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We Are Flying Solo

March 28, 2010

The Big E. And I Am Happy About It?

I'm going to break the sad news up front: I have no pictures. It is an unfortunate consequence of having no crew.

But whew, what an eventful day it was indeed! Where do I even start? I will attempt to make it as concise as possible! We hauled in to the lovely Thoroughbred Training Center on Friday night and I kicked my chicken biscuit wrappers out of the way to convert the back of my truck into redneck camping paradise. It's amazing what an air mattress and a pile of blankets can do...

Early Saturday morning I crawled out to layers of ice on all the windows, but Solo was cozy and warm in his lovely old barn, having vacuumed up every scrap of hay, ready to start the day.

Wow, we had a tough judge! I was thrilled to pieces by our test -- Solo stayed soft and round for pretty much the entirety, aside from a few looky moments where he wanted to check out who was watching him. His canter transitions were, OMG AWESOME as he reached down onto the bit and stepped over his back; I have discovered the absolute key is me staying uber-soft on the rein during the transition. His circles were round and bendy and perfectly circley.  There's a random Solo dressage pic there on the left from last year just so you have something to look at.

We ended up with a 38.3, which I was pretty happy with, although the judge was pretty hard on some things, including 5's for our opening trots, ouch! Seemed pretty harsh just because we lacked impulsion, but oh well, every judge is different. She did give us 7's for our canter work, which is a nice change and left very nice comments at the bottom. We stood solidly in the middle of the pack in sixth place at this point.

Cross Country
The course was nice and gallopy and open, which is why I chose this event as a prep for our big recognized deal next month. However, during warmup, my ass kindly reminded me that my tailbone was still bruised from last weekend and every time I sat down to push it went OWWWWWW! Yay. Overall, it went well, although some of the jumps backed Solo off and I'd like him even more in front of my leg next time. Most things were very straightforward fly jumps, with only a few exceptions: there was a skinny, tall log between two trees, which makes a rather persuasive accuracy question if you would like to keep your face. The ditch was BIG and you had to weave around a corner and another jump just to get to it. Solo gave it booger-eyes, but he jumped it as I closed my leg and gave him plenty of rein. There was a BIG drop off a bank, but it rode really well and we stayed in balance and did not lose any momentum. The water was a simple run through and my cheater horse trotted, given he was pretty tired by the time we got there, at the end of the course.  There's another random XC pic for you from HT's past...

With a double clear finish (no jump penalties, no time penalties, thanks to us hauling ass up the last hill after glancing at my watch), we had now moved up to third! Yay! And ahh, pressure! One more phase to go, one very challenging stadium course to conquer. Could we pull it off after galloping such a long (19 jumps!) and hilly cross country course??


  1. Ok really?? What a meanie to leave us hanging like that!!!

    I refuse to offer a single word of congratulations until I know how the story ends.....

    But good job so far!!!(hehehe)

  2. Very good so far - can't wait to hear the rest!

  3. Congrats! Sounds awesome so far, can't wait to hear how it ends!

  4. ROFL, thanks! I don't think anyone has figured out what the E stands for yet...the second part will be up soon.

  5. I think I know what it means.......

  6. Lol. If it's the same Big E most eventers talk about, I know how it ends...

    But you are off to a good start at least ;)

  7. You are getting to be quite the little cliff hanger...