Monday, March 1, 2010

Life in the Truck and a Tack Trunk

View from the front door at the Gibbes Pine Top Morning

Vaunted made his Advanced debut this year at Pine Top this past weekend. He was very good. I am so lucky to be able to ride him. We have been trying a few different things this year and I put them to use this past weekend. Jaclyn Burke and Marley Stone also competed this past weekend and too had a great weekend.

It was great to see all the big horses out this past weekend. The way that the event was run the Advanced horses had Saturday off and I got to do allot of watching. It was great. Vaughn's dressage was accurate and steady. He was loose and obedient. He tries so hard in the show is something that I am still struggling with and he does not take it personally. Cross country is why this horse is worth his weight in gold. He was impeccable. He is so clever and has great foot work. Not to mention he is so honest you could trust him with your first born.
The day was riddled with bad luck. Jan Bynny had a bad fall on a young horse early in the morning. Bonnie was there just after the fall and collected her hat and sent me back to tell the rest of her crew that we could help in anyway. Also she wanted to let all of Jan's kids to know that she would be there all day to help them in the warm up of they needed it. In just about any crisis I would want Bonnie with me. She is so calm and dedicated to helping get the best out of others. Karen also had a fall in the preliminary and Rebecca Howard fell in the Advanced. When I was in warm up there were several holds and my mind started to race. I always try and stay in my own head at these moments. I know my horse and I know that I trust the plan that Bonnie and I cam up with. Non the less when you see riders that are of the caliber if Jan, Karen, and Rebecca it shakes your nerves a bit. There was allot of idle chatter in the warm up about striding and bad jumps. However there were just as many horses that were coming across the finish line that were fine. I knew that Vaunted is a machine and all the distances were right there. The jumps that I was a little apprehensive about I asked a few riders that had already gone around the course and I got a little bit of affirmation from them as well as my coach, Bonnie Mosser.
Vaunted went out on course and was true to form, stellar. As I jumped the 9th combination and jumped the skinny to go down the hill to the corner I saw Cindy Deporter standing in front of me with her hand up. I was being held on course for what I found out later was for Rebecca's fall. I did not know what had happened at that time but it was a while before I was let go. I luckily was help before a nice gallop fence. I guess that Boyd was held twice on the course. I have the up most trust in Vaunted and he was great. He ended up 4th in the Advanced.
So we got back to the barn and got the horses taken care of and got on the road. Only to stop at a gas station to find out that I had a flat tire on the trailer. So at approximately 8:30 pm Jaclyn and I had to change a tire. We did a pretty good job if I do say so myself, it got us home! All the way home Jan and Rebecca were in our thoughts. These two women are amazing riders and sometimes bad luck just happens. The nature of the beast I guess. I do somewhat believe in the power of positive thinking, while I am not sure if this is one of those times to use it, I am going to. I have so much respect for both these riders it is gut wrenching knowing that they are still in the hospital bed as I write this. **Come on girls...we NEED your smiling faces around the barn soon!!!***
As one of the "younger"riders out there it is always a bit difficult to keep your head in the game when you see some of the best not have their plan go as they thought. I know I say this all the time but thank god for the partnership I have with Vaunted. He gives me the confidence to go out there and get it done. I also must thank Bonnie and all the of support that all of my friends and fellow competitors give me. Without that we would all be lost. We are at the end of the day all out there with each other and we all need each other. The barn is off to Red Hills this coming weekend. Merloch will be doing the CIC***, Vaunted the Advanced, Conor Rollins will be doing the Prelim, and Jaclyn will be doing the Intermediate.

I have to go do some laundry now....

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