Woodwind Horse Trials – May 4, 2014

Today’s event went pretty well. Not in terms of our score or placement, though: We were dead last, which is exactly where I expected we’d be. But we got through all of the elements and did some pretty substantial fences in the process.

My dressage mark sucked: 49.3%. But I didn’t think the test itself was that bad. Here it is:

And here is a link to the dressage test results.

Anyhow, we clearly need lots of work on this element. (One contributing factor that I don’t think actually was an issue, was that Gamble didn’t want to leave his stall (low ceiling, skinny aisles) so we only had 15 minutes of warmup.)

For Stadium Jumping, Gamble did lots of fences from up close — almost stalling out. But we got over everything with just one knock-down, so I’m happy(-ish).

But then came XC: Lots of big fences, although a lot of them I’d already done at the Prelim division last year. I’d say 30% of them I’d done previously. The biggest one was the Barn — 3’8″ high x 6′ wide. Quite a few were max height — 3’9″. Anyhow, Gamble did them all and by the end, he was doing everything with confidence.

While I screwed up and didn’t have my helmetCam going (no battery power), Kate got some video of a lot of the fences:

Some things to remember:

1) ALWAYS review the video. I got 20 penalty points and a few time faults for missing fence 12. I should have known to turn slightly after 11 A-B, but because I memorized the fences, I didn’t review the video. REVIEW THE VIDEO. (As it turns out, the extra 20 penalty points didn’t cost me a place — I was already far enough down that it didn’t matter — but still…).

2) ALWAYS charge up the Contour HelmetCam. I’d used it for 30 minutes or so a few days prior and assumed it would still have lots of juice. But it didn’t. it would have been great to have a helmetCam of Gamble and my first Intermediate event. Note that we can charge using the USB port in the truck. It is also good to be able to have a rider-view in case there are questions about a refusal. In this case it is _possible_ I could have made the argument that I didn’t present Gamble to Fence 12 (which I didn’t because I was looking to present to the wrong fence), although I did cross my own tracks so I may have still had the refusal recorded.

3) ALWAYS get as much video as you can of all elements. I would have loved to go back and see his Stadium Jumping round. I know I dragged him over the first 5 fences. It would have been good to see if I was doing something wrong (because I probably was). All I can remember now is that he was having a good look at all of the first fences. But by the time I was over fence 5, he was settled in and attacking the fences which is what I like.

4) Gamble doesn’t like tight stalls or low ceilings in a barn. Just about had to scratch because we couldn’t get him out of the barn for his dressage test. Other stalls were available, but we didn’t worry about it because he’d been in this stall before.

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