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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow!

I've had a great couple of days preparing for the King Oak Farms H.T., which begins today, and which I ride in tomorrow. Thursday is gallop day, but since it's honestly been raining for about two and a half weeks without stopping, the field is very wet and I don't want to chew up the ground. Instead, I went on a nice trail ride/hack with another one of our boarders to the only set of trails anywhere remotely near the barn. The mini system backs up to my gallop field, and it's about a 10-15 minute loop, nothing more. But Gogo was absolutely delighted to have a friend to go with, and was super cheerful before and after. That cheer lasted into yesterday, when we had a really good dressage school, our last one before the show. Our transitions and canters weren't *quite* where I wanted them to be, but no matter, they will come when we're at the show. She had some completely fabulous trotwork, and I finished a little bit early when she gave me the most balanced down transition to walk - simple and sweet, doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. After that, I hose her, grazed her, put her away with her fan on (yes it was finally that warm yesterday, and sunny too!) and headed out to the King Oak property to scout out the lay of the land and to walk the courses.

Oh boy. They're not easy.

Well, I take that back. The stadium's not bad. However, it's in a teeeeeny little arena and all the jumps are all on top of each other, so it's very busy looking.

But nothing we can't handle. Except the fences are definitely going to be maxed out. They had it set for Training and I'm CERTAIN that they were bigger than 3'3". Actually, I just checked the rulebook and it says that heights are 3'3" but the highest points on spreads can be 3'9" for Training. WTF?

And the cross-country course? Yep, pretty much had a heart attack when I saw a few of these puppies:

Greyhound to scale! Yes, those are some tough questions for her and they're all at almost 3', except for the Brush Fence of Doom, which is a maxed out 3'7". It's HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. Knowing Gogo, she'll just pop right over it, in a totally enormous and relaxed kind of way, and I will just hang the hell on. The first two fences of the course are really small and shared with BN, which is nice - get you rolling on the right foot. Then you turn up a really steep, gravelly hill into the woods, and head to fence three, which is a big chunky log and is pictured here. From there you hit another huge palisade and then go down a really steep hill to fence 5, which is the big drop pictured with my Ti jumping off of it. She's a big greyhound folks, she's not some teeny thing! So I'll be hauling on her and trotting off of that, which then takes me into a big meadow where we have our first two-stride combination. Back into the woods we go, this time to an up bank, and then we have a hard cranker of a turn to the biggest chevrons EVER, also pictured. Seriously, that's Novice?? Back down into the meadow and through the water for obstacle 9, and then the exit is three strides to a little barn for fence 10. A nice big hayrack and a trakehner follow, and then we have a hard question - her first offset fences on x-country, pictured. They're not REALLY that offset, but they're maxed out, and I'll have to be careful and just gauge how she's going. And then... THE BRUSH FENCE OF DOOM! Seriously, from far away I thought, oh that's going to be so nice, and then I got up close. BAM! That thing is completely maxed out at 3'7", which is the brush height for Novice. Problem is, I don't really know that Gogo gets that she can touch the brush. I have a feeling we'll just be leaping over it. From there, the course is almost over - fence 15 is a simple set of funky pieces of wood (like lincoln logs sort of), and then a big gallop to a sharp turn, ending over a simple and small bench that is shared with BN. Start easy, end easy. It's the middle that's not so easy!

If I just give her a good ride we'll be fine. If she's as relaxed as she was on Monday, we'll be fine. But man it's going to be prettttttty exciting, I can tell you that! The course will definitely knock people out of the competition, it's tough. It's her first Novice and I'm understandably getting the pre-show jitters!

Today we clean tack, hook up, air up tires, clip and trim, handwalk (I get way too pressured before a show to actually give her a good ride the day before), pack up,
and bathe. Tomorrow before I leave I'll braid, and then head out for the first really big show of the 2009 season.

I've got butterflies and I'm totally excited. This competiton means business. There are a full 20 people in my division and they're not joking around, and neither are the courses. The pressure is on to place well, but in the end I just want to give her a good ride and make it a good experience.

Totally, totally psyched.


Daun said...

Welcome to Area 1! King Oak actually has a pretty straightforward course. Fences are nice and wide with clean lines. You're going to do very well!

Show them Yankees what you've got!

Funder said...

Go get 'em! She'll do great; she knows and loves her job.

jacksonsgrrl said...

You'll do great and so will Go- Go!
She's made for this and so are you!!! HAVE FUN and EYES UP! :)

dp said...'ve got bigger balls than I will ever have. Best of luck to both of you (and of course you won't need any luck because you are going to rock based on skill and preparedness).

manymisadventures said...

I'm excited for you! Gogo will just cruise around the course like it's nothing, I bet :)