This blog is about my life, a 31 yr old filly; working in the city, balancing her career, passion for horses, dogs, and the life they deserve. Following my dreams, and getting there takes a lot of patience and a sense of humour. This is my take on life, and the amazing and stupid things in it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Road to the OHTA Championships - Part 3

Penny in the showjumping, showing her scope.
   
 The final phase proved to be quite a show - a total and utter gong show that is.  The course walked horribly.  Everything was on a half stride.  Not a short or a long distance, but a complete half stride.  Everyone walking the course was discussing the distances and how they were going to try the course.  I didn't really have a good game plan coming out of my course walk because I really didn't think there was a way that would work better than another to jump around clean.

 As expected, the course was not a fun or challenging ride.  I mean it was challenging because it was nearly impossible to jump clean, but it wasn't challenging as in - you have to be able to ride.  It was a trappy and dangerous ride, with several people falling off in the Pre Training division.  Out of 50+ Pre Training riders, only 4 had clear rounds.  The clear rounds were flukes, just lucky rails that stayed up.  I did not see a single ride that looked easy and well done.  That was not the riders faults, the course was just that horribly set up.  Two riders before I was set to go, a girl fell off and had to be taken away by ambulance.  We waited for over an hour for the ring to clear and the ambulance to come back.  Having waited until after 1pm to start the stadium, our ride time was dragged, and it was almost 4pm by the time I got in the ring.  Poor Penny was exhausted.  I had warmed her up almost 2 hours earlier and just gave her a quick little warm up before our round.  In hind sight I should have jumped a few more fences but to be honest, I was tired, she was tired, and I just wanted to get this over with and head out on our long journey home!

  Penny was a gem, she tried her heart out for me.  I didn't have her straight and she took the first rail.  We had an unlucky rub at the third fence and had it down too.  I rode the rest of the course very forward and we jumped the rest clean.  I was obviously disappointed in myself, I made a few mistakes I could have avoided which ultimately would have landed me in the top ten.  It just wasn't my day - such is with eventing.  I watched the remaining riders go and although all but two riders had rails - many multiple, it wasn't enough to land us in ribbon contention.  We did however still move up 2 places to finish 12th.  A finish I was ok with having only had Penny for 2 months!


Trying her heart out.

   Alaynes' luck was about as good as mine, and she had a very uncharacteristic 4 rails down with Cayden.  A horse I rarely if ever see have a fence down.  The Prelim showjumping looked like a lumberjack show with rails flying and horses hanging in the air everywhere.  It wasn't pretty, and I'm sure jumping just 2 hours after they completed a grueling cross country didn't help either.  A note to organizers next year - let Prelim go cross on Saturday with the rest of us, and start showjumping at 8 or 9am on Sunday.  Some of us have long drives home and have to work on Monday!

 It was a long day.  We left ribbonless but we sure had learned some valuable lessons.  It was good fun and I really enjoyed the venue at Cedar Run. We left at about 6:30 pm, starting the 4+ hr journey home in the rain.  Looking forward to next year, where we can hopefully redeem ourselves and TTE can bring home some of those big, beautiful, ribbons. Go TTE!

The stadium results speak for themselves.

Road to the OHTA Championships - Part Two

Penny snoozing before cross.
  Saturday brought dressage and cross country for me, and just dressage for Alayne.  I had an excellent warm up and I was really happy with my test.  The judging was tough, but I think fair for the division.  Scores in our ring were a lot higher then the others, however I do feel like my placing was probably appropriate overall.  We were 16th after dressage on a 62.3 (41 US or %58).  Watching the video I can see where we are weaker than the other riders who have been together longer and competing longer.  Penny is just getting back into shape and I am really happy where she is considering those factors.  I am not too worried about the dressage, we can work all winter to improve that.  The good thing is Penny is really willing and she always tries %100.


Alayne and Cayd preparing to enter at A.
  Alayne had an excellent test.  It was nice and steady and very workmanlike.  She was 13th after dressage in a very competitive division.  After Alayne's dressage it was time for Penny and I to go cross country - wahoo!  I overheard in the warm up that the course was riding fast - I know how Penny and I have a habit of being too quick so I was going to be sure to not to do that again!  We set out and the course rode well.  it was really fun and felt easy.  We jumped everything out of stride and Penny flew into the water like a pro.  We made it back clear and without time penalties.  Go Penny!

 The unfortunate thing was that every single person in our division (20+) also jumped clear, and only a few people had time penalties.  A sure sign the course was too easy for a Championship division.  It was disappointing, it looked as though this was going to turn into a glorified dressage show.  Regardless, we moved up to 14th with the two riders with time faults.  Things were not looking promising for me getting one of those big beautiful ribbons! Boo!


