Saturday, August 28, 2010

Richland Park: An Engineering Degree Doesn't Always Help! By Doug Payne

It was a very unusually slow day for us, considering its Friday at a big competition. With two horses in tow we didn't quite know what to do with our free time. Slick was the only horse competing and he didn't go until nearly 1 pm. We had a leisurely morning which included breakfast, walking the dogs/horses and generally hanging out with the 400+ riders and horses here this weekend. Richland certainly has a big stage feel, always a bunch of activity and with 4 rings going the warm up was packed all day.

I rode Running Order first, just doing a bunch of stretching etc. Nothing too strenuous, but enough to get his blood flowing and muscles warm and loosened up. Slick was next. I rode him twice to see if it might help. I have to keep in mind how few events he's ever been to in his life. I might as well take advantage of the opportunity for him to experience all of the atmosphere here.

So with my dressage time coming soon, I decided to review my test once more. I logged onto the USEA's site, typed training B into the search box and learned my test. I did think it was a bit weird. I've had nearly 100 starts this year and didn't really recognize the test. Oh well...must be different than most events I've done recently. was different. I hadn't done this test in a while being that it was the 2006 vintage rather than the 2009. So the test actually starts off identically, all was good until the first canter. Then 1 whistle...wrong letter for the depart. Then 2...wrong circle. I obviously realizes something was drastically wrong...asked the judge what test we were B correct? Yes...but not the same training B. Long story short, learned the test quickly, I've done it countless times, and we finished with 6 pts in errors. He was actually very good and finished in 7th with a 38.

I walked the *** course again, actually twice more. All is looking good. I think its a very good course. Should be challenging, but I feel prepared and will certainly make a go of it tomorrow.

The day finished up with a riders meeting with the judges, safety, medical and other officials. They made some quick changes to the time schedule, but essentially the same for our horses.

Slick gets to do show jumping tomorrow and XC on Sunday. The show jumping course looks good, it will be challenging and will have its share of rails. Lucky for me Slick is a good jumper and shouldn't have too much trouble. Again keep your fingers crossed, anything can happen!

We had one other very funny thing happen. Were staying a friends place about 10 mins from the show grounds in a guest cottage. Last night a bunch of us were certain that on display were a bunch of African instruments. Knowing us it soon became a contest of who could play them better. In order to get a good tune we had to play them like trumpets. All was well and good. Fast forward to tonight. We went to dinner with Sallie our host, they came up in conversation. Turns out their actually a collection of yarn spools that have been turned into candle sticks which happen to be candleless at the moment!!! We were laughing so hard we were crying.

Were off to bed...and looking forward to XC tomorrow!!


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