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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, May 10, 2009

King Oak Farms H.T. 5/10/09


Oh we did, we did, we did! Gogo tromped her field of 20 on this beautiful, windy, sunny day to win her first Novice on her dressage score of 31.1!

What an awesome day. It wasn't without some hairy, sticky spots, but for the most part it was just beautiful and flawless. I was totally thrilled with her performance. With all the rain we've been getting, it was nice to see some sunshine, even if it was windy. I had actually been hoping for some wind with all the trouble with the stupid bugs we've had lately, and I lucked out.

We were sparkling and shiny for our dressage, all fancied up with our lovely little braids:

I like my buttons, they were all right. I actually had three people come watch me - yay friends!! - and I got on with a little over an hour to warm up for dressage. Unfortunately for me, it's realllllllly hard to gauge how long it's going to take Gogo to warm up. Sometimes it's a half hour, sometimes it's an hour and a half til I feel like she's ready. The warmup was a big freaking pockmarked mess with all the mess and the mud we've had, but we did the best we could and stayed squished into one tiny little area about the size of a 20-meter circle where the footing wasn't so bad, with about 10 other people too. There actually was a girl and her horse who literally both took a nosedive in the warmup directly in front of me when the horse tripped on a pothole. They both rolled over, got up, and were fine. Man that has to be unnerving during your dressage warmup right before you go in the ring! Anyway, Gogo warmed up beautifully, and a lot faster than I anticipated. Of course, right? The ring ran kind of slow and I ended up overworking her, much to my dismay. When she's ready, she's ready, and you can't take a nice long rein walk break because you'll never get her back. You can see in the video (which I will post later) that she was tired and lacking impulsion in her trotwork. FINALLY, we went in the ring (20 minutes late!!) and Gogo put in an awesome test. The judging I felt was very tough but fair at the same time - we got several 8's, several 7's, one totally deserved 9 for a beautiful trot movement across the diagonal, and two 5's, one for a pretty crappy free walk (which I kind of anticipated, and accepted as something that needs more work... I gave her some rein and she stayed right there instead of stretching... ohhhh well) and one for our halt which was actually mostly square, but I felt her leaving her right hind behind her, so I put my right leg on. Lately, when she's been leaving a leg behind instead of being square, if I ask her to correct it she does. Today, however, she did mega rhumba butt to the left when I put my right leg on, so we had a pretty crooked halt. Not a 5 really, but there you are. Our score, despite those two 5's, was still a 31.1, and we were in 1st after dressage with no rails in hand (second place was a 34 something).

Back at the trailer, we had some drink and some munchy, and then got ready for stadium. I only gave her about a 10-15 minute warmup that was mostly walk, trot, canter and about three fences, and then we went in. I was a little anxious since I had just found out I was in 1st, so I overrode the course and got a few wonky spots, totally my fault. The arena was tiny and hard to ride in, and the course was seriously wasn't even a minute and a half long, and we were clean. It wasn't the prettiest course, but clean is what matters, and we have our homework cut out for us - mostly just concerning my brain!

No pictures yet - will get some professional ones when they get put online and I get proofs :)

I had everyone help me to quick pull her braids out and do a fast tack change, and with all the sets of hands we were done early, and had about 10 minutes to get a good drink and some grass (and a bite of a Nutrigrain bar for me - seriously, I haven't eaten in like two days because I've been so jittery) before getting on for x-country), and then it was off to x-country. I mostly walked, did some trot and some motoring canter just to get her trucking, and made her wait for my few warmup fences. I just wanted to give her a good, quiet, conservative ride, and I knew we'd be fine if I did. The first two little logs on course she oogled at, the third log she really oogled at, and the fourth coop she majorly hesitated. I never felt like she was going to stop or run out, but as a precaution, I gave her a little pop with my bat. And she LAUNCHED right from where she was, and landed WAY right on the other side... where there was a giant tree, right in front of us, about two strides away. Oh crap!! I went to veer right around it, and she instead veered left, so we had a moment of lost stirrupness and lost time as I slowed to pick it back up and continue down the steep hill at a trot. Oh well, that wasn't too pretty but the rest of the course from then on out just got better and better. We had the best down bank of my life at the bottom of the hill, made it through the palisade combination easily, went up the up bank and made the cranker to the totally freaky chevrons smoothly (I thought for her she'd look at it... apparently not! I left that with a big smile on my face!) and everything else went smoothly from there on our, including the broken line. She jumped it at a bit of a slice, landed big and totally let me, for maybe the first time on course ever, give a strong half-halt and a tight turning aid and had absolutely no fuss or problems approaching the next fence, just a few strides away. The hedge of doom, as I predicted, was not touched but totally jumped over, but it felt totally nice. From there on our, it was smooth sailing, and despite the bad bobble with fence four, we came in cleanly under the time, securing our first place finish.

And in doing so, we beat out 19 others, clinched our first victory at Novice, scored a bunch of points for the Leaderboard, qualified ourselves for Area 1 Championships, and got a qualifying score for the AECs - and we even got pretty stuff to boot:

I've got the best mare in the world, victory is sooooooooooooo sweet, and life is soooooooooooooooooooo good.

Oh wait, one more thing: my dad bought the truck!!!!!!!!!!

It's still in MI so we have to make a renvezvous to switch vehicles, but there it is. I didn't want a silver one but seriously, can I even say that without sounding like a really snotty little wench? My first Jeep was named Taco (solid Mexi food), the Durango is Shaker (liquid-ish foody-drink), so we decided to come full circle and go all the way into full Mexi liquids - we're calling it Patrón (tequila!). It's totally covered in chrome so I feel like it seriously fits. They see me rollin', they hatin'.....


Jesse said...


Albigears said...


Congrats, how much fun is that?

Thanks for sharing, it's great- you're inspirational. Can't wait to see jumping pictures...

dp said...

Congratulations to both of you on a great day. Fantastic!

alphytha said...

Congratulations! You must be thrilled with that result. :)

Funder said...

YAY! You two totally rock and I'm SO happy for you!

Daun said...

Woohoo! You're #1! You're #1! Gogo is #1!!

An excellent score and an excellent first outing. I can't wait to see the pics and hear your stomping the competition at the next one.

OnTheBit said...

That is fantastic!!!! Congratulations!

manymisadventures said...


I told you you would be fine :)

Nicku said...

CONGRATS! It's been fun reading about all your hard work and preparation, definitely a well deserved first place finish :)

cierarosaline said...

Congradulations! That's so good! I hope we don't compete against each other cuz i would get my butt kicked sooo bad! lol i'm in area one too...anyway great job!

Now That's A Trot! said...


Denali said...

Your horse is beautiful. I just came upon your blog, and have to say that I had the same horrible experience with my horse (leaving her while you travel) I left her with people I trusted and when I came home early (by 4 months) she was close to 175 pounds under weight and a NUT CASE!! I couldn't imagine what would have happened if we were gone the full year!! It makes me almost cry. 5 months later she's getting back into it!

Anyway, not the point! Your horse is beautiful!! Congratulations!

Serena said...

HA ha, "rhumba butt."

DressageInJeans said...

I am totally late again, but WOOOO FREAKIN HOOOOOOO!

Congrats! She looks FABULOUS! Look at all your hard work paying off, girlfriend! I also saw the video, and she looks absolutely amazing. I hope you are super-super proud of her AND yourself!

hwbowen said...


(And. Um. Hello. Sometime reader, fellow Area 1 eventer, here.)