Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ram Tap November Horse Trials - Sat 11/19/11

A new day dawning

So very, very proud of both Sherry & Nahmi today!  They're both showing commando style -- no, not that kind of commando.  They're both wearing underwear, but are showing without the help of a professional trainer to coach them in warm up.  Relying on their own skills acquired from hard work all year (life?) long, experience from past shows, and helpful notes/suggestions from trainers Susan Friend, Gina Economou and the ever awesome Brian Sabo, they're doing it on their own and really shining.

It's really inspiring to see them showing "without a net" as it were, flying or falling on their own wits.  At the end of the day, isn't that what we all should be able to do? Not at every show, but if the point of showing is testing your own mettle (and for the kind of $$$ it better not be for the .98 ribbon) we all should consider doing this on our own from time to time.  Just a thought...

Hair club for geldings?
Anyway, back to the ladies: of course Sherry had to be an over achiever, scoring the lowest dressage score of the entire show with a 20.  (For non-eventers, our sport is like golf, the lowest score wins.)  Nahmi had a really great, relaxed, flowing ride on the folliclely challenged Simon - see braid pic) and scored one of their best tests at a 35.  I was really happy not just with her ride, but her terrific attitude of looking at this as a building kind of test.  She achieved what she set out to do - bring a relaxed partnership into the arena - and will continue to push from there.  Considering it was such a brisk, chilly day that even the judge commented on it, that was quite an accomplishment for Simon!

Fortunately, the dawn's arctic breeze blew the gray, overcast sky away to give us a brilliantly sunny late morning for show jumping.  Simon's round continued on the same theme of learning and growing.  They had a rail and some time faults, so I suppose on paper it doesn't look as successful as rounds from previous shows, but Nahmi was extremely happy with the outcome and rightfully so.  Simon wanted to be a pisser in the warm up, but as Brian says she choose to disagree with his choice to lengthen to the fence with her upper body, resisting the urge to pull or or lock up her elbows.  Guess what, it worked!  In the arena, they rode straight to the fences, Nahmi's form was awesome, she made choices to get Simon to particular spots and achieved those goals.  A few wide turns turned out to be costly time wise but she had goals and met them -- what else could you ask for?

Poznan proved to be interesting and entertaining to watch in the warm up.  Every time another horse would jump a jump towards him, he went leaping about the place putting poor Sherry's back to the test.  At one point he nearly went over a coffin combination that was next to the warm up arena in his exuberance to show his disdain of other horses & riders.  All the rails stayed in the cups - good Lord, he cantered over one or two instead of jumping them - but they did have time faults thanks to his laid back style.  If only he was the over achiever that his mummy is...  Since her one and only goal was to finish with no time faults, Sherry was disappointed, but it's kind of hard to feel sorry for someone sitting in first place! :)

Sorry, no pics of rides as I was busy with the video camera.  Maybe videos to follow if Carolyn will be kind enough to link them here?  

Have to say, once again Ram Tap's staff and the facility make the unpredictable weather worth enduring.  The jump course was challenging but not daunting, the footing in remarkably good shape and everything running pretty much on time and according to plan.  For those who know me well, you know that the thing nearest and dearest to my heart is the bathroom situation.  Happy to report after touring nearly every port-o-potty on the place that they were all clean, had paper, had hand sanitizer and all in all a pleasure to use.  Thank you Ram Tap!

We walked the cross-country courses with a new companion - the course walking app.  (Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the word "app"?  It sounds like a burp gone wrong, but I digress.)  More on that later in another blog entry but clearly we weren't the only ones out there with this handy new device that measures the course and gives you minute markers as you walk.  Hard to tell, however, it people were using the app or just texting while walking.... (if you zoom in on the pic, you can just barely see it at work.) 

On a very sad note, our dear friend Larry Sawyer lost his eventing partner Caboose today. More than just a successful Intermediate and one star competitor with Auburn Brady in the irons, he was a friend and will be missed. 

No comments: