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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Groton House Farm H.T. 6/27/09: Day 2, Cross-Country


Fabulous, fabulous Gogo and I have unofficially broken our tie for 2nd. At the end of stadium, ties are determined by looking back on XC and seeing who came closest to the optimum time. In terms of seconds, optimum time for our course was 312 seconds. The other rider has 302 seconds. And us? We had 310. DAMN WE'RE GOOD.

But we were only that close (which normally would be WAY too close for me) because Gogo was freaky as hell on course. I correctly assumed that because of the flaming heat and doing XC on a separate day, she was going to be looky and hot. And, well, she was, sort of. I'm not going to say she was HOT per se, but the big questions on course really caused her to look. She went over the first two just fine, looked hard at the third fence (couldn't see the landing), cruised over four and five, and gave an ENORMOUS leap at the sixths (the dark one in the woods going out into the light). I don't think she could tell that the brush bushes in it were, you know, brush, so she went over it. All four feet of it. Seven, eight, nine and ten all went well, but by this time I was riding hard and defensively at every fence instead of letting it roll smoothly. She listened well when I gave a hard half-halt down the hill to fence 11, and we cruised through the woods to the real meat of the course, fences 12 through 15 - the ditch, drop fence, water in and jump out, and hidden barn at the top of an offset hill. Well! The yawning black ditch with a troll in it almost went smoothly, but at the last second she saw that it was filled with black mulch and was much bigger than anything she'd done before, and gave it the popeye and hesitated hard, but had too much momentum and launched over it. A big pat from me, and it was onto the drop, but she was wary after the ditch and gave the drop, water and barn this kind of a crazy crazy ride:

Shannon (the barn manager) surprised me by coming to watch my XC run before heading back south to see her boyfriend. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? She got up at 4 just to watch a tiny piece of my ride! She's awesome, AND she filmed me too!
And oh my GOD is that not HYSTERICAL when she does the awful LAUNCH off the drop? It really was just a very green mistake and typical of a horse that doesn't understand how to drop down instead of leap off, so that's understandable, but the water? She's never really looked that hard at any water before, and as you can see I was pretty much beating the hell of out her to get her in. She trotted out fine, cross-cantered all the way to the barn, and then wiggled all the way to fence 16. Fence 17 was uneventful. As I glanced at my watch just before the finish (which you don't see), I saw that my watch said 5:08, and the optimum time was 5:12. Believe me, I was spurring by that time!! We crossed the line on 5:10.... CLOSE. TOOOOOO CLOSE.

But it worked out didn't it!!!! Thanks to her spookiness and hormones, we are the unofficial breakers of the tie should we both go clean tomorrow. The stadium course is currently set for training, and we have a different track, so I'll be walking it tomorrow, and don't have pictures of it.

I really can't stop cracking up every time I see her stag off of the drop. It is SO FUNNY.



Albigears said...

Well, she cleared it! :)

sally said...

you guys are doing great. Best of luck for the last phase

Anonymous said...

That was some leap! She has a big jump on her when she feels the need to! Congratulations on your ride and good luck in stadium!

Shannon said...

ROFL Great job! I might have fallen off at the "stop and leap", but you managed to make it look pretty graceful. Sorry, you don't know me, but I am totally laughing WITH you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, silly mare! But hey... you got through clear!!! :D!


Serena said...

"Stagging"--that is SO descriptive and awesome! i kept watching the very first part of the video because it rocks. I don't even know how you stayed on! You are velcro butt!