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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Oh man tomorrow comes EXTRA early. As expected, once I got up to Old Chatham all my worries dissolved. No more mold worries, no more hock worries (I really do think it's just my stress level being OUT OF CONTROL and just worrying about ONE MORE THING when it very well could have been that she was just lazy yesterday... we will be addressing this in more detail shortly), no more Alex worries.... just dressage, stadium and cross-country. I felt my heart lift as I watched the Training division run XC, and as I walked my own courses. There is nothing on this course I don't think she can handle. Granted, it's relatively challenging, and going at a good clip for Novice (400mpm), but even though there are some tricks everything is completely and totally fair for the level. I've heard that the water complex is very, very tricky and I saw a lot of stops there today, so that's my biggest concern, along with the offset downbank combination (I KNEW there would be one on course!!!!!).

Fences 1, 2 and 3 are all in one small field in a loop. Fence 1 is a simple set of logs, fence 2 is a brush, and fence 3 is a VERY BIG bright looking table. From there, you run up a wooded path out into the water complex field, where you find fence 4:

What's complicated about that you ask? Well, Gogo has a tendancy to look at fences we aren't jumping. Dunno why, but she gives everything the serious once-over if we're going around it, so I know she's going to be focused on the training fence instead of our fence. While it won't be a problem to get over that fence, she'll have started the look-around at this point. Which then leads us down a large hill (where we'll try NOT to gain speed) to fences 5a and 5b, and fence 6:

If we have speed coming down the hill to 5, we will need to REALLY sit back and prepare for this. The water complex is VERY spooky, so I will have to probably give her a pop or two with my super awesome star bat. She's not been spooky at water ever before until Groton House, so I'm not sure how this one will go, but I've heard (and now seen) that this water is very, very tricky, so I'll ride hard to it and out of it, up the bank. She's done up banks out of water before, so that won't be a problem.
Fence 7 is a big palisade, with a sharp turn up a hill (and around more spooky fences!) to fence 8, a simple set of logs on a difficult turn. Fence 9 is on the complicated approach again:

Down a hill, on to fence 10... and then comes the other big question on course, fences 11a and 11b, the down bank to an offset hayfeeder. Now, the downbank is small, and the feeder is small, and I think it's not going to be an issue at all, especially if we trot it. Still, it's pretty complicated, so it'll be a very good learning experience for her. (AKA... don't launch banks anymore you crazy woman!)

Weave back around the trees to fence 12, the big ditch (hopefully this one goes a hair smoother than the last), and fence 13, THE BIGGEST PILE OF CORDWOOD EVER! No seriously, it's enormous. I hope the photographer is over there cause we'll be soaring! It's not the easiest approach, so I'll have to really set up for it though. But from there on out? Totally easy. The next three are all BN sized (they all look MIDGET sized compared to fence 13), and it's a very easy and confidence building way to end the course. We'll have to keep up a good clip so we can cruise across that finish line with time to spare.

Stadium looks way fun too, but I only got one picture of one fence so far. The rest of the property? Totally gorgeous.


And... Colleen made shirts.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yea.

It's really the big time now kids... we're playing with the big, big boys now. We're in it to win it, but as long as we finish on a good dressage score I'll be happy no matter how we place. It's going to be tough, tough competition, but this is what we've been working so hard for. We're rolling with the punches this week had brought and we've overcome them all.

We're ready.
It's time to show them what we're made of.

Wish us luck!!!!


allira said...

Oh wow, that looks like so much fun! Good luck, I know you both will do great!

Kristina said...

Decided to come out of the woodwork for this one :)

Good luck, have fun and go kick some big shot booty! I'm confident that you guys will do great!63Gatsby

DressageInJeans said...

Its pictures like that, that make me feel like I'm in the wrong sport! Gosh that looks so much fun!!!


Beckz said...

I cannot believe how beautifully prepared your courses over there are. Good Luck.

sally said...

You go girls .....have a blast and have fun doing it. Look forward to your results

Kate said...

That looks like a challenging, interesting course. Good luck - Go Mares!

BestHorses said...

Wishing you well today! Can't wait to hear how you did.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Best of luck!! You're going to do great! Remember eyes UP and AHEAD at water, drops, and ditches. Pretend they're not even an obstacle and look at the next fence! I'm sure you know that, but I thought I'd share with you my mantra. When we used to get into trouble at these kinds of obstacles, it was ALWAYS because I was looking down at them during the approach.

So excited for you - can't wait to hear how it goes.