Woody hanging out at The Fork.

The Fork wasn’t the boys’ best outing. The dressage scores were not as good as hoped for, although Selena was still happy with the tests that the boys put in. Woody had put in a good test, but bucked against the leg in one of the changes. At this level with the competition that is at the Fork, you can’t afford a little buck in one of your changes! Basically all three horses showed their greenness at the three star level. They were not disobedient or difficult, just struggling here and there with the test itself. The scores themselves were not ‘bad’, just not good enough to be in competition with the leaders.

On the second day, show jumping, they all redeemed themselves. Rocky put in a double clear, Woody was clear with two time penalties and Solo had a rail in the triple to spoil an otherwise perfect round. Selena was pleased and felt the overall the performance in both dressage and show jumping has improved this winter. She is going to work hard between now and Bromont to perfect her techniques and make the boys more comfortable with the three star tests.

The FEI mandates that CICs are now held with cross country as the last phase. The top 25% of riders and horses after show jumping are asked to go in reverse order of go. Although I always felt this was a valid and exciting aspect of the pressure of the sport when it was applied to the show jumping phase, I must admit to NOT liking this format, and not liking the pressure of reverse order of go being applied to the cross country phase. It wasn’t a great day for Selena with all three of her rides meeting up with something that didn’t work out quite right on cross country.

Woody was pounding around in great form and Selena feels she did not set him up quite right for a skinny and paid the penalty with a glance off. She and Rocky are still getting to know each other. I think this is only her sixth ever cross country and it is a three star. She just had a bit of a discombobulated ‘in’ to the water and over corrected her line to the corner and the line just wasn’t there. SUCH A SHAME as this horse has never had a cross country jumping penalty in his life before this. Oh, well, he still has some learning to do at this level and they need more time together as a team. Solo got in wrong to a very tricky coffin. Peeked in to the ditch and jumped too high and not enough across leaving him with the wrong distance to the skinny. Once he had run out, there was no black flag option and no easy way to re-present. Because of all the trouble at the coffin, there was a big crowd which was opening and moving in an effort to give Selena room but her second approach was weak and he had no intention of struggling. After the two stops Selena retired him to save his legs for another day.

“Another day” will be MCTA in Maryland on the 4th/5th of May. An unscheduled extra run at the only Advanced we can find to go to between now and Bromont. Dressage lessons with Gina Smith and some grids for Rocky to help him and Selena get a feel of each other during rapid changes of thrust and balance. The horses all made the trip home without taking anything out of themselves and were back in full work two days later. They are tough at that level.

Here at home we have an ice storm and no power. It’s April and the birdies should be twittering instead of shivering and the crocus should not be sheathed in frozen glass. The water is off at the barn because the electricity is off at the barn and the feed room is a dark cave by torchlight. The joys of an Ontario ‘Spring’ lol. By the next time I write surely it will be warm and sunny, surely….