Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NEDA Spring

Our first big USDF show of 2010 is now done and dusted.  NEDA Spring is the show at which Piper failed to make it all the way to "X" in his only other visit to the Marshfield Fairgrounds.

Piper warmed up very nicely.   He was truly on form, listening, responding to light seat aids, and just being a super calm customer.

And, having practiced at home with an open horse trailer at "C", I knew the judges stands were not going to be a problem for him.

HOWEVER...   As we approached the judge trailer while circling the arena, Piper spied the parking lot down below and beyond the trailer and stopped in his tracks!   So much to look at!   Tractors, trucks, kids playing.   And Piper once again pulled his "turn tail and run" tactics.

Rescued by an observer, we were led around the arena.   And by the time the judge blew the horn, Piper was almost calm again.

Aside from shying away from "H", the corner with the best view of the sunken parking area, the test went really well.   Rider nerves only kicked in as we approached the movement at which I had an unscheduled dismount at UNH last summer.   But keeping inside bend, looking away from "H", and kicking on through the canter, we both survived the movement and finished the test with style.

Tons of 7's, a few 5's for avoiding "H", and 7667 on the collective marks, and comments of "Tactful riding" and "Talented horse. Seems young. Good luck!"   We finished 5th out of 16, 2nd for Open Division, with a score of 64%.   The scores of the class ranged from 68.8% to 56.8%.

It was supremely satisfying to simply complete a test at NEDA Spring with the timid horse.   Hopefully the rest of the season will be a bit easier.   However, this coming week, he is back to being a showjumper as he contests the New Hampshire High School Equestrian Team state finals.