Texas Rose HT: course walk and pre-game

For those of you who follow my $900 fb pony facebook page, you already know how this weekend turned out. But before we can get to the conclusion, first we’ve got to take a journey, and that journey of course includes a soon-to-be-famous (surely?) Course Walk with Bobby. Brace yourselves.

We arrived at Texas Rose Horse Park on Friday around mid-day, unloaded the boys, set our stuff up, checked in, and then got on to ride around. It was quite warm and humid so we opted to mostly just hack around the grounds, enjoying the beauty and wide open spaces of TRHP. It truly is the most beautiful facility in Texas, hands down. I can’t wait for AEC there.

One of four dressage arenas in the foreground and stadium warm-up in the background


riding with Bobby and Halo in the front field

AND THEN… it was course walk time. Bobby was doing BN and I was doing Novice, so first we walked our courses separately, then walked each others together. You know what sucks in 90 degree heat and crazy humidity? 3 course walks. But we’ve got a reputation that we’ve got to live up to now with our jump photos, so we suffered for the sake of art. Unfortunately, because we were about to die, we only did fun pictures for my Novice course walk. As suggested by Sarah, we did a “Where’s Bobby?” theme to start with, then it kinda morphed out of control as we got delirious from heat stroke, which is of course where things got funny.

nice inviting little fence to start with, heading straight towards the highway in the background


fence 2, a stair step box next to the highway


Very simple vertical logs at 3


decent size table at 4, off of an uphill approach


little slanty log on the hillside at 5


little up bank on an uphill approach. There’s water right behind that Training rolltop, which wasn’t flagged for Novice but if you didn’t go through it your approach to 7 was not gonna work.


cabin set a couple strides out of the water


another decent sized table at 8, very square but not too wide


to the Trakehner at 9


then it was a slight downhill roll to 10, the open oxer, which I thought looked small


11 was the down bank, which wasn’t actually that big of a drop but because it was set on a big hill, it looked ginormous when you were cantering up to it. Plus the landing was on a very downhill slope, which meant it would ride bigger.


to get to 12 we had to take a hard left after the bank and canter back up the steep hill, with the chevron jump at the top. This was a serious question because of the terrain.


straight ahead to 13, the Weldon’s Wall


14ab was two rolltops set on a bending line. Another good question, but I loved how there were a couple different approaches you could take on how to ride this. I dig it.


dead Bobby on the b element


another little house thing at 15, set a couple of strides before the water (which is shaped like the state of Texas. Because Texas.)


Our pimp cups took a water break at 16.


Another table at 17, this one not super tall but very very wide. Like 4 1/2 feet wide at the base. Honestly I tried not to make eye contact with it when I walked by.


and a cute little brushy box to finish

After the course walk I actually felt pretty good about it. I got a few raised eyebrows from friends when I chose Texas Rose as our move-up, because it’s not known to be an easy course, but I actually walked off feeling like this could potentially be perfect for him. The course was open and gallopy, which suits him well, and he has zero water issues so having two water crossings was no biggie. I thought there were a couple of legitimate questions but nothing super hard or unfair… it’s really well designed and flowed nicely, and there was a little bit of everything. Water, tables, trakehner, related distance, weldon’s wall, etc – great variety. The only thing I wasn’t too sure about for Henry was the giant-looking down bank followed by the sharp turn back up the hill to the chevron. Otherwise I felt like as long as I rode him forward and positively, he’d handle all of it just fine. Nothing looked super big to me either (except the width of 17, mother effer that thing was as wide as a house), which I thought was a good sign.

After the course walk I put XC out of mind because first we had to get through Saturday – dressage and stadium!

36 thoughts on “Texas Rose HT: course walk and pre-game

  1. The shark’s tooth was amazing. Did you strategically wait until the other people course walking were ahead of you to take Bobby’s pictures, or did you guys let it all hang out? (PS when Bobby is wearing those shorts sometimes it’s almost like a “where are Bobby’s pants?” course walk!)


    1. We mostly try to not get other people in our shot, but we really don’t care who sees us doing this stuff. We get some interesting looks. “Where are Bobby’s pants”… that’s a good idea…


  2. I am so glad you had fun and did well. I live for this blog. My work is hell right now and it has KILLED me not to A) come read this blog and B) Not order my MDC stirrups yet. LOL SEE WHAT YOU DO TO ME!


  3. A weldon’s wall at Novice is definitely course creep. Those are prelim questions. They’re starting to show up at training (and trakehners are starting to show up at novice, which I found out on Saturday and that really set my 4* coach back on her heels) but I hadn’t heard of one at novice. Jesus. Who designed the course?

    And these pictures are amazing. Y’all have a good thing going on!


    1. Trakehners are fairly commonplace on novice courses here. We had one on the Texas Rose course and I know at least two other shows here that have it on N. Shoot, we had a little baby faux Trakehner on the BN course at Greenwood. I think Texas Rose has a bigger/tougher variety because it’s been the AEC venue for the past couple years, and their courses for regular horse trials really aren’t all that different from the AEC courses.


  4. that course looks intense but awesome!! definitely some big stuff – and those twisty hilly turns always kinda freak me out lol, but sounds like a great ride! also what a great way to prepare for the AECs! (i wonder how many other entrants had the same idea lol)


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