Dixie headed off to Loch Moy to compete in his first event which technically isn’t a full event but close enough. They have a short course format where you ride your dressage test and then head out on cross country to jump a combination of cross country and stadium fences. I was also riding Morethanalittle, a former CANTER MA owned horse, competing in his first event.
My morning started out early! The boys had a bath the night before and trailer was packed. I arrived to find Dixie’s legs looking like stovepipes and hives all over. More bute and a bit of dex hoping he would be okay. 5am we loaded the up. Dixie decided hind shipping boots were not his thing so I figured fine no point in arguing this early in the morning. They walked right up on the trailer.
I was running late as usual so not much prep time for dressage for Dixie and he needs it. Mick stood on the trailer like a champ! Dixie was a bit star struck by everything but so behaved. Heading down the center-line he had to stop and stare at the judges box and then he got a bit panicked and mimicked a giraffe on crack for a while. We didn’t get very close to the sides of the ring because they were evil and he wasn’t about to take the chance that they would bite. However, he got both leads and listened well. I really was overall happy. It’s a first test and his first time seeing so many horses, a judges box and a dressage ring. Not to mention there were ponies…and he handled the evil ponies without even a second glance.
Throw him back on the trailer and get mick off who is basically sleeping and eating. Hard to believe he has only been in training for 2 months and has only done 2 field trips. He was about as cool as a horse can be in this situation. Walked around on a loose rein and stood perfectly still just taking it all in. It seemed like it took forever for them to get going so he was a bit tired by the time we did our test and did not feel like cantering. I had to give him a big kick which pissed him off and he let me know for the second half of the test that he was not all that interested in this stupid white box. He was a tiny bit afraid to get up to the sides and our steering was a bit questionable at times. We made several huge circles as he drifted all over the place but the darn horse is just so fabulous it amazes me.
Okay, 15min to get both of them to the jumping portion. I decide to jump Dixie first and have Kurt walk Mick up to the start so I can just switch horses.
Dixie was hilarious…shaking, puffed up so big and just scared but doing his best to keep it all together. His worst reaction is a big trot. I didn’t walk my course so walked down to talk to Liza and get the details. He was anxious but behaved. I was super surprised when he jumped right over the warm-up fences without his typical oh my god there are jumps what should I do phase. Nope, he just skimmed over the x-rail and then the vertical and off we went.
The course was a scary log decorated with some sort of branches and he looked but jumped from a slow shuffle trot which was excellent. Trot to another plain log for fence two. Long canter down the field and then turn right. You had to go down a hill and there was a bright yellow stadium fence with flowers. He thought this was super super scary but shuffled over it. Big pats. Cross through the flags for fence four. Head up and down a hill for fence five. Another log for fence six, then you could go through the water which he went right on through. He was in the zone now. Out of the water over a log with flower pots under it. It was a bit scary but he did well over it. The last fence was another yellow stadium fence with flowers. Go dixie. He started out very scared but was so respectful and cantered on a loopy rein in between. He tries so hard for me and I just love him for that. He knows if I tell him it’s okay then I won’t lie to him and he tries. He came off the course feeling totally confident and like a rock star.
Throw the tack on Mick. They are waiting on me so they can start the next division. Mick was a bit rattled and wanted his buddy bad. I had to get on using a jump and that was quite funny getting a 4yr tb to stand next to a huge jump so I can get on. He did after a few minutes of me explaining to him that he was not going to die. He was just watching everything going on and was a bit shell shocked. He had a few mini-stunts but nothing major. He jumped the heck out of the warm-up jumps. Wow, that was awesome. I thought he might be reluctant to leave the group but he was really good. He was behind the leg to the first jump but jumped way up over it. Good boy! Second log was better. He took a huge dislike to the bright stadium jump but I think it was more because he was shocked to be jumping going down a hill and having no buddies in sight. We cantered along like hunters all the way to the little up/down bank. Then headed off to jump another log which he really jumped nice.
Mick loves water but seems suprised to see it when I am riding him. He didn’t want to get in and I was polite at first but then gave him a few good move on smacks and he said um..yeah I was going lady chill yourself already. Apparently, his face was hilarious when in the water. He gets in the water and seems shocked he is actually in there and wants to get out. He takes these funny steps. He is so cute. We walked out of the water and then picked up our trot and jumped the flower pots. He is still a bit looky so he slows down and then really rounds his back. Fence 8 was the bright colored stadium jump. He was totally cantering to it and then said oh crap it’s that evil yellow jump that I saw out in that other field…no way not doing that. I kicked him and said get over this now and he jumped but we were very close to the standard and I caught it with my foot taking the whole standard down. He thought nothing much of all of this and just cantered through the finish line happy as can be. What a good boy!
Dixie finished up the day in second place and they had MIck down for an elimination but we protested with the judges. He never stopped at that stadium jump but I did knock it down with my foot as we hit the standard. I know he was super but I don’t want the Big E by his name.
Our centerline was quite funny as he did the stop and stare
Oh my gosh white sides are so scary…help!!!
I am not sure if Allie has anymore jumping pics of Dixie. There was no official photographer and my hubby was to busy handling horses and watching my tack for me.
It is wonderful to have such lovely horses. I was telling Allie that you really begin to appreciate horses with such great brains after you have dealt with some bad ones. Both horses loaded/unloaded easily. Stood on the trailer alone when their buddies left (compared to my own personal horse who finds it amusing to jump out the people door..don’t ask 🙂 ). Handled a busy warmup ring. There were all sorts of distractions from a noisy cart driving around to weedwhackers near the warmup ring for jumping. Despite being nervous neither horse did anything scary and were totally willing to do whatever I asked. I feel like they are ready for BN but it will be beneficial to do a bit more schooling/showing at the lower stuff until I can feel them confident from start to finish. No point in rushing them just to jump bigger fences. I know the height is easy for them but the BN fences were a bit more than I feel they are ready for when I looked at them. Fence 2 was a big house that was quite intimidating so I want to make sure they are confident before competing at that level. I will plan on doing some more schooling in between and figure out what the next competition should be.