Thursday, January 17, 2019

My Blog

 
     

Derbyshire Horse Trials Recap 2014

Jun 13 2014
26
0

I didn’t win my forth horse trial of the season in the traditional sense, but I definitely felt like a winner after successfully completing my first USEA Training level horse trial!  I could not be happier with myself or my horse.  Owen showed up at Derbyshire Farm confident and relaxed and performed to the best of his ability in all 3 phases.  The exciting part for me is that I was no more nervous than I am at all of my Novice events, a clear indication that I was well prepared for my move up.

Friday: This horse show weekend ended up being a family outing as Owen and I were joined by my husband Nathan and my German Shepherd Abby.  We headed to Northern Michigan early Friday morning and arrived at the show grounds around 2:00 PM.  When we arrived, I setup the stall, unhooked the trailer, rode Owen, walked my courses, went out to dinner, and checked into the hotel for the night.  I feel asleep that night feeling excited about the weekend and the challenges ahead.

Saturday: For dressage, the small warm up arena was very crowded and consisted of ankle deep footing.  Being aware of Owen’s old tendon issue (from his racing days) I opted to be creative and tried to stay in the grass during the majority of the warm up.  When it was time to enter the show ring; however, the deep footing was unavoidable.  Owen executed a very steady and professional test, but didn’t offer to change his trot or canter when I asked for the lengthening movements.  Even so, the judge awarded us a 30.5 to put us tied for first place after dressage. 

Note: I apologize for the poor quality pictures.  They are all taken from screen shots of the videos.

image

image

image

A couple hours later, Owen was tacked up and ready for cross country!  This time warm up was in a grass field so I could warm up confidently.  After a brief warm up, we headed to the start box.  As soon as Owen and I left the start box and jumped fence one, I knew we were going to have an awesome round.  Owen relaxed into his amazing gallop stride which is naturally ~475 mpm (Yeah! No more fighting to go slow for Beginner Novice and Novice!)  I had a huge smile on my face as we jumped around hitting every fence out of stride. 

Half way around the course, we got to the up bank and I was surprised to feel that Owen hesitated as if he didn’t know how to read the question (he has been up and down a million banks).  Luckily I was prepared and ready to be supportive and kick on.  Next was a set of rails that dropped into a black water pit…again, I stayed supportive and was there to add leg and encourage him on when he hesitated.  The next 3 fences jumped perfectly (vertical, trakehner, oxer) and then we approached the sunken road.  Unfortunately, I didn’t ride to the plan Megan and I had discussed (jump the oxer, set him on his feet, turn to the sunken road and press up to it).  We ended up coming in too fast to the sunken road and Owen propped and jumped to the side at the last minute when he didn’t understand the question.  I was disappointed in myself, but I reacted quickly to turn him around to re-approach successfully and make it around the rest of the course without incident.  We picked up 20 penalty points, but still finished under optimum time.

image

image

Sunday: Overnight, Derbyshire got enough rain to turn the deep dirt footing to tacky mud.  Several riders were had issues with dropping rails and refusals on course because they were unable to get their horses in front of their leg.  Megan encouraged me to ride very forward and use lots of leg to kick on and give Owen the power and confidence he needed to make it around the course.  I entered the show jumping ring ready to attack the course and make up for my mistake at the sunken road the day before.  Owen was a super star and did everything I asked of him and more.  He jumped bravely and honestly even when I missed a couple of lines and take off spots.  (Sorry Owen!)

image

I had a huge smile on my face as we crossed the finish flags and I realized that we finished in the ribbons at our first Training level event!

IMG_1987 IMG_1999

What’s Next: Next weekend I am signed up to participate in the Team CEO Eventing Weekend clinic.  After that, I am entered in the Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trial at the Kentucky Horse Park competing at Training Level. 

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Jun 01 2014
33
0

As I mentioned in previous blog posts, “Life with horses is filled with incredible highs and devastating lows.”  I got Owen almost 5 years ago and have been eventing him for the last 4 years.  We have trotted down centerline in 25 recognized horse trials in 6 different states.  We have experienced injuries, falls, frustrations and setbacks in the past, and it is inevitable that we will do so again in the future, but for right now, I’m enjoying the incredible high.  I am feeling on top of the world having just won my THIRD horse trial of the season. 

1st at Spring Bay HT Novice
1st at Greater Dayton HT Novice
1st at May Daze HT Novice

IMG_1972

I received lots of kind words of congratulations on Facebook.  After seeing one such post by Megan, a writer at Eventing Nation decided to interview me and write a really nice article about Owen and I and our adventures with Team CEO.  You can read more about our journey here:

http://eventingnation.com/home/how-kelly-rover-learned-to-drive-her-ferrari/

 

EN Front Page

Once the horse trial scores were posted on the USEA website, I realized that I currently sit tied as the 2nd Novice Adult Rider in the country and the #1 Novice Adult Amateur Rider in Area VIII.

image

I am also now qualified to win the following awards:

  • 2014 Blue Ribbon Award (by earning a top 3 placing in 3 horse trials)
  • Novice Eventing Gold Medal (by earning a 35 or less at 3 horse trials)
  • Bit of Britain’s Chase the Challenge Award (by winning 2 horse trials in a row)

I have to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame because I have decided to try my hand at Training Level.  This means that I will quickly fall off the Novice Leaderboard as other riders continue to gain points at that level.  That is entirely OK with me. The partnership I am building with my horse, and the experience I am gaining by being a part of Team CEO are far more valuable than any award or accolade.

