first in the ring with Paisley the Rockstar. She popped over everything with barely a glance, stopping only at the watermelon panel. She jumped it the next time over with no problem! Overall a lovely round by Anna and Paisley. Her next round was nearly flawless with Paisley having seen everything once already! Anna also braved the 2'4" course with Audrey and had a great clean round on her! So nice!

Next up was Tori and Audrey, who are usually great to jump over whatever is in front of them! Unfortunately, after Amanda's tumble, Tori was not up to her normal gutsy self and Audrey was taking advantage of that- stopping at many fences she normally steps right over- resulting in yet ANOTHER tumble, this time at the hay bales. Tori got back up and between me, her mom and the lovely horse-show-pro-mom Cathy, Tori's next round was much better! It always helps to have your eyes up, remember that!

We sent Ansleigh and Ronnie up next, again, lacking confidence and with a few issues at a couple fences, we had to retire at the rock wall to take a breather and regroup. The next time around, Ansleigh made it around the whole course with limited prompting from me and only the occasional greenie stop from Ronnie!

Nancy was up next, declaring that she'd take Vanna around without me doing it first! Overall, Vanna was pretty brave but more importantly- Nancy handled it all like a pro! Considering this was Vanna's first outing, Nancy's fifth or so time ON her in the last five years and her maybe third time jumping- they really had a great experience. Vanna made it around most of the course and then decided the last jump was NOT HAPPENING and were excused from the course with Vanna stomping and having a general hissy fit regarding doing something she "JUST DID NOT WANT TO DO." Mares. The second time around went much better, except that last fence! Vanna just didn't want to jump it! She eventually walked over it with a lead, grudgingly, but she did it! Overall a great first outing for Miss Vanna and Nancy!

I took Jazz around the course then, since Amanda was a little shaken, but then Amanda rallied and had two of the greatest courses I've ever seen from them! Jazz was a pro and Amanda rode so well!

Last but not least, Taryn took Paisley around and had two flawless rounds. The good news is that Taryn is now hopelessly addicted to riding XC. The bad news is that with XC comes dressage and stadium, and Taryn isn't convinced that she is interested in those two phases of eventing!


We sponged everyone off, packed up, headed home and unloaded in record time- I'm telling you- we're getting good at this horse show stuff!

We're thinking maybe an XC school at the end of the month, then off to Poplar Place in July for their schooling show! We can't wait!

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