I have been having a hard time lately, struggling with feeling inadequate, under-prepared and generally crummy.  But the French Creek Derby was this past weekend, and I was really looking forward to it.  I just love going to beautiful Polestar Farm, and I always sign up for the next-day clinic with Polestar’s owner, Meika, too. I love that I have turned this show and clinic into an annual event, but this year I had to struggle to get my head in the right place.

Saturday, the day of the Derby was HOT. I had just decided that yes, it was hot, and there was nothing to do done about it, so I just got on with the riding.  Our Dressage test was at 3:33, and my lovely friend Cheryl who had come for the weekend, graciously helped me warm up, and offered to video my test.  She was so much help to me this weekend, and we joked that she was my “horse show mom”, but she helped me so much, and saved the day on more than one occasion. I can’t overstate how much smoother the weekend was because she was there. Kip and I had a great test, I felt pretty good about it although I wish I would have had studs in because the grass was slippery, and I could feel his uncertainty, because he was concerned about slipping. Here’s a video, annotated with the judges’s comments:

Cross Country was hugely fun, and again, I have Cheryl to thank for offering advice on how to ride a couple of the obstacles. I would have approached them differently, left to my own devices. But the course rode beautifully, and was so much fun we did it again just for schooling fun.  Here’s the course: (I am tired of trying to figure out the slideshow in WP, so here is a gallery)

Our first run, the one that counted toward our score (thankfully) was quite a bit better than the second.

Kip is so willing, and loves his job so much – there is such joy in his huge and trusting heart. I am so fortunate to get to have him in my life.

Here are some videos of our run, thanks again, to the awesome and talented Cheryl!
Derby round highlights:

Schooling round highlights:



We won!  Good boy, Kip!

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