Thanks again to Megan for her all her help and support over the last few years.  I can not tell you how vital it is to have a coach that you trust and can motivate and prepare you mentally and physically to perform at your absolute best. Some people are good horsemen, others are good riders, and still others are good coaches. Fortunately, Megan has the gift of being brilliant on all accounts.

May Daze Horse Trials 2014 Recap

May 31 2014
25
0

Owen and I just finished our 3rd horse trial of the season and it could not have gone more perfectly.  We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to celebrate.  I can’t wait for the rest of the show season!

Dressage: The dressage rings were setup in the same spot where we usually do show jumping at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Since the warm up rings were so small, they had you warm up in one ring, then move to another ring to warm up, then move to the show ring to warm up at the end of the ring, and then finally go into the show ring to compete.  Luckily, none of this phased Owen and he took everything in stride.  We stuck to our usual warm up plan as far as the exercises and movements that we did and ignored the distraction of the three different warm up locations.  When it was time, Owen and I went in and performed a steady test.  When we left the ring, the volunteer ring steward looked me straight in the eye and said “Wow, GREAT test!”  Apparently, the judge agreed!  We scored a 35.5 to end up tied for first in a very competitive division.

 Dressage Warmup

Cross Country: Later that afternoon, Owen and I headed out to cross country warm up.  I must admit that I had butterflies in my stomach.  No matter how many times I got out on cross country, and no matter at what level, I think I will always be nervous right before the start.  Luckily, when I got in the start box, all the nerves disappeared and were replaced with concentration and determination.  The unique thing about this cross country course is that there were two low areas of the course that were filled with standing water.  Megan warned her riders to stay focused and ride those areas aggressively to keep our horses focused on the job.  I took her advice and it worked!  Owen and I clocked around the course with no problems at all, jumping every single fence out of stride.  I strategically crossed the finish line 12 seconds under optimum time which helped to break my dressage tie and put us in the lead after cross country!

Gallop

Log out of Water

 

Show Jumping: Going into show jumping, I think everyone at Team CEO was super nervous and excited to see if Owen and I could pull off a double clear round to win the event.  Oddly enough, I was super calm as I knew I needed to keep a clear head and Owen relaxed if I wanted to do well.  I went into the show jumping ring with a plan, rode a confident and steady round, and finished double clear!

Approach

Red Oxer

Yellow Flower Jump

Blue Verticle 

Black and White Oxer

I ended up winning the event by finishing on my dressage score of 35.5.  This win was special because it completed my “hat trick” by being my third win in a row.  Owen and I are definitely becoming a force to be reckoned with! 

Victory Gallop

Blue Ribbon

Awards 

What’s Next: Owen and I will get a weekend off before heading North to Michigan to compete in the Derbyshire Horse Trial at Training Level.

Greater Dayton Horse Trials 2014 Recap

May 23 2014
38
0

The weekend of May 16-18, I packed the truck and trailer and headed North to Ohio with Owen to compete in the Greater Dayton Horse Trials.  I attended this event in 2013 and loved it, so I was very excited to go back again this year.

Friday: We left the farm around 10:30 and arrived at the show grounds around 1:00 without issue.  I setup my stall, unloaded Owen, and grabbed my packet from the show secretary.  This is about the time that I realized that I forgot to bring my dressage saddle!  Oops!  Luckily, Megan graciously let me borrow her saddle for the weekend.  Friday evening we headed out to walk our cross country courses and noticed that the ground was covered with standing water in several areas.  Apparently, Ohio had a lot of rain the week before.  We were in for a wet, muddy weekend!

Dressage: Saturday was very cold, windy, and rainy.  I got Owen tacked up and headed to dressage warm up.  Owen was focused, supple, and relaxed despite the sloppy footing in the warm up areas.  I was so cold that I couldn’t feel my legs and my nose wouldn’t stop running.  When the rider in the dressage ring before me finished her test, I headed over to the show ring.  As I was trotting around the outside of the dressage ring, Owen and I started getting pelted with bits of ice.  Was it hailing?  Sleeting?  Who knows, but Owen was a complete trooper.  He pinned his ears back against his head to show his displeasure at the weather, but proceeded to execute a very lovely dressage test.  We ended up winning the dressage phase with a score of 32.  What a good boy!

Show Jumping: Next up was show jumping.  Due to the rapidly deteriorating footing, I decided to use mud bullets instead of grass tip studs on Owen.  Owen is very light on his feet, so I was afraid of holding him back with a more significant stud, but he seemed to love the added security and was very bold and confident in show jumping.  We ended up with a steady clean round!

