Well, today is going to be a short blog because it’s 10:28 p.m. and I just made it to bed. Let’s start with WAY TO GO JESSICA and Pavarotti! I will write a blow by blow of each fence for Woody and I.
Fence #1 was great because we hit it on the fly right out of the start box.
Fence #2 was across the road it was a big table and he met that on a perfect stride as well.
Fence #3 was a coop we jumped the left side to keep tight to the ropes.
Fence# 4 A was at the edge of the top of a small hill a giant golf ball four strides to another one. I pushed for the four there because Jessica and Rebecca had said they rode it in four. It also walked in a bending five (more show jumping though) and since I was riding Woody I thought it best to go with the four. I almost paused him too much for the four there, but not quite 🙂
Fence #5 was a huge picnic table, then you had to choose what side of the planted flowers you wanted to go on to get to the log in the water #6. When I first walked I planned on going to the right of the flowers and getting straight to the log in water. After walking and watching a few, I decided to do the left, which gave you more time in the water even though you would be putting more of an angle on the log itself. Well, Woody FLEW over the picnic table, so big I ended up going right of the flowers and he was so clever at the log in water.
Fence #7 A,B is the one I was worried about most because it is spooky. Designed to look like a golf rake for a sand trap, it had a handle on the back side in the middle. There was some fuss from all about the danger of a horse landing on the handle so it was cut off and replaced by a cardboard one…hmmm not much better in my opinion. Caused Hawley her run out 🙁 Needless to say, I rode it like my life depended on it and Woody aced it then three strides to a really big arrowhead with a VERY narrow base.
Continue to gallop up hill to #8, a wishing well, which was a fairly easy except that it was right next to all the VIP tents that we had to gallop alongside of for about 200 yards, which was very distracting. Woody acted like he was used to crowds cheering him on all the time 🙂
#9 was a stone wall sorta thing with water on top of it, nice and easy.
#10 A,B,C was another fence that made me sweat. Roll top bounce to a bank drop with a log on the edge four strides to a left handed corner. When we walked the first time did see a five on a slight bending line which set you up nice and square to the corner. I watched James and Rebecca ride it beautifully in the four, so that’s what I went for. Woody was FAB!!! He jumped in brave on the left hand side of the coop just like I asked and then a straight four strides to the corner.
#11 was a trakehner downhill made with a coop, hit that on the fly safely.
#12 was a brush jump at the opening of an underpass (quite a low roof) aboard Woody you have to think of these things. LOL…nah, he aced that too.
#13 another trakehner at the bottom of and hill, this time the log was on an angle to the ditch so you have to ride it very accurately otherwise the ditch could cause a problem.
A nice long gallop along the back of the course then bending right uphill to #14 A,B,C a bounce bank up six bending strides to a left handed corner. All uphill so quite an effort. Was glad I had done Millbrook with Woody because they have much the same question there.
#15 A,B was “the roller coaster” a hump/hill with a narrow log on it six strides down and then up again to another hump/hill with the same log on it. Some people rode it in a tight six and many people rode it in an easy five. I think I did five nice strides and a shorty…Woody is nimble and a great jumper he made it feel safe.
#16 was a big table lovely fence.
#17 A,B,C,D was the next water complex. Lot’s to do, bank up one stride brush ramp drop into water, seven or eight strides across up a hump (dry land) to a narrow cabin, down the hump seven bending strides to a right handed corner. Well here’s where my fantastic round came to a brief moment of OOPPPSSSS! I could only see a long spot to “A” and I know that’s a big no no when doing a bank up, so I waited one more stride, which took away from Woody’s momentum a bit. I gave him help up the bank and off into the water, but we landed quite close to the back in the water. Now picking up pace and impulsion in water is VERY difficult. I gave it my all and got to a good spot at the cabin, but on a slightly weak strung out stride on long reins. I sat back, growled at him, put my spurs in, but when he saw the water on the other side, he went out to the right. A bit more experience and he would have known to just go for it. I bet Woody has never jumped in and out of the water in the same complex before, so he was a bit worried when he saw the question on a long stride after not the best jump in the first time. Right away I galloped over to the option a cabin one stride brush ramp drop into water straight to the corner “D”. He ate it up no problem.
We galloped over #18 a wagon then galloped up the hill again to another trakehner #19 easy.
#20 A,B was another water combo hanging log in four strides to a triple hedge (super narrow arrow head). He was tidy thru there and very careful.
Finally downhill to #21 a huge table, which took a few horses down as they were tired and caught their legs. So, I supported Woody in front and he jumped it clean and beautifully.
#22 was the coffin, a roll top on a slight slope up three strides to a huge open ditch one very short stride to a barrel on its side mounted with a tiny bit of brush on the backside (which was added late on Friday due to fear of horse rotating there as it was a tight distance when the horses are tired and going downhill). He jumped in bold, did the three strides and was nimble like a cat, put in a perfect one stride and hopped out over the barrel.
Last stretch down the hill and turn left to #23 a flower box then onto the last, #24 a dead tree on its side. I pushed him on encouraging him with my voice and as he crossed the finish flags my watch said 9 mins 30 secs right on the optimum time!
I have to say I was very disappointed to let the team down (Debbie, Graeme, David, Randy, Dr. Ober and David) never mind my fellow teammates. But Woody more than proved himself. He was the quickest recovery in the 10-minute box out of our horses and he ran at the hottest part of the day and made time. Best of all, he was happy and perky waiting for his turn to get on the trailer back to Hipica and when we jogged them tonight, Dr. Ober said he looks just as good as he did on Wednesdays jog 🙂 I’m so excited for this horse’s future and so are John and Judy Rumble, his owners, who are always so kind and understanding. He was awesome today despite our boo boo. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Let’s show them how well we show jump Team Canada. Go Team!