Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Cochrane Horse Trials

So the next stop on our short Alberta eventing season was the Cochrane horse trials a few weeks ago.  Due to my crazy work schedule (4 jobs, plus haying season, woo!) I'm a little behind on the blogging!

Some last minute awesomeness occurred at the event, late Friday night we found out that clinician Sandy Alexander was in Alberta and would drive in the next morning to coach me and a friend for dressage!!  Which was very exciting!  I've only had the pleasure of riding in a Sandy clinic once, this past winter, due to said crazy work schedule, but he is absolutely FABULOUS!!

 My friend getting some words of wisdom from the one and only Sandy Alexander!

Sandy showed up the next morning and worked my and Sunny's butt off for a solid hour before my dressage test.  And our test was better, not great, but a lot better than we usually do!  Unfortunately scores didn't reflect how much better I felt we'd done compared to last time, but I was happy with our test, so that's all I cared about.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that after dressage I was tied for 7th place:)

Stadium was set up in a grass ring with hills and variable terrain.  I usually love courses like this, but it just wasn't our day I guess!!  Right off the bat we didn't get into a good rhythm, and everything was either short chips or massive long spots, struggling to make distances.  I felt like I was all over the place, and was not happy with how I rode at all.  Sunny totally saved my ass though, we came out with only 4 faults, which I found amazing since the round had ridden HORRIBLY, and we'd probably rubbed 3/4 of the jumps!  No video of my round thanks to a video camera malfunction.  You know when they say it never looks as bad as it felt?  This probably would have looked just as bad as it felt!  Lol.  Over the course of the day people either had really good rounds, or really horrible rounds, no in between really!  Chalked it up to a learning experience!  We moved into 8th place going into cross country.

The scenery is SO LOVELY in Cochrane!!  Mountains!!  <3

I felt pretty good about the cross country course when I walked it.  A little more challenging than our previous event, we had a max height trakehner, flagged banks in and out of the water, and a down bank set on the edge of a hill that made for pretty sweet photos!  Everything else was pretty straightforward.  Aside from some pretty boggy spots because of all the rain we've gotten lately!

This is the bank down set on the downhill, and then we came back up to the double banks on the left hand side.
Another photo from above the double banks up, looking across to to single bank down.


With the ditch full of water!

The last fence, taken from the back side because the light was better:)

We got a bunch more rain overnight, which made the already wet course pretty soggy!  Sunny took the whole course in stride though!! Didn't look or hesitate at ANYTHING!! She didn't blink at the down bank on the big hill, we haven't even schooled any banks into water since last summer and she hopped right in, and she leaped right over the trakehner like it was any old fence. I was SOOOOOO happy with her!! And we were the only ones to make time! That totally blew my mind, because the course was super wet, but not slippery. I just kind of let Sunny set the pace, right off the start she was motoring, but the first third of the course was dry. She slowed down considerably in the boggy parts, but nowhere in there was I holding her back or having to gallop her on, and not once did she ever slip or take a wrong step. So it worked out perfectly!! What a fabulous horse Sunny is!! :D
I LOVE this photo of us going off the down bank!!

A bit mud splattered when I finished, but happy!!
A short video of part of our cross country, you can see around 0:35 we hit a pretty boggy spot!

With all the time penalties everyone else had amassed during cross country, I was very excited when I saw our double clear round had us finishing in 4th!! I totally did a little happy dance in front of the results board:D  So proud of my girl!

And of course the helmet cam!  Which I forgot to turn off after my round, so you can see the vet check, and then me talking to some friends.

So all in all a fantastic weekend!