|Getting ready to leave the start box at the AEC's PC Shannon Brinkman Photography|
1) Compete Novice successfully- CHECK! Well we only went to 2 novices in the spring of 2017, the Fork and FENCE. The Fork's xc jumps were massive and I fail at judging speed at TIEC bc the cross country course is basically one giant circle that twists around and around and you never really go full out bc you're constantly circling. It's annoying. But either way we jumped clean, kicked some dressage ass, and didn't place in the ribbons bc of XC time. Out next outing was at FENCE and compared to the Fork I felt like I was running around BN again. We smoked it around XC bc we COULD gallop in a straight line, and jumped clear with an ok dressage test. And got a ribbon AND 1 of 2 qualifying scores for the AEC's (you needed 3 events and either 1 event 1st or 2nd or 2 events placing 3rd. We were 3rd for amateurs at FENCE)
|Coming to the last jump on course at the AEC's PC Shannon Brinkman Photography|
2) Qualify for the AEC's- originally I had wanted to qualify at Novice and had plans to get the 2nd score needed at River Glen but 2 weeks before I slipped while hiking and my knee popped out of joint and I was crippled for about a month. So yeah, no riding which meant no AEC's. But then I got an email end of July/first of August saying I HAD qualified for the AEC's… at Beginner Novice. They changed the qualifying dates around and suddenly I had the 2 scores needed for BN to go. So I did! In hindsight I should of saved the money bc I wasn't really fit enough since I didn't really ride all summer bc I was working 12 hour days 6 days a week (I run the riding program at a summer camp for boys, it's not teaching plus it's summer camp so I still fall under the amateur status rules, I checked :) ) and since I didn't think I was going to the AEC's I wasn't making the effort to ride 4-6 days a week. Chimi stayed in work bc I had a lady taking him out on the trails but neither of us had attempted Dressage or a jump since I had injured my knee. Plus the cross country course was a big letdown from last year's AEC's and BN just ran around in a damn circle around the Derby Field at TIEC. At least last year we got to go around the barns and down past the congested water complex and loop around by the river and had real galloping spots. But I did have a great time and while the riding part wasn't very exciting at the AEC's this year I really enjoyed the social part and I met new fun people and hung out with old friends. Plus I ran into my trainer growing up who I hadn't seen in YEARS (at least 5 years or more) so it was great catching up with her! So basically I'm kinda torn whether it was worth it to be there or not. I do know if it hadn't been at TIEC which is all of 22 minutes away from my house I wouldn't of gone. But since it was local I did it bc I really wanted a pretty ribbon. Sadly due to my lack of fitness and not enough saddle time we got an awkward distance to jump 9 in stadium and pulled the rail (it was probably the most pulled rail on the course, probably bc you were coming out of a tricky corner and if you didn't ride forward enough it the jump fell). While we were definitely forward enough coming out of the corner Chimi was unbalanced and not listening to my half halts and I sort of froze and didn't do anything so we just sort of ran to the base of the jump in an ugly canter and Chimi did his best to get over it but he was so close to the jump that he pulled the rail. I should of been more firm balancing him through the corner but I do think if we had been working all summer he wouldn't of been unbalanced bc he would of been strong enough in his hind end to power through in a nice canter. Grrrr. I'm still a bit sad about that ribbon though. They really did give out gorgeous ribbons.
|When I rode well enough to let Chimi clear the jump PC Shannon Brinkman Photography|
|I love the horses in the barn windows of this jump PC Shannon Brinkman Photography|
My fall season was basically shot with the Abscess of Doom but after the AEC's I didn't really want to spend the money to compete when I realized I needed to get the basic fitness back that I had lost over the summer. I'm glad I had made that decision BEFORE the Abscess of Doom so I wasn't to disappointed when I couldn't do anything with Chimi.
|I feel so international with the flags in the background! And if the giant white tent wasn't there it'd be a really cool view of the mountains. Plus one day my horse will learn to gallop with his nose out...one day. PC Shannon Brinkman Photography|
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!!!