Penny flying over the jump before the water.
  We walked Alaynes course another time then prepared to hit the competitors party.  There was a live band with dinner.  We sat by the fire and drank some cold Canadian beer.  Nothing beats a night like this!  We met some new people, made some new friends, and had some good laughs.  A quick check on the ponies before we got into our nice toasty Gooseneck bed (thanks to the space heater!).

 First thing on the list Sunday morning was another course walk.  After walking again, we grazed the horses and then got Alayne ready for her cross country.  I tacked Penny up and met Alayne at cross warm up.  I thought I could take Penny for a little ride to get her out of her stall and I could get a better view for filming on her back, plus move from one place to another quicker.  The course proved to be as tough as it walked, with people falling off left right and center, riders were not making it past the 5th jump without a run out and other problems.


Alayne and Cayd fly into the crystal blue waters!
 Alayne and Cayden blazed around the course making it look easy.  They had an unfortunate issue at the double skinny brushes and just missed the second element after Cayden took a BIG jump in.  He ran out a second time when she represented, but she got him over and finished with little time faults.  A sure disappointment but completing this course was a huge accomplishment in itself in my eyes!  By far the scariest Prelim I have ever seen.

  After cross I stood in 14th place and Alayne was sitting 13th.  With just stadium left we had nothing to lose and everything to gain to take our shot at bringing home a ribbon.

Part 3 coming up!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Road to the OHTA Championships Part 1




For the first time in many years, I decided to enter the Ontario Horse Trials Associate (OHTA) Championships Event.  This year, the event was held at beautiful Cedar Run farm in Blue Mountain.  I have never been to this event, and it is by the furthest one from us that we have attended now (about 4 hours).

 I was off Friday so I had a jumping lesson with Rick in the am, then went home to pack and organize before we left.  Bought some snacks, hit the LCBO then headed over to Alaynes for 3 to load up and hit the road.  We left her farm just before 4pm and headed towards Blue Mountain.

  From there we were heading to Woodbine race track to drop off a horse that Alayne had in for starting.  Always a dangerous stop to make with an empty spot on the trailer...so many beautiful Thoroughbreds to be seen!  The horse unloaded and went to his stall at the track without issue and we were back on the road, but not without our own little mishap heading our way.

 Warning, this section is NSFW (Not Suitable for Work).  So, as we are cruising on the 401 hwy, I see a man driving a blue Cavalier driving along beside my window.  I notice he is grinning at me in a strange way but I think nothing of it and continue on with my conversation with Alayne.  About 2 minutes later, Alayne looks over at me says "Tori, is this guy beside me jerking off or am I just imagining this.".  I just look at her - "what?".  It can't be.  No.  I look out over her and there is the guy, in the blue Cavalier, looking up at us grinning...with his junk out - and he is sure as hell pleasuring himself to his hearts desire.  "Ahhh!  What the fuck!!".  I jump back to my seat and reach for my phone to take a picture but the stupid camera app won't open.  No!  Why is this happening....I finally stick my phone out over Alayne and he takes one look at it and slams on the brakes....and we leave him in the dust.  Frig, I try and look for him but he must have been hiding behind the trailer.  I wanted to call the cops, but I had nothing.  Not even a plate number.  He disappeared. Fail!

 We pretty much just sat there in disbelief and disgust for the next hour of the drive.  Was this the start to our weekend? I know it was Friday the 13th and all, but this was too much.  Our poor virgin eyes eventually recovered, and we made it to Cedar Run around 9:30 pm.  It was cold and windy when we got there.  I had my winter jacket on.  Someone stole our stalls so we had to steal someone else's.  The new stalls were better though, blocked from the wind at least.  We realized we forgot shavings, and there was no one around to sell us some.  In true TTE style, we took the dirty shavings and hay out of the trailer and bedded our stalls.  Nice and ghetto, just the way we like it.

 My mom had this great idea to bring a space heater and plug it in and keep it in the trailer if we could find a power source.  We lucked out and found an outlet, and what a savior the heater was, because it was chilly chilly that weekend!  Since we were not tired yet from our lattes on the drive up, we decided to do another late night course walk in the dark.  This time we found the start box right away.  The Prelim course was definitely up to Championships standard.  From what we saw the fences were not overly technical, but boy were they BIG!  Pre Training was yet again - small and boring looking.

 The Pre-Training Course (for Penny and I)





cute little combination




tiny ditch



after the first water





heading into the second water

love the water!


my favorite jump on course to ride!




The Prelim Course (for Alayne and Cayden)


big

bigger

even bigger


2 angled bursh oxers a la Rolex style


A lot of riders were stressing over this 4 stride.  Many had issues here.


biggest



Angled birch logs



coffin


decent sized ditch



into the first water


let up fence?

up the big hill in the Grand Prix ring

down the hill to a big brush


Corner


yet another massive table

and another

jump into second water

jump in water


Angled skinny brushes


 Part 2 coming up!

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