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We Are Flying Solo

July 27, 2013

Blogging Pays Off -- Again!

Eating up the Five Points Novice course last September.
Like many horse bloggers, I started this venture simply to track where Solo and I had come from and our progress (or failures!) along the way.  It's been invaluable to look back on veterinary and training issues, and just fun to have all our event images and stories organized.

Yesterday, I mused aloud on Encore's journey this fall (with a caveat of not breaking himself, laughingly, because plans ALWAYS need adjusting over and over and over and over).  Just writing it down really helped clarify the variables, risks, and perspective of the question at hand.  Perhaps it's just the way I think, but simply going through the mental exercise of making things coherent on paper forces my brain to draw more distinct lines than normally present in its usual spinning chaos.  Some excellent comments further delineated the issues.

And conundrum resolved!

I KNOW CHP has tough, tough XC courses at Five Points.  As in not only maxed out, but with technical questions to boot.  It would be extremely poor horsemanship to throw both at Encore at once at this point in the game.  Talking to a course designer further emphasized this point (hey, benefit of volunteering, you meet officials and you learn new ways of thinking about courses).  I want him to always believe he is the confident bawss horse seen below.

I am adamant that the focus stays on Encore's development.  It can not ever get waylaid into, as a friend so aptly put it, chasing NQR's for my beloved T3DE.  No matter how badly I want it, I will never, ever sacrifice my horse's long term wellness, both mental and physical, for any numbers on paper.  This journey is about the joy of the gallop and I want there to be as many of those as possible!

Dis de biggest thing you gotz?  Let me rockz it for you!
I am also lucky enough to have access to a decent fall calendar of high quality CT's, jumper shows, and schooling horse trials (still at my dear CHP).  So I have ready access to my choice of challenges, all valuable, within 45 minutes to an hour, should Encore decide to cooperate.

Will I enter Five Points at all?  I would really like to run it at Novice, not least to try out the new courses!  In the end, it will come down to careful budget choices.  I have to make the farm a priority right now.  While some competition, even a $15 jumper class, is important to keep Encore strong and sharp and keep his brain (and mine) from dying of boredom, we can't have it all.  At least at CHP, we do not have to stable thanks to awesome and generous eventing buddies and I can either lodge with them or on my technical trailer tarp, ha.  That is a HUGE money saver, as stabling alone at the Park for two nights is around $150-200 for a recognized event.  That's my entire month's board!!!

Hmmmm, anyone need services they are willing to pay for in the Triangle area?  Wait, something about that doesn't sound quite right...


  1. Sounds like a solid decision.

    And my oh my, is Encore ever the flashy jumper. :D Love looking at him.

  2. Sounds like a great decision. He certainly is a great jumper!

  3. Thank you! I find him rather charming, hee.

  4. I love your decision making process!

  5. Does that mean you'll be going to the Triangle Jumper Series in late August? If so, we'll see you there! How does the CBES series compare? I've been to CHP a few times but want to move up to Novice this fall- I didn't realize there is much variation between the tracks!

  6. Britt, I hope so, as soon as Encore decides to quit being sore from flystomping!

    CBES is GREAT. The tracks do change a LOT, I do enjoy the variety and they reverse directions often and use new parts. You really do not want to move up there in the fall (I knew this, I just had to remind myself why, LOL).

    If you want to move up at CHP, do it at the schooling trials. The only other soft one is Southern Pines I in March. Longleaf and 5 Points are both pretty sturdy.

  7. Good to know. Have you seen that Portofino (the super fancy new barn in Clayton) will also be having a horse trials this fall? Last I heard they didn't have a water complex.. wondering how that will compare difficulty-wise?

    We intend to move up to Novice at Fenridge, as we school a lot there and there it's quite straight forward. Just looking for somewhere else to get in another Novice run before the end of the year... hmm...

  8. Good will get there when the time is right.

  9. Britt, no, I didn't know that one, thanks for the heads up, I always like to keep facilities on my list! Fenridge is awesome, Patricia does an amazing job. I think CHP also has two more schooling trials at least?