Red Oxer

White Oxer

Green Verticle

Thumbs Up 

Cross Country: The weather on Sunday was much nicer, however, the ground never had a chance to dry out after all the rain.  The footing was very sloppy but Owen did great with the help of his studs.  We didn’t slip once and ended up having a very smooth confident round to finish double clean! 

Owen and I ended up finishing on our dressage score of 32 and winning the event!  This is our second horse trial of the year and our second win!  I’m so proud of how far we have come!

Owen 1 

What’s Next: Owen and I are competing in the May Daze Horse Trial at the Kentucky Horse Park the weekend of May 23-25.

Flying Cross Farm XC Schooling (April 2014)

May 03 2014
18
0

I had a great birthday weekend this year!  The weekend was filled with gorgeous weather, wonderful friends, and beautiful horses and ended with a successful cross country school at Flying Cross Farm.

Group Shot

Friday: I started out with a full day of work – OK, that wasn’t great, but it gets better.  :-)  Friday evening I had two of my closest friends visiting from St. Louis.  We met at the barn and I gave them a tour of Team CEO including the gorgeous indoor, my cool new trailer, and my super handsome horse.  Then we headed to a local Mexican restaurant to feast on chips and cheese dip, enchiladas, and strawberry margaritas.

Saturday: My husband and I got up bright and early to head out to the Kentucky Horse Park to watch 60 top level horse and rider combinations tackle the challenging Four Star cross country course.  This was my 4th time attending the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.  It was definitely very cool and inspiring to watch the world’s best horses and riders compete mere feet from where I stood, but I was also aware of how much I had learned about riding and the sport of eventing since my first, second, and even third trip to Rolex.  I knew more about what the riders were doing and why, what equipment they used on the horses, and what they were feeling as they galloped 570 mpm over 4’ solid objects.  I can’t wait to go back again next year!

 photo 2 photo 1

After walking over 8 miles at Rolex, we were tired and ready for hot food and cold drinks.  We headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant for more chips and cheese dip, enchiladas, and multiple pitchers of sangria!

Sunday: On Sunday, Megan trailered a group of us to Flying Cross Farm to school cross country.  Though we were all exhausted from being at Rolex, the adrenaline and excitement of going cross country kept us going.

I think Flying Cross Farm has more bank complexes than any place else I’ve ever been.  We jumped…Up bank, 3 strides, down bank.  Down bank into the sunken road, 3 strides up bank.  Up bank, 1 stride, up bank (double bank!).  Down bank into water.  Up bank, 2 strides, large brush jump (we did this backwards too).  It was so much fun!  After learning how to SIT before jumping the fences over the last few months, I had to remember to STAND and land in my stirrups off of the banks so that I don’t hit Owen on the landing.  Luckily Megan was there to remind me.

Also, after several months of learning how to keep Owen at a slower pace going cross country, I had to remember to add leg and let him more up confidently to the jumps.  We had a few sticky spots, but after galloping him off my leg a few times between jumps, we started to get our rhythm.  Check out the video and pictures to see the final result.

Video: Owen and Kelly at FC, April 2014 - YouTube

Up Bank Two Strides to Brush

Brush

Training Corner

Corner 2

Down Bank 3 Strides to Skinny Barrel

Down Bank 2

Down Bank 3 Strides to Skinny Barrel

Skinny Barrel

Large One Stride Rails Combination

Log In to Double 2

Subscribe To RSS Feed

RssIcon

The Archive

Blog

Minimize
2019 Jan 0 1
2018 Jun 13 1
2018 May 15 1
2018 Feb 26 1
2018 Jan 27 1
2017 Sep 2 1
2017 Jul 7 1
2017 Jan 6 1
2016 Nov 22 3
2016 Sep 21 1
2016 Jul 35 2
2016 Jun 18 2
2016 May 14 1
2016 Apr 75 3
2016 Jan 20 1
2015 Dec 11 1
2015 Nov 14 1
2015 Oct 31 2
2015 Sep 52 2
2015 Aug 19 1
2015 Jul 41 2
2015 May 63 4
2015 Mar 27 2
2015 Feb 9 1
2015 Jan 30 1
2014 Oct 145 2
2014 Sep 25 2
2014 Jul 29 2
2014 Jun 59 2
2014 May 81 3
2014 Apr 108 4
2014 Mar 107 12
2014 Jan 47 2
2013 Dec 31 1
2013 Oct 153 5
2013 Sep 111 2
2013 Jun 119 2
2013 May 71 2
2013 Apr 28 1
2013 Mar 239 9
2013 Jan 136 4
2012 Dec 56 1
2012 Nov 55 2
2012 Oct 37 2
2012 Sep 107 3
2012 Aug 229 6
2012 Jul 268 6
2012 Jun 232 5
2012 May 369 7
2012 Apr 278 5
2012 Mar 49 1
Copyright 2019