So we went to a Derby without Anne, my trainer. I have been really reluctant to go to anything without her, because I have had such bad luck in the past, going to shows by myself.
I am not sure what possessed me when Jane asked me to go to the NPE Derby, I did not hesitate, I just said “Sure!” I talked to Tracy and she was totally cool about us borrowing her trailer. The ducks were lining up.
It has been a lovely, mild summer — perfect riding weather, with highs in the 60’s and low 70’s. Until the day before the show. 90 degrees. The forecast for the day of the show –94 degrees. Jane was meeting us at the farm, so I started loading Miley and Kip up at 7:00am, with no problems, we departed at 7:30 on the dot.
By the time we arrived at West Snoqualmie River Road, it was 8:30 and 87 degrees.
Kip and Miley are very bonded and must be in each other’s sight at all times — it is weird, they really never see each other except at shows. They live on opposite sides of the barn, go to fields on opposite sides of the farm; Kip to the rowdy gelding’s field, Miley to the Marey-Mare field. But we decide to warm up for dressage at the same time, just to avoid all the frantic calling. We had a nice warmup, that was mostly walking because out on the white sand of the warm up arena it was HOT. Kip was awesome and not interested in spooking at anything, so I went into the test pretty confident.
We rode a great test – going deep into the corners, and making nice, round circles. We had our usual issues with going evenly into the bridle, hollowing at transitions and preparing for transitions — but we got a 32, which is an f-ing awesome score. All sixes and sevens, with an eight thrown in for the halt. Nice and square. Thank you Kippie!
When it came to walking the derby course, Jane’s friend’s, the folks who own the farm, wanted to do us a favor and take us around the course on their little golf cart thingie. I did appreciate it, I did get some tips on how to ride some fences that came in very handy. But when it came to the order of the fences — I was thoroughly confused. She was telling us the Beginning Novice and Novice courses at the same time, and those courses diverged subtly but significantly after fence 6. I did try to walk the course again, and thought i had it, but I did not.
The temperatures were climbing, and my ride time was 12:15. I put on my helmet and vest, and thought I was gonna pass out from heat exhaustion right then. When I was just about done getting Kip ready, Scott showed up! I was really surprised and it was so great that he was there! I am never sure how much other people will appreciate what is going on — I am busy and trying not to puke, and not able to entertain anyone who comes to a show. I know I find them fascinating, but I worry other people may be bored. I let Scott know where to watch us, and went down to the derby field.
I did a couple of warmup jumps, not wanting to do too much, to wear him out before our round, and was pleasantly surprised how nicely he was jumping. It was hot. But he wanted to go, and was pretty keen on the jumps. It was finally our turn to go.
The starting judge sent us out on course too early though, and on fence number two, the pair who was going before us needed to cross our path. Kio and I needed to back off a jump and let them go (fence 2 and fence 11 were the same, going in different directions) — in the end, they did not count that against us, so that was good. It was technically a refusal because I had definitely presented Kip to the jump, and then pulled him off of it. But it was all very clearly a mistake of timing so it did not count against me.
We took the next fence fine, it was very straightforward, but the next one, a table, he ducked right and I had to re-present him and really smack that right shoulder and give him a healthy kick with the right foot to get over that table. He kinda lept/deer hopped over it. Then, after the tires, I was supposed to go back to the portable table and take it the other way, but I was totally confused because of the earlier course “walk” After I took the wall I looped back around and took the table, so I took 2 fences out of order. BUT He jumped everything that I pointed him at. Man, what a good pony. I had paid for a schooling round so we waited for him to catch his breath (which took a long time because it was at least 95 degrees out there.) The fences he was sticky on the first time were absolutely no problem the second time around. It was fucking awesome.
So at the end of all of this, I assumed I was eleminated, between the misunderstanding and pulling Kip off of fence two and needing to present him to the table twice, and swapping fences 10 and 11 I thoutht for sure I was out of the ribbons. It was only when I went to collect my dressage test and all the points were added up, that I realzed the judges did not count fence two against me.
We got a 32 on our dressage test.
So I got sixth! Out of twelve!
Next up: Lincoln Creek One Day – August 18.