All a Fun Game

Yes hi hello, my presence is very spotty right now because it’s almost Kentucky week (and then Badminton) and I’ve had about 9000 writing assignments and spreadsheets and the like. I think this is the busiest time of year to be involved in equestrian media. I’m definitely not upset about it, but I’ve been typing my little fingers off. That’s a lie, they’re not little, I wear a size 8.5 glove.

Anyway, things are speeding right along around here. Last Wednesday Presto and I were entered in our first Modified CT. The dressage went okay… he got a little bit riled about some imaginary monsters in the trees while we were warming up and had to opine about it. For the test he had moments of brilliance (got an 8 for one of the leg yields!) but also decided to yeehaw through one of the canter lengthenings (STOP DOING THAT, IT’S ONLY PARTIALLY FUNNY) so we ended up with a 31.

It was Modified Test B and I actually REALLY like that test for him, it’s my favorite we’ve done so far. There’s a lot to do in there and things go rapid fire, especially with turns and transitions, but I think for Presto there’s actually enough to keep him busy and the way it flows plays to his strengths. Looking forward to taking another stab at that one after we’ve actually had a chance to work on parts of it in a lesson… the show was my first time riding it all the way through. Still, we were sitting in 2nd after dressage.

I ended up scratching before SJ (which wasn’t until almost 5:30) because after spending all day walking around the show my ankle was starting to get mad. Steph wrapped it up in KT tape but she and Hillary both said it looked like a zombie foot (they’re not wrong, it had a greenish pallor). We were supposed to go XC schooling the next day, which was higher up on my list of priorities than a showjump round, so it seemed prudent to not jump around a 3’5″ course on an extravagant young horse if I wanted my ankle to actually be useable the next morning. I hate scratching and I really wanted to jump the course because it looked super and so completely in our wheelhouse, but… I’m trying to do a better job of taking care of myself.

Presto excels at taking care of himself, with snacks.

Scratching was definitely the right decision, because even though my ankle felt a lot better the next morning, by the end of XC schooling it was starting to get irritated. I don’t think I would have had many jumps in me at all if I’d done the showjump round the evening before. I mean I’m still annoyed about having to scratch, but it was the right call, as grumpy as it made me.

Anyway, we went to Rocking Horse to school, because 1) they’re never open to the public for schooling and they made it available by appointment only for just a few days last week 2) they have so many recognized shows there during the winter and still had all the courses up from their last show 3) the Modified at Rocking Horse has a ditch wall that I hate because I made the mistake of walking up to it on foot once and seeing how deep it was and made direct eye contact with the big gouge marks down the front that made it look like someone definitely met their death inside of it.

pic of it all brushed up at a show, with Kathleen for scale. You can’t really see the scrape mark but IT’S THERE

Don’t make me explain why I hate ditch walls so much, there’s not really a rhyme or reason, I just do. I’d rather jump pretty much anything else.

The cool thing though, is that Presto literally gives no fucks. I think you could put the Grand Canyon underneath a jump and set it on fire and he’d be like WOW COOL. He’s just brave as hell and this is all a fun game to him. It gives you a lot of confidence to be sat on a horse like that. Henry was the goodest egg but didn’t have a huge depth of talent… this horse has the most talent of anything I’ve ever personally sat on. It’s just so easy for him, he’s not even having to try or think that hard yet. Steph thinks he could be an Advanced horse and she might be right. The rideability is the part that takes more work with him.

Wheee. It looks a lot smaller from the top of 17.1h.

I mean, I did think I was gonna die there for a second when a cow made an appearance in the pasture next door, but… details. We jumped a bunch of Modified stuff including the skinny brush wedge to corner combo, the skinny wedges combo, the water to water combo (there are two waters right next to each other a couple strides apart, so the first water had a rolltop in the water, then you cantered out and dropped down into the second water, with a skinny just on the other side), the coffin, the trakehner, and a few other randoms. He was exceptional. Sometimes he thinks he knows best, which is where his age and inexperience shows, but it’s all just so ho-hum for him. It makes him really freakin fun.

pic from a different show,/location on course, but this was the skinny out of the water. He’s def never seen anything like that before. He gave zero shits.

This week we’ve got Ocala International, running the Training again, and we’ll see how that goes before we determine the next move!

Oh, also, my purple coat came in.

The color is very pleasing. It might be too hot here this week to wear it, but we’ll see…

9 thoughts on “All a Fun Game

  1. Well I’m super excited for the Kentucky/Badminton stuff you’re doing, so there’s that.

    Also, from experience, TAKE CARE OF YOUR ANKLE or you will regret it down the road. I still have issues from one I didn’t take care of, and that was like 8 years ago.


  2. I saw the results and wondered what had happened, but I think you made the right decision! Love all the schooling you have access to! I wish I had that…. wishful dreaming…


  3. Seconding what Hannah C said. I’ve had several broken bones and (with one notable exception of a fractured elbow that still has metal plates around it) the thing that gives me the most trouble is my ankle – from spraining it more than 30 years ago.


  4. I’m curious, if things continue to progress and Presto does indeed become an advanced horse, would you want to be the one piloting him? Or would you turn him over to a pro? Or keep him and enjoy him at whatever level you aspire to?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ugh joint injuries are infuriating. I hope you’re feeling better on it asap.
    Presto is amazing, I’m so excited for you! And the purple coat is gorgeous!


  6. Your position is always so correct and pleasing to see! I’m curious – it looks from the pic that you don’t have grass studs in his shoes? I compete in hunter and equitation and often compete barefoot, but when shod, I use studs on grass at 3’, even 2’9” if there is dew or moist conditions. I find it makes a huge difference in my horses’ confidence and relaxation about take off. Would be interested in your approach.
    And can’t wait to see the purple coat in action!


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