Heather continues to just get better and better! We did the Fall Horse trials at the Horse Park of New Jersey this past weekend. It was a really big event, only our second time competing at a horse trial, and our first recognized event.
I discovered the night before our competition that Heather thinks braids are for sissies and will absolutely not wear them in his mane! That was actually fine with me, because I hate braiding, so what do we care right? I’d rather have him happy. Regardless of our rebel unbraided look, Heather got 4th place!! But the thing that I was so happy about (and a little surprised) was that he behaved like a total pro.
The temperature dropped dramatically over the weekend and the wind was gusting to 30 mph, so I was expecting Heather to be pretty fresh. He didn’t care at all! In fact, he was being so good, that it was me who messed up our dressage-otherwise we could have done even better! He was listening so well that he broke into the canter accidentally when I just barely put my leg on. Totally not his fault-he was trying so hard to do the right thing!-I was nervous and I know I over rode a bit.
Even though our score could have been better, we got some nice comments from the judge-including “lovely horse” and “a nice ride on a somewhat tense horse”. Funny that he was calm in the warm up-he is so extremely sensitive to what I am feeling! By the time we were warming up for x-country he was totally relaxed-probably because I was too, knowing what a great jumper he is! After we jumped the warm up fences Heather just strolled around on a loose rein and watched some of the horses gallop off on course. (While tree branches and dust devils were literally blowing down the road!)
Of course the x-country was too easy, even with two water jumps, and we were great on our time, coming in 30 sec. under optimum, which was probably slower that Heather would have liked to go, but I wanted to be as close to the time as I could. We were 4th after x-country and held 4th with a clean stadium round-the point difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th was so tiny!
My friend who came to help me was so impressed by how calm Heather was. She knows him pretty well, and has seen him during some of his less relaxed moments, and she couldn’t believe it. He stood perfectly still and took a nap in the sun, warm under his nice fleece cooler while we were freezing in the wind putting the studs in his shoes!
I’m hoping to get some better pictures-I saw photographers around, so I have to keep checking the websites. I’ve attached the only ones I have. (I don’t know why my friends can never seem to take any decent pictures!! )
I hope all is well at Bits & Bytes Farm – Heather, as you can see, is just wonderful, and his buddy Radar has been out hunting every Wednesday and Sunday, so we are all doing great. (Except that I’m in trouble with my husband for “too much horsing” as he says.) Ha ha!
Jennifer and